Have you ever convinced yourself you wanted something, simply because you thought for sure you were going to get it?
One Christmas when I was a kid, there was a mysterious package under the tree. It was large and squishy. Not in a box; maybe even in a big, black trash bag, I can't quite remember. I squeezed that bag many times until I was CONVINCED I was getting a sleeping bag for Christmas. I didn't know I wanted a sleeping bag or that I needed one, but by the time Christmas morning rolled around, I could not wait to rip open that package and get my very own sleeping bag.
Only, it wasn't a sleeping bag.
It was a Raggedy Ann doll that a friend of the family had made for me.
And do you know what happened next? I burst into tears and had myself a good sob.
Not because it was a doll (though I wasn't exactly the 'play with dolls' kind of girl). Not even because I really wanted a sleeping bag. But because my expectations and my dreams had been dashed. And on Christmas.
I wish I could say that I learned a good lesson about expectations and that I never set myself up like that again, but I think we all know I'd be lying.
This happens so often in life. And I think it happens to a lot of people.
Motherhood brings its own set of expectations with it.
...you will know what you're doing
...your baby will sleep through the night at a certain point
...your child won't be waking up nightly at almost 3 (thank goodness he is now 4!)
...you will love playing any and every game with your child (Whose idea was Chutes and Ladders anyway?!)
...you will not be *that* parent who yells at your kid.
...your child will not be *that* child who others shake their heads at and think to themselves, "My child would never act like that."
...you will be able to take a nap together and actually get some sleep
...you can arrange the perfect mommy & child night, with the perfect movie and the perfect snacks, and that it will go perfectly
...you will not be so overwhelmed that sometimes you just have to cry it out
(I've had bits and pieces of these expectations in a draft blog post for a long time -- so no need for concern that I just had a huge sob fest from feeling overwhelmed -- though I have certainly had my share of those before and don't doubt that another one could be around any corner. The memory of that non-sleeping bag Christmas came to me this week, while I was setting myself up with another expectation that was snowballing in my mind. The post just came together when I forced myself to write it out, rather than letting it rattle around in my brain.)