I have been wanting to blog about this for a while and thanks to the #WASO, I had the nudge I needed to get going again.
Where do expectations come from? Society? The media? Friends? Family? Inherited?
The expectations I had of me being a mum have proved to be very far removed from realakity. I had dreamt of being a mum for a very long time, along comes Spud and suddenly I am a mum to a 7 year old. I had expectations that to a certain extent, my life would carry on and Spud would fit in and enhance it. How wrong could I have been? Of course Spud was never going to just fit in and life was never going to be the same again.
The first weeks and months were hell, I had no idea who I was, what a mum to a traumatised child did to try and help or who to go to for help. I also think I had very unrealistic expectations of adoption support. I really wanted someone to help but I didn’t know what help I needed or wanted, I needed someone to take control and tell me what to do but who could I ask?
I had expectations that I would meet mums in the school playground, have a very different social life and enjoy every second of it. Realility was I cried, a lot! Expectations were not met so I felt let down, I had let Spud down, others had let us down.
Spud had expecations that I would know what a mum does, where to stand in the school playground, how to build Lego, an expecation I would be able to control the weather and stop the rain, know the rules of football and not make mistakes. Early on Spud realised this was not the case and he lowered his expecations of me!
In the media you see images of “the perfect family”, in the run up to Christmas that seems to start in September you see images of “the perfect Christmas” and people have expectations which you will try to achieve these expectations.
Nearly 4 years on I realise that these images are false, a lie and totally made up! Expectations these days on me, my friends, family, support network, professionals, Spud and the community are much, much lower. It means that I am not set up to fail each and every day. It means that I am much happier. It means that I feel much more “normal”.
I am much braver and stronger to say no or to lower my expectations. We have history to look back on and see what worked/didn’t work.
I am also much more honest and better at asking for help. I think I am more cynical and more negative about many professionals due to my experiences. I have a great support network who understand expectations and when they need to be lowered.
What at expecations do you have?