I expect L to stay away from the potted plant in the living room. I expect her to not throw piles of dirt on the floor. I expect C to sleep through the night. I expect that the oatmeal and milk will sustain her at least 8-10 hours so mommy can sleep and function the next day. I expect my husband to be romantic all the time and bring cupcakes home to surprise me. I expect him to read my mind and get up with both babies on Saturday mornings and let me sleep. I expect, I expect, I expect…
He expects L to sit next to him on the couch and watch TV while he checks work emails on his iPad. He expects C to just lay in his arms and smile and not arch her back and cry. He expects time, when he gets home from work, to unwind and use the facilities in peace. He expects me to initiate sexytime on a nightly basis… He expects, expects, expects.
L expects me to understand her new language…“Shaw, looo, chaa, ne ne, wi wi, pooo”. I’m still working on some of these. She expects me to walk in the door and hold her immediately. She expects me to take her swimming everyday, feed her ice cream and french fries for dinner, and give her milk in a bottle on demand. She would be wrong on all accounts.
Where do we turn expectations into reality? Expectations are hopes and dreams in our household…ha ha! We have to communicate extensively on a daily basis or we quickly turn into impatient spouses and annoyed parents. J told me he was going to run some lawn cuttings over to a friends trashpile on Saturday and made it sound like he would be back in ten. 25 minutes later, after L has been brushing/tangling my post pregnancy hair, (which is falling out in buckets and now barrels thanks to L’s hair salon) I look out the window and see J on a ladder manicuring the palm tree. Uh, did I miss something? Is he already back from his trash run? Before going hormonal on him I sweetly take a deep breath and open the front door to inquire about his new activity. “Darling, what are you doing? (deep breath) Honey, when you say you are just taking the trash over to F’s house I expect that to take around 10 minutes.” This is probably the first time I have ever held it together and not gone crackerjack on him. This was a fluke. The Lord rescued him this time. He apologized, I was normal, he was great, and our afternoon wasn’t ruined because I actually took the time to breathe and communicate and he took the time to understand where he messed up. Too bad this doesn’t happen more often. I am going to start trying harder.
In all of our expectations depicted above, there is also the inclusion of needs and wants. For example, we need to buy Milk for L, we need to pay bills, we need to do the laundry before it engulfs our closet. These are things that MUST be done versus the wants. J wants to redo our kitchen and master bath, I want a flat screen TV for the living room wall, he wants to landscape the front and backyard and then finally, he wants to treat our trees for white fly. Wants are things you can make a list about for future cash flow but they do not belong in the need category, they are not pertinent. This has been hard for us after buying a new house. We want and need so many things, and then we go back to what we expect. Our vicious cycle. I know, I know, so many words…work with me.
J has been consumed with the yard, and I quote, he is “taking care of my family which includes all living organisms like the trees and plant life in our yard”…yes, my husband said that. I about fell over. He moved the list around…the item “treating the trees for white fly” went OFF the want list and was put on the need list, front row. And, as per my previous blog, he has gotten them injected. I can’t even go there. It is ludicrous to me. J has dreamed of having his own yard to play, plant, and landscape his entire life. He is like a kid in a candy store, like me in a mall I guess, or a hotel room that’s dark and cold and sans children to wake me up. I could care less about the palm trees outside, if they lose a coconut or five it is ok, it is way more important that we turn the front room of our house, that is never used, into a bedroom so we can have an office or den. Oh wait, we just spent how much to save Mr. Coconut? Excellent!
We need to sit down on a weekly basis these days to tackle our lists and communicate our expectations. I realize in all of this that I have control issues. I see a breakdown in my mind of how I EXPECT situations to go down…I can’t get away from that word. I want everything to go through me first instead of trusting J to make the right decisions, which he usually does. Bottom line: I need to expect God to take care of all my wants but if He could just differentiate between the two and see that I need sleep that would be great!
And what about baby C’s needs, wants, and expectations? I’m sure she has a list too but for now some boob seems to fix that just fine.
“So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink? Or What shall we wear? For pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” Matthew 6:31-34