The Almost Empty Nester: Expectations

Friday, November 18, 2016


I've had a few tough but good conversations with The Girl Child the past few weeks. The newness and novelty of the start of college is wearing off. All the excitement of the summer and lead up to the beginning of this new chapter in her life are behind her and she is in the midst of the reality of it all. 

And again, that's not bad, it's just not all she expected. 

I've talked to my kids a lot about expectations. I'm an optimistic person. And I'm not a huge fan of "hope for the best, but expect the worst." I don't believe in expecting the worst. Although I can appreciate hoping for the best. But my MO is to get a picture in my head of how I want an event or a certain life situation to go and if reality doesn't live up to that, I struggle. The Girl Child comes by it honestly.

It's dangerous when I do that. When The Hubby and I went through pre-marital counseling, our pastor said that expectations are the biggest issue for couples to overcome. After twenty-three years of marriage, I agree. Things go south in a hurry when I have an image in my head of how an evening will go and my husband envisions something else. We both end up disappointed and upset. Not fun. But when we communicate a specific need or want, that helps. It also helps to not necessarily lower our expectations, but rather go into a situation knowing that many different things can happen, all of them good. 

I got to visit The Girl Child last weekend. And instead of all these specific images in my head of what we would do, where we would go, or us skipping through the days with gleeful abandon, I went into the time together full of hope that our visit would be wonderful. And it was. But no details that would set me up for disappointment if not met. We're learning how to be, my precious child and I. We are doers. Full of visions and goals - again, all good things. But we need to learn to be, without expectations. 

believe in a God who has my best interest at heart (as well as my daughter's) and move forward in faith that whatever happens will be good. 


  1. Great blog, I also believe in the positive. A much healthier way then believing in negativity or failure!