The Almost Empty Nester: Expectations

Saturday, November 7, 2015


As you know, Girly is in the midst of looking at colleges, sending out applications, and going through the process of choosing a school for next year.

I have had multiple people ask me where I want her to go. It's a fair questions. I understand. But it isn't my life. It's hers.

I've been thinking a lot lately about expectations. When Hubby and I were in pre-marital counseling, our pastor told us one of the main problems people have in marriage is expectation. If I have a certain picture in my head of how I want an evening to go, but Hubby comes home from work with a completely different one, we end up arguing or misunderstanding each other, or feeling disappointed. It's a lose/lose situation.

I am noticing the same goes with parenting. When I have certain expectations out of my kids and they don't match up to that, things are never "right" or I am frustrated and bummed. And that's entirely unfair to them. Most of the time nothing wrong has been done, they just aren't fitting themselves or a situation into a picture I had in my head.

I think I know my kids pretty well, but how I view them is still my opinion. I have no idea what Girly will truly like or not like. She isn't me. And I'm not her. It's easy to see traits we have in our kids, but in truth, they are their own individuals with their own view of the world and what they want.

I'm not saying to not have a plan. I'm a planner. It's what I do. But I don't want to form a picture in my head of her at a certain school or in a certain environment and then be upset with her or disappointed if she chooses another way. It's a pretty self focused way to live, quite frankly. And that thing called faith is involved as well. Am I trust God's plan for her life or my own? Hmmmm.....

Do I have dreams of her leaving the nest and soaring? Absolutely. But where and how she flies is up to her. I can watch her thrive, meanwhile letting go of all the stress and worry that comes from the what ifs and expectations. And that helps me fly better too.

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