Expectations are the one thing that is sure to ruin a day out or a planned event, why is this? Because nothing will ever live up to our expectations. Our expectations are full of smiles and giggles, throughout the whole day and do not involve tears, tantrums and tired children. These things seem to get forgotten when we are thinking about plans.
I love my boys to bits and I wouldn't change them for the world, but days out with them never live up to my expectations because they will cry, they will tantrum and they will be stroppy - but that is children for you and this is something that I need to factor into my expectations because once I do I will stop feeling as I do right now.
I won't go into details but we had a family evening out last night and as lovely as it was, it wasn't how I expected or wanted it to go. Finley was extremely tired as this term at school has taken it out of him and as much as he wanted to skate, he didn't want to actually skate. And the photo I wanted to get with Father Christmas didn't happen so I came away feeling a little deflated and a little guilty for feeling that way as we had really had a lovely evening. It just didn't live up to my expectations, which were fairy lights, laughter ALL the time and no tantrums. But I need to remember we had a good time despite this and the boys loved time with Mummy and Daddy.
This is something I tend to do a lot of the time and I put myself under a lot of pressure to make things perfect. Well my perfect isn't what the boys would call perfect, they would be happy with a McDonalds and a slightly late night. But I try and go for everything which in all honesty they are not at the age to appreciate, and I'm not saying that in a bad way because I don't want them to expect lots of expensive things, I just set myself up for a fall trying to make things perfect.
I think I need to take a step back and just go with it, stop making so many plans and really stop worrying about what others think of me. I'm not saying that I don't appreciate the time we have as a family, as I really do and love every second, I am saying that I put a shadow over my own experience as I think of the expectations I had. That shadow isn't anywhere near the boys as they would have had a brilliant time and will forget the tears on the ice rink next week and just remember seeing Father Christmas and skating round with a blue seal!
Advice to myself - chill out!!