Whats does that even mean?
How does one have unrealistic expectations?
Let me illustrate.
When I was about to have my first son, I had no idea that breastfeeding a new baby was so time consuming. I had expectations that I would nurse, clean, heal and take care of all the things that I had done before! It was going to be easy, I was going to ROCK this motherhood thing. I had been around babies literally my whole life and I'm a huge baby lover! I also have a degree in Early Childhood education/Early Childhood Special Education. I knew what I was doing.
My husband was going to wake up at night with me while I nursed the baby. He was going to go on walks with us every night. He was going to constantly tell me how beautiful I was and how much of an amazing mother I was.
I even imagined this specific scene immediately after I had the baby where I would be sitting in my hospital bed, freshly showered and bathed in the moonlight and my husband would look over, catch his breathe and say "sam, you are a beautiful mother."
Turns out that the man I married isn't romantic and doesn't do well with emotions. My expectations were very clearly and very aggressively slashed when I realized the squealing human being in my arms was my burden to carry. Not alone, never alone, but definitely by myself most of the time.
My husband and I have worked extremely hard to become partners in parenthood (and we fail pretty much every day). This is a term I started using in our arguments because I realized that the words "you're their dad!" made me feel like we were drifting apart and that we weren't actually doing things together.
I hate that feeling.
I hate the feeling of not being united in all that we do surrounding our kids but thats what was happening as I continued to have unrealistic expectations. I now try to use the words "I need my partner" or "you are my partner and we need to..."
My unrealistic expectation would literally take over my imagination and planning thought process throughout the day and when they didn't happen and my husband couldn't or didn't fulfill them, I would fall apart.
Now, I know I'm talking about this like its past tense but honestly, it happens every single day STILL! I build up in my mind the things that he will say and do when he gets home from work, not taking into account his very busy day. I expect things that I desperately want him to achieve without actually telling him that I want him to achieve them.
I've found that a lot of times I hold him to expectations because "thats what my dad did" or "thats how my parents acted toward each other" (my dad is a HUGE romantic) and I forget that his innate personality doesn't really allow for those things.
I'm not saying that people can't change or that we can't teach old dogs new tricks. What I am saying is that, as partners in parenthood and partners in our relationship, we have to be more aware of who the other person is, through nurture and nature, and learn (sometimes fight) to accept that person for who they are.
My challenge to you...
My challenge to you is to either lower your expectations, get rid of them completely or create new ones with your partner. There is one person that is in charge of you, and that is you. You get to decide how you act, what you spend your time on and how you choose to present yourself.
Let go of unrealistic expectations and embrace your partner and I can guarantee that you will laugh and love more!