Tag Archives: Expectations

Not Your Typical Parent Expectations

A couple weeks ago Dan and I went out to dinner with some friends of ours. At the time, they were waiting the arrival of their daughter. My husband, in his usual inquisitive fashion, asked what they were most looking forward to with this new little one. Their answers caught my attention. They were not what I was expecting. In fact, they were quite the opposite of what most parents can’t wait for.

Let me give you a little history so their answers make sense. My friends were blessed with a special little baby boy with a rare chromosomal disorder. Since the moment they found out, their lives took a drastic turn off the common road most parents travel along. Instead of colicky nights, blowing kisses on tummies, and peek-a-boo, my friends spent almost all their time at the hospital with their son in the NICU.

That little boy touched more lives in the few months he spent here on earth that most of us probably will in our lifetime. And through their son, my friends came to know God.

Here, in the words of my friend, is what she is looking forward to with their second child:

What am I looking forward to the most with this baby? Most people, when asked about what they are looking forward to with having a baby will think instantly of baby cuddles, laughs, and kisses. While I’m looking forward to these things as well, there are other things that for most parents are the “ordinary” or “things to dread” that become things to look forward to for parents who have had a sick child.

I am looking forward to: poopy diapers, 24 hour care, teething, bringing home a newborn, doctor’s appointments, colds, learning to tell when she is sick, vaccinations, dressing the baby, sleepless nights, trying to breast feed, laughter, crying, using a basinet, watching the baby learn her way around.

Not what I looked forward to when Philip came along let me tell you! But when my friends shared their answers, I saw their excitement. They want to experience those things: the things other parents take for granted, or even dread.

As of writing this, their little daughter entered the world this past week. She is a beautiful little girl with a head of hair and ten pink toes :). And now they are starting down a whole new path in life.

Afraid to Fail

I constantly find myself trying to fulfill everyone’s expectations of me. Those expectations are like plates. I spin plate after plate until I am racing around trying to keep all the plates spinning. Of course, I can’t and so they spin out of control and go crashing to the ground. Sometimes I get lashed at because the plate broke, sometimes I beat myself. Sometimes I can’t take the pressure anymore, so I cave in. Mt. St. Morgan erupts and unfortunately my kids take the brunt of it because they were nearby when it happens.

Why? Because I’m afraid to fail. I’m afraid to seem incompetent in other people’s eyes. I’m afraid to look like a bad parent, dismal pastor’s wife, uncaring Christian. So I strive to keep all the plates spinning without asking for one moment if God told me to spin that plate in the first place.

God cares about my heart more than He does about me spinning plates. Now don’t get me wrong, we definitely have responsibilities we need to fulfill. But sometimes I add more. Or sometimes I’m too afraid to let go of a plate and let it crash so I can take care of the responsibilities that matter more (like God, my husband, and my kids).

I’m afraid to fail. I have a feeling I will fight that fight until I the day I die. But I am learning (and was reminded again this week) to let go of what other people think of me and look up. In the end, only God’s expectations matter.

“But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details. There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42 NLT).