A Parental Expectation

As a young adult I always wanted to have children; to have a husband and a family of my own. I used to savour the moments I spent with my niece and nephew and dream of a time when I would not need to say goodbye to the children as they went home because they would be living with me.

Years passed and a time came when I married someone I love and we had children. I remember the happiness, and nervousness, I felt the first time I brought my baby home: a tiny, dependant being all of my own to love. I began to experience nights of broken sleep; and days centred on this little being. A year later, two small babies controlled my days and nights. As they have grown, their dependence on me has lessened; and have their total reign on the hours of my day.

Has having children fulfilled my expectation? When dreaming of having my own, I did not realise the hard work it would be: the sleepless nights, the worry when the child is hurt or sick; the time taken to help with homework. But these challenges are overshadowed by the joy I feel when my child succeeds; the happiness I feel when I receive those hugs of love. I expected contentment when I had my own children; and when I strip my feelings down to its bareness, that is what I feel. Contentment in experiencing what I yearned for when I was a young adult.

Has an expectation in your life been fulfilled?

(Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by The Gypsy Mama. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s prompt is: Expectation)


25 thoughts on “A Parental Expectation

  1. Coming from the old school we can truly brag, not boast but brag, about our two success stories. You will when they kiss the thirties farewell and crash into the forties be even prouder than now and brag flat out when called for.


  2. Hi,
    I have fulfilled not an expectation but more of a dream. Since I was 12 years old, I have wanted to explore the ruins of so many ancient sites around the world, the biggest dream was Egypt, a 22 hr flight from Oz, and I did certainly achieve this dream, I landed in Cairo in tears. 😀


  3. When I was growing up, I really wanted a baby and when I finally had my own, it was nothing like what I thought it would be. I have to say, I didn’t like being the parent of small children and every new development in their growth I celebrated because it meant they were growing up. When they got to school, I started to love it and done so for the most part, not great now, but that is not in my or her control. I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a horrible mother.


    1. I think we each enjoy different stages of a child’s development – and you happen to enjoy the stage of independence; and when they were able to converse more on your level. Does it make you a bad parent? I don’t think so as it has not made you love them less.


  4. Many, mostly travel based like Mags above, but the most fulfilling of all was certainly having and raising my daughter and now watching her raise her two boys. Contentment is the right word.


    1. Its’t it wonderful to experience the “circle of life” (as they say in The Lion King)? As you suggest, one’s life is more than just fulfilling one expectation – makes you a more rounded person.


  5. With the first kid, one doesn’t really know any better. From then on it is done with full knowledge of what to expect. Must be crazy! 🙂
    Sharing a house with kids and grandkids, I have the whole scene all over again – and love it.


  6. You are a wonderful and loving person and parent. I saw a lot of the same expectations I had when I started parenthood and the incredible journey each day. This is so all true, ” I did not realise the hard work it would be: the sleepless nights, the worry when the child is hurt or sick; the time taken to help with homework. But these challenges are overshadowed by the joy I feel when my child succeeds; the happiness I feel when I receive those hugs of love.” Being a parent is a blessing. Thanks.


    1. I agree – being a parent is a blessing; and our children are gifts that we have been given to enjoy and appreciate. In appreciating them with all their foibles, we can find happiness in their company.


  7. Hmmm…’expectation’. The word has so many connotations, don’t you think? I remember as a child growing up in a middle-class family when being middle class meant that one could ‘expect’ to own a home for my family when I grew up. I didn’t even question whether it would be so or not or even if it might not be achievable.

    I remember my parents driving a porche with the top down and the rain begin to fall in small drops. We were on the highway and not able to pull over to raise the top. Suddenly the rain fell in a torrential downpour. I, 5-years-old, sitting in the back seat, miffed that I was getting soaked, spoke up about it. My mother laughed and tossed her head back in a happy, ‘everythings okay in the world’, carefree manner, and handed me a coat to cover my head with. She and my Dad exchanged glances that suggested this was an acceptable adventure and they began to laugh.

    I, soaking wet, glaring at them from under a coat held over my head, imagined they had gone mad. Certainly my Mother had gone mad. This was not her usual reaction to things gone awry.

    Years later when I became a woman, my mother and I had conversations about the past and the price of homes and how they had struggled to save for the downpayment for a few years while we lived in an apartment in Scarborough. Their first house, a modest 3-bedroom bungalow on Pickford Rd. in West Hill cost under $20,000. This was the late 1960’s. The house was a new construction. The mortgage on such a home back then was just over $100.00 per month and at that time $100.00 per month was a princely sum to pay for many families.

    I asked my mom how they afforded it since my mom as all other moms on the street, were stay-at-home moms. Actually, they were called housewives back then. My mom said that they were doing great and that my Dad was making a lot of money relative to the cost of living for those times. That is when I understood why she felt so happy and carefree that rainy summer. Life was achievable, full of potential and possibilities to survive and not only survive, but to get ahead.

    Mothers began to enter the workforce slowly at first then massively between the 1970’s and the 1980’s until it seemed unusual for a household to be a one-income household. By the time I graduated university in 1991, then with the recession hitting and no jobs to be found, I languished. I did briefly own a home in 1987 – a townhome, but sold it to return to school. I remember my Dad telling me to not worry because after I graduated, I could buy another house. Still, I sensed things changing in the real estate market and the quickly rising price of owning a home might outpace my ability to purchase another one.

    And here is where I return to your question of ‘expectation’ which changed entirely as I grew into my adulthood. I now had the expectation that I would never get a house again. The thought gave me the greatest sadness ever – a dream lost. The dream of successful living which meant owning your land and home, giving your family stability, a footing, a base and solid ground on which to build everything else of importance. Compounding this fact was that I would only have one income, being a single mom. I simply lost hope… for many years.

    After 20 years of struggle, finally, I am a home-owner again. Stability once again. A decent job to pay the mortgage to keep the home.. and emotional balance that having stability brings, once again.

    Expectation – I will never say that word again. Humbly, I will say ‘possibility based on much work and effort and never giving up!’. Expectation is no longer in my vocabulary.


    1. When we grow up we do expect many things in our life: clothing, food, shelter. And expect these things to continue into our adulthood. But, as you suggest, life has a way of showing us that things do not come to us because we expect it – but because we have worked for it and earned it.
      Thank you for sharing with us your expectation of owning your own home without difficulty.


  8. Wonderful experience when you look back. I never thought of getting married and having children of my own.(I was a real spinster up to 35) At the end it all happened and I am so glad that I had the experience of raising a child and having a caring husband


    1. I married late too – and I think it is that which makes the experience extra special. Having my first baby happened at a time when I thought it may not happen 🙂


  9. After 10 years of infertility, I thought motherhood would be the greatest thing ever. It is great, but it is also hard. I did very well when my girls were babies, but the teen years were so hard. I guess I would just say that though being a parent is wonderful, don’t expect it to be an easy road.


    1. They say nothing worthwhile is easy. And I guess no-one really tells us parenting can be challenging because if they did no one would have children 🙂


  10. Wonderful dear Colline. This is the most beautiful thing to have our dreams come true… About me, to be honest, my dreams almost different but unexpectedly I found myself fall in love… and we got married, it’s been more than 30 years… and we tried to make true our own dreams…Thank you dear Colline, have a nice weekend, love, nia


  11. I am reaping the fruits of my labour now Colline with three beautiful grandchildren all born within weeks of each other, looking at my children always brings back pangs of memory, schools , growing up, childhood accidents, sickness , happy times and sad times ,wins and losses but in the end it has worked out as my old aged bones hold my grandchildren in my arms.
    A beautiful blog Colline


    1. Thank you Emu. I always think of grand-children as a person’s gift for raising children. When I look at grandparents I often see how much joy they experience when their grandchildren spend time with them. Enjoyment of children without the responsibility of raising them 🙂


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