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Expectations are such a hard thing. Most likely when I put expectations in a situation or a person they will ultimately fail me. Not because of the other person's fault or because a situation failed miserably but because I chose to fill my mind with giant, unrealistic expectations.

Lately I've been thinking about expectations a lot, not just in people, or what expectations people put in me, but I've been thinking about them because Eli's birthday is coming up in the next month.

I debated back and forth whether to have birthday party. I didn't want it to become something entirely stressful, taking away from celebrating sweet Eli's birthday.

I had decided once and for all to not do a party, but then decided that this was special, our baby will be turning one and we want to celebrate! Celebrate Eli, celebrate our survival of parenting for the first year, and also to distract myself from sitting and crying thinking about how it has been a full year since I held my first baby in my arms for the first time.

I've mentioned before that I'm a details person. When I plan something I like to plan everything down to the last detail, and I've found myself doing that with Eli's birthday party.

Which can be a bad thing. I realized I had maybe stepped over that "crazy person" line when I practically did a victory dance in a local mall proclaiming this party was going to be perfect, just because I found Eli some red shoes to match his birthday shirt. Cuckoo.

It was later, when I had several dreams in a row about Eli's birthday that I realized I might need to take a step back.I don't want to become so invested in perfect planning that I neglect the entire reason for this whole shebang.

I don't want to have all these visions and expectations in my head, and then when the day comes and its raining, or Eli is grumpy, or everything I thought would look good looks horrible, I suddenly become in a bad mood because of unrealistic expectations.

So from here on out we are on operation no expectations birthday party. I want it to be a fun day for Eli and our family where we celebrate him. Regardless of the lack of details and decorations.

I'm planning for a laid back, fun, atmosphere. And hopefully, with the Lord's good grace, stress free!

Expectation free is how I want to try and live in every area of my life. It's not fair to those around me for me to put huge expectations on them that they don't even know about, and I wouldn't want someone to do it to me. So from here on out I'm going to try and become expectation free, beginning with the 1st birthday!


  1. This is so true! I feel the same way about Christmas, and ultimately you just end up disappointed because nothing will ever be perfect. D's party was super laid back. I didn't get a lot of cute crafts done and we had store bought cupcakes, but no one cared! :)

  2. This is so true. I could of wrote the same thing when I was planning Grant's party. In the end we settled on something much smaller than I originally planned and it couldn't have went better.

  3. Ah,this post hits very close to home,because I tend to fall into that trap - the one where I expect unrealistic things to happen,and then end up in a bad mood when things don't work out exactly how I planned.

    My fiancé and I are getting married in September,and I am trying to keep my planning and expectations as casual and relaxed as possible.I just want a love-filled day of celebration,not a tear-streaked stress fest

  4. I think this is a trap we all fall into and it has become worse in recent years because social sites such as pintrest, blogs, etc. showing just how perfect things appear. What we don't think about is that people usually only post the good. My baby turns 1 next month and for her birthday we've decided no stress, no crazy planning...we are going to a local pizza place with a good lunch buffet and a party room for a family only party. A couple of balloons, cookies for party favors since most attendees are adults and a cake made by a local bakery.
    I'm actually very excited.

  5. I feel like I could have written this post myself. I too have a first birthday party to plan in the next few months, and I'm already stressed about it. I hope that I can take the same attitude you are. Thanks!

  6. Oh girl...I can relate with this post. This post was me up until a few years ago and I still have to fight it. I don't want my girls to grow up thinking, "my Mom couldn't even enjoy the party because she was too obsessed about the details." I want them to remember us all having a good time - despite what went right/wrong.

    Great post.

  7. When people ask me for marital advice I always tell them about expectations. I'm not talking about lowering standards, but having realistic expectations and not big fantasies. This is something I struggled with a lot while we were dating and some through that first year of marriage. (I get asked quite a bit about how to survive marriage and medical school, because of my job.) I think the expectation thing can be applied to so many areas of our lives. It is something I still struggle with in other areas.

  8. No expectations is the way to go. Expect to just enjoy your family time and expect to celebrate Eli turning 1...and you won't be disappointed. :)

  9. Keep it in perspective: at this point, Eli won't remember his birthday. So you're really stressing out about living up to your own expectations and those of other adults who will be there. Release it and don't worry. In the end, a simple family get-together and cake is all that's needed.

  10. Managing expectations is really hard for me too. I'm always telling myself that I can't expect other people to know what's going on in my head (some days that works better than others)!

    Good luck, but no matter what I'm sure Eli is going to have a ton of fun!

  11. I am a mom of a 2 and 3 year old. The first birthday parties for both girls were big and very well-planned. Down to the very last ribbon, label, present and placement of plates. Looking back, it wasn't as much fun as the birthdays that we have celebrated since.
    I have one girl born on Christmas day so her birthdays are always tough to plan, and my other daughter we celebrated just this past weekend. This year we had grandparents and one aunt that came to celebrate. It.Was.Awesome. So stress-free.
    I have decided to just let the girls decide what they want to do from here on out and let it be all about them. Friends, family or just us. I don't care as long as they are being celebrated!

  12. I loved this post! It's so easy to get caught up in all the details and then we quickly forget what's important. I am sure you will make his birthday extra special!


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