Are Your Expectations Getting in the Way?

I am a stickler for schedules: I have bedtimes for my kids. We eat at roughly the same time every night. We have a pretty tight after school schedule with homework, chores, dinner, showers, etc. Mornings flow just as nicely with beds being made, teeth being brushed, breakfast eaten, backpacks stuffed…and out the door. I believe that children thrive with healthy boundaries and I try to keep our family life right on schedule.

As our second oldest daughter entered high school this year, and our youngest two daughters have more activities and homework…we naturally have more schedules to juggle. So, being the Mom and calendar keeper, I am busier than ever trying to make our lives flow without too many hiccoughs.

Here is where the “Expectations” part enters the scene. You see, when circumstances in our lives change, then we must change our expectations or we will surely be let down. My calendar is totally jammed packed with our family’s school, business, and social events. If I think I will still be able to have everyone sitting around the dinner table each night at 6pm…Well, that is just a magic recipe for failure! If I push against that notion and try to force it, I will be unhappy, along with everyone in my family. It will never happen, so I need to adjust my thinking so I don’t end up in the loony bin.

When we set unrealistic expectations of ourselves and of others that is breeding ground for disappointment, frustration, and anger. So…what do we do? Well, we have to “shuck-and-jive”! This is a term my husband uses which means we have to “bob and weave”. We have to adjust our sails. We have to not be so rigid. You get the point!

If we take into consideration all the parts of the whole, then we can make new expectations that better fit our goals. Let’s use the calendar example above. For the last many years it was very feasible for our family to have dinner each night at 6 pm, with a few exceptions because of sports. Now with high school sports and clubs in the mix, we have to make a later dinner time. In the grand scheme of things, is this really such a big deal? Not really. This means that maybe the little girls shower before dinner, and maybe we do more homework in the car, and maybe my husband makes dinner a night or two each week (Did you read that G?)…see…those are examples of how to “shuck-and-jive” right there!

So, you see, instead of keeping the same expectations and becoming frustrated and impatient and angry that circumstances are not allowing your life to flow the way it has in the past…just by shifting our expectations, we can have a smooth flow again…it just looks different!

Take action: This week and moving forward, let’s take a look at our expectations and where they are allowing us to become frustrated and angry. Let’s take an inventory and reassess how we can make our expectations match our goals. Let’s try to “shuck-and-jive” so we can find the flow that works best for all involved!

 Because Together is Better,


  1. Lisa Scott says:

    When we finally get kiddos I am certainly going to ask for your help with be organized with it all. You are very organized and I hope I can continue to pair socks when we add more to our family!

    • Thank you Lisa! You are so funny, I would LOVE to help you be organized and show you my sock pairing video if you get overwhelmed! 🙂 -Deanna

  2. I think this whole blog was just a clever way to ask your husband to make dinner once in awhile.
    And maybe if you weren’t such a great cook, I… errrrrr HE would! ;~)

  3. Deanna,
    What a great message and a great point! It is so true that we have to adjust with the times. I think needing to adjust is one reason why so many people are afraid of or uncomfortable with change. Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

  4. What a great post. I love the way you talk about adjusting to the daily needs.

  5. This is great info cause I let my kids get away with some of the things that you don’t. Have to change that.

  6. GREAT ARTICLE! Yes, unrealistic expectations are probably the #1 cause of all frustration. Holy smokes, especially when juggling all those things that you do, it’s great that you have learned to shuck and jive, haha, and can be a great example to us all 🙂

  7. How cool Deanna, I love every word here.

  8. Wow. That is excellent. You said it perfectly. I will have to share this with my fiance. LOL. 🙂

  9. I make myself crazy with expectations, both my own and my family’s. I need to take your advice and not over schedule myself. My difficulty is from being a stay at home mom for 12 years. I hate missing anything!

  10. Timing is everything and in to avoid conflict, schedules must be met. Also for some circumstance which cannot be avoided that leads to schedule disorganization, I guess we just need to improvise. Very interesting article, thanks for sharing.

  11. It sounds like you do a fabulous job juggling all of those schedules, however I think it is always important to take a step back sometimes and just go with the flow:) Thanks for the post:)

  12. Nothing is ever as we want to be or imagined it might be. It may be better or worse, but rarely spot on. Your post is a wonderful example of the strengths and weaknesses of our imaginations and ability to choose reality over the story we tell ourselves. Kudos on a well written piece!!!

  13. It’s hard to set a schedule when customers emergency’s come up, but I try.

  14. Excellent article. We call managing expectations “think outside the box”. Our family has always had a schedule like you describe. Working full time both hubby and I have had to adjust to each other’s schedules followed by the two kids schedules. As they grew up, as you described here, our schedules once again changed. Now that it’s just hubby and me our schedules are penciled in and changed weekly. Go with the flow equals less stress happier marriage.

  15. Being flexible and open lead to much less stress in your life. Thanks for your great article Deanna.

  16. Savannah-Lin Dofa says:

    You know.. I tried to make a set schedule everyday.. I found that as long as I get my things done and doing what I am suppose to be doing juggling.. meals.. school.. business.. activities and family.. it’s a great day!.. Sometimes days just don’t need to be set.. Like Sundays! 😀

  17. Great Posting Deanna…

  18. I really enjoyed reading your blog, I do agree that we have too much “Expectations” of our self’s which ends up creating a lot of unnecessary stress. Thank you again for reminding us to take it easy and don’t be soo hard on our self’s

  19. Totally agree. With expectations also comes flexibility. If you can’t change with circumstances then yes the loony bin is where one would be!

  20. Thanks for posting. I wish I had thought of the idea of just adjusting dinner back for everyone to keep our dinners intact.

    • Teri, it has saved me a lot of stress. Trying to control something that cannot be controlled is stressful! Thank you for your words! -Deanna

  21. Schedules are important. I believe that too, but being able to “shuck and jive” is more important. Things don’t always happen just as you’d like and if you can’t go w the flow without loosing your cool you’re in for a tense ride. Love your writing!

  22. I would like to have a neat schedule here too, but I have to go when the phone rings and a client wants to see me.

  23. Hi and I are a lot alike… Punctuality rules..but it can also be a burden…great article

  24. I use my phone calendar for everything. Great post here.

    • The phone calendar is a great help for me too Brad. Being able to look and schedule on the fly is a must! Thank you for your comment! -Deanna

  25. I agree with following a set schedule. It makes it alot more organized for me. I really don’t like to rush on things. Being a mom of 4 and juggling all of my kids activities can be a handful.

    • I know how you feel Crystal…I have four kids too. Being rushed is no party, and being organized and shifting schedules can help Thank you for being here! -Deanna

  26. I wish we could have a nice neat schedule.. it just doesn’t happen over here with work schedules and then adding in the kids activities.. its tough over here..

  27. OMG I totally needed to read these things! Couldn’t agree more! thanks for sharing..

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