Expectations breed disappointment…

So, the football didn’t quite make it all the way home in the end, and it really was a shame. I think that most people, even if they don’t particularly like football, felt the disappointment last Wednesday when England didn’t make it through to the Final. I suppose I felt the disappointment for the players themselves much more than sadness that England as a country didn’t get to play in the final game and have a chance of winning overall. But also I felt sad for my husband and sons who were enjoying the whole event and as optimism built, so did excitement, and then consequently expectations grew, only to then feel crushed when things didn’t turn out as was hoped. And so now, that excitement and anticipation has been replaced by a more sombre mood and sadness. But they’ll get over it, and there’s always next time. (NB. I’ve learnt that over the years that particular sentiment doesn’t actually help, so I don’t say it out loud anymore!)

Not my husband & son by the way, just some random sad fans!

However, I thought this kind of links to the upcoming school summer holidays. It’s a time for those of you with school-aged children where you are hoping to make it the best summer holidays ever, to give them the best experience, to do and see amazing things, and have a wonderful time together. Sometimes, don’t you think we are all guilty of building things up too high, expecting too much, and setting our sights way above what the reality often turns out to be. Then what happens; you feel disappointment and regret, with a little dose of frustration and irritability thrown in, not what you were hoping for at all. (You can read about the psychology of disappointment here if you like..)


Back to the football, and looking on the bright side, the team went out there with very little expectations on their shoulders. Of course, they would have hoped to do well, but they, and the fans, knew the chances were pretty high that they could have been knocked out much earlier. So, the fact they got so far and did so well was a much greater achievement than anyone was expecting, and that is what we must remember when we look back at the tournament.


I don’t know what your plans are for the summer holidays, some of you may have exotic holidays booked with your families, some of you will be going to Cornwall or Wales or somewhere closer to home, and some of you will be staying at home and doing simple things like going to the beach, going to the park or up on the moors, or even just spending time in the paddling pool in the garden. In my experience, children enjoy the simplest things the best, they usually prefer being close to home, and if the children are happy, then we are happy, am I right?

family summer 2000
My boys squashing their dad, like you do, back in Summer 2001

So, don’t imagine a fairy-tale summer like you see in the media, the kids will still be teething or having tantrums and generally being challenging, one or both parents will still have to go to work and organising childcare will still be the usual military operation it can sometimes feel like. But when you do get that time together, don’t build up images in your head of unrealistic goals, but focus on the little things, keep it loose and flexible to enjoy what each day brings, and then like the England team, you can look back with fond memories of what you did, not what you didn’t do.

Carol x x x

1966 – maybe 2026 will be our year again….


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