Alice of Finslippy had a great Wonderland column about parental expectations at Alphamom today - I suggest everyone stop over and check it out. My response was as follows:
As an oldest child I hated that the expectations my parents had for me were so much higher than those for my younger brother; despite that experience I still expect too much from my oldest. It became glaringly clear when my second was born, and I stress much less about parenting her than I do my first. (And I must admit, I stress more about how their behavior reflects on me than I do about the behavior itself.)
Unfortunately, even though I recognize that my expectations are too high, that doesn't make them automatically adjust. It is still a struggle, and I often don't realize how ridiculous my expectations for my oldest were until my second comes to that age herself. I am expecting that my third will likely get the most rational mommy, and I struggle to keep myself in check with my oldest in the hopes of having a better relationship with her than I do with my own mother.