sacrificial mom

by humanmama on June 19, 2013

Being a parent is all about sacrifices. From morning to night, you pick what you need and what you don’t need, what is essential and what you can do without. Big things are sometimes just as much stress as the little everyday things. But all sacrifice is for a reason, and the reason usually is to gain something even better. The question Can we move into a bigger house on one income or will both of us have to work? is a serious one, and if you do decide to move, the next sacrifice may be time with kids vs. a better fitting home. And staying home? Don’t even get me started on what a sacrifice that is, to your career and sometimes your mental health.

Still, we keep doing it. We keep wanting to be parents. To have children, a legacy. We keep sacrificing (free time, Law and Order vs. Team Umizumi, sanity, sleep…) in order to get something more. Something better.

Years ago when we only had one child, when I used to say we should have more kids, Carpenter would say you really want more of THIS?! and he would point to our almost-2 year old, throwing a fit on the sidewalk or in the store. And I’d say, Yes, but it’s not for now. It’s for thirty five years from now. Sacrifices, my friends, can be long- and short-term, and having kids or adopting kids is pretty much the longest-term sacrifice you can make.

I can’t say it’s been easy. The sleep deprivation alone. The whining. The lower-back pain. And the times when you just need to get away from it all? Few and far-between, at best.

But (you know what’s coming next, don’t you?), like all sacrifices, you get something for your offering. You gave up adult TV programming? It’s okay, you get to cuddle on the couch and watch Elmo with somebody who thinks you’re one in a million. That’s gotta be better than Law and Order, anyway. And the list goes on–you gave up eating in the living room on the coffee table? You earned having a family dinner around the dining table! You gave up trying on clothes? It’s okay! You earn the half-hour mall playground detour! You gave up a career? Fashion? Showering? It’s okay! You’ve earned entry into a new and prestigious club called parenthood. You gave up sleep? Yep–you’re now rewarded with the sweetness of soothing someone else to sleep. And, when you can wake up enough to appreciate it, you’ll have the tiniest sense that you actually do.

Parenting: arguably the best sacrifice you’ve made in your entire life.

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