A little over a week ago, I was scanning through Satellite Radio and stumbled on an old Oprah Winfrey show. It’s not a station I listen to regularly, but I caught her statement at the right time in my commute. She said “I chose to NOT have children because it’s the ultimate sacrifice. I never really seriously considered having children.” She went on to talk about her career aspirations and how the path she chose let her accomplish those. Her comment really caused me to think about my own sacrifices, especially with my son JUST turning 4 years old.
There are many sacrifices you make when you become a parent, but here are the Top 9 that come to my mind. Remember though, for every sacrifice there is an even bigger reward.
1. Sacrifice: Sleep – And not just in the infant stages. With kids who are bursting to wake up with the sun, I long for one lazy day where I can sleep in, in my bed, in my house. I’m convinced I’ll be waiting until both kids are in college.
- Reward: Regular Snuggle Time – Early morning wake-ups from super warm, delicious-smelling kids who crawl into our bed and help us gradually come out of sleep.
- Reward: Family Travel – A reason to visit Disney World. Opportunities to watch your children fill with wonder and amazement during the smallest of trips.
- Reward: Random Fits of Laughter – Evenings filled with lots of laughter as a result of old school games like hot potato, made up games like “You Can’t Catch Me” and the constant attempts from little kids trying to make you giggle.
- Reward: Work/Life Balance – I am fortunate to have balance. I get to enjoy millions of moments with my kids and the whole family, an opportunity that won’t last forever.
- Reward: Our Home – We may not have a 2nd home but I feel blessed everyday that we have a 1st home filled with love, laughter, memories made, memories to be had and 2 beautiful children, a dog, a husband… our complete family.
- Reward: Life’s Lessons – While I may not be actively learning in an educational setting, my kids teach me something new each day. I love learning from them and having them share their knowledge. I've learned all sorts of things about inch worms, sea creatures, how to make a pinch pot and a world of other interesting facts . And above all, I love watching them learn.
- Reward: Inspiring Creativity – So I may not get the opportunity to try out many new recipes but I have these adorable little sous chefs who get absolute pleasure out of helping me make eggs or pizza or cookies and test new things out in the process. I love when they try to figure out new ways to transform the house during the different holidays and how excited they get when they come up with a new idea for how to use something.
- Reward: Chaos – Weekends filled with birthday parties, soccer practices, trips to the zoo and trying to convince the kids that yard work is a fun family activity (especially if yard work involves bubble blowing and riding bikes).
- Reward: Unconditional love – It’s all worth it. What’s the saying? You can’t put a price tag on love? Well, you can’t. The love you give and receive when you have children is like nothing else you will ever experience. That unconditional love is worth every single sacrifice and then some.