Friday, January 18, 2013
Sacrifices in Parenting
When you’re living a single life without kids you can just pick up and go, literally. You don’t need to phone family, a sitter or anyone else for that matter. You go wherever the wind takes you. If you want to pick up and take a road trip with your girls, then by all means pack your weekend bag and have fun. Boy oh boy do these things change when you start adding kids to the picture. The things that used to take you a few minutes to do now take an hour or so. You used to be able to grab your keys & purse and make a quick trip to the store. Now you have to make sure you have your wallet, phone, keys, stroller, and diaper bag stocked with ALL the necessities and even a few “what if” items and don’t forget the kids! What about when you want to see that movie that you have been waiting on and now all of a sudden you can’t find anyone to keep the babies, now what? Do you trek on to the rated R movie with kids in tow, making sure everyone has enough candy, popcorn, Sippy cups, bottles, etc. to keep quiet while you enjoy the show? (By the way everyone in the theater is giving you the side eye roll) or do you sit on the edge of your bed and think dang I just may have to sit this one out (reality sets in for real). As a parent there will be events that you want to attend and you have made the necessary preparations to attend. You have booked a sitter, called your mom, sister or friend and they agreed to keep your kids, but then all of a sudden at the last minute things changed. Your sitter may have to cancel, your family and friends may have events that have come up and they can no longer commit. Your kids may have gotten sick. I’m not talking sniffles sick, but the “Full Monty “sick, diarrhea, vomiting, fever and crying. You know if you leave them they will be left in capable hands, but then you realize that your baby needs you and it’s your job to be there, not go to dinner, go to the movie premier, the comedy show or the happy hour. These are the times when we make the necessary sacrifices as parents, even when we need a break and we’ve been looking forward to this break, away from our home, out with your man, your friends or heck even alone. This is when you look at your little person and realize that they did not choose to be here. You made that choice for them and you are responsible for meeting their needs as their parent, especially as their mama. With 4 kids I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have made plans and we either had to cancel them altogether or decide which one of us could attend. Sometimes no matter how much planning we put into making sure our date nights or get-a-ways get pulled off without a hitch, there are those “whoa mama” moments when the unexpected happens and we have to put on our happy faces and stay at home and do our job as parents. I have learned to always have a contingency plan just in case and I am not talking about having a backup sitter. I am talking about making a sacrifice as a parent that sometimes people will claim to understand but they really have no idea. Remember the next time you’ve made plans and something comes up and you can no longer participate, that YOU were chosen to be a parent and not everyone can say they have that privilege so please don’t take your job for granted.