Parenting: Sacrifice or Fulfilling?
Being my mother’s only child was not easy. All her expectations, hopes and dreams were placed squarely on my head and it was a very heavy load for a child to bear. Many times as she reprimanded me for my missteps or, worse yet, whipped my behind, she would list all the “sacrifices” she made for me, all the other dreams that she had to let vanish due to her responsibility to me.
Thank heavens she had let some go because God knows I could not carry anymore weight!
Seriously, constantly being told about her sacrifices did not make me any more grateful or obedient for that matter. In fact, what it did was made me guilty and that would later turn into resentment as she exacted payment. I felt for many years, well into my 30’s, that I owed her and it would cost me a high price – my self-respect and self-love.
Parenting: Science & Service
Parenting is a delicate act, a science, a thin line to walk with caring and guiding on one side and projecting your unfulfilled wants for your life on your children.
Reading this article by Stacia Brown on this very subject was opportune and I decided to highlight it in this post. Mondays to Thursdays we have two posts – a morning article that sets the tone for the day with news, views and interesting information about the subject that will be discussed in the afternoon article.
This afternoon, Robert Turner will post his views on “5 Things A Boy Wishes Him Mom Understood About Raising A Man.” It is a humorous piece, one that we hope you will enjoy but also take away some valuable tips if you are raising a young man. Robert in a funny kind of way makes some serious points, however, on projection and whether as parents, mothers, we are demanding our children to be who we say they should be, in return for us giving birth to them, and not live from their hearts.
Brown’s article, “Parenting Shouldn’t Be About Self-Sacrifice Whatever The Income,” is relevant to Robert’s post as she points to something that many parents, not just my late mother, continue to do – sacrifice their hopes and dreams for sake of the children. Now, do not blast me in the comment section below as you misunderstood what Brown or I are saying. As a parent, a person who decided to produce an offspring or two, or however many, with or without a supportive father, it was your choice. When my daughter told me that in a letter when she was about 9 years old, it did not surprise me as it was the same thought that I had many times as my mother agonized and lamented about her lost chances – because of me.
The Truth About Becoming A Parent
The three-part lesson that I learned and what Brown discusses in her article that you can read here is this:
- You will have to make choices
- You will have to prioritize
- You will have to decide what is possible in the moment and what has to be shelved and those choices, decisions and priorities might affect the trajectory that you previously imagined for your life.
It is not your child’s fault or a reason to decorate you with a medal that you have to make hard decisions. You made the choice to have the child and with every choice comes responsibility, including adjusting to the changes you have to make for everyone to thrive.
Some of you will not agree with this and that is okay. You might see it as bad parenting advice and/or the reason some parents today are sloughing off their responsibility, especially women, and pursuing the career they always wanted and spending less time at home as mothers did back in the day. I would disagree with you and that is okay as well.
It is my view that there is no law – societal or spiritual – that says you cannot be who you want to be because you have children. For me that is “lack thinking.” My daughter did not want of anything because of my continuing pursuit of education and career development. In fact, she had a role model for how to be a mother, a career-minded woman and a fully functioning citizen of the world, whether she agreed with all my decisions or not. That word, “sacrifice,” never passed my lips to her ears, not once and I had to make choices, put things on hold and reschedule others.
What about you? What are your thoughts on this? Did you “sacrifice” for your children or did you make choices in the best interest of all concerned?
Share your thoughts with me in the comments below as well Subscribe and receive updates of Robert’s post and that of our other Contributors. Next Monday (September 14), I will be hosting a FREE Webinar for young women and we will cover some parenting tips as well as life skills that every young woman could use. If you are under 35 years old or know a young woman who is, do share and check out the details here.
Have a great rest of the day!