Rewards & Sacrifices
Before I began relying on Hindsight–actually WHILE his wisdom was being created in my early twenties and thirties, I’d have to say that I was a mighty self centered human (Then again what 20 something American grown woman isn’t a tad self centered?).
I was 24 when I had my first son and 26 when I had Son2, but let me preface this next paragraph by saying that I felt blessed to have those two boys and even though my young age made me completely inept as a mom, the love I felt for them filled every crevice of my heart. Still does. But back then, one of the main roles I thought a good mother played (mimicking my own) was the role of the great martyr–sacrificer extraordinaire. Nice huh?
Making my sons feel as if they and their needs were such burdens wasn’t a great way to grow up and I knew that first hand. However, we do what we know and so back then without the help of Hindsight, I continued to espouse and pontificate all the sacrifices I made daily for “the sake of those boys!” (I know it makes me queasy too. Go ahead and roll your eyes. I don’t blame you.)
Thankfully, my mistakes created a very large cache of “never-agains” and “should-haves” and Hindsight was created…
It isn’t that moms don’t sacrifice. Of course we do. It isn’t even that it isn’t part of our role. Most moms would agree that having a child or children means that we put them and their needs before our own. However, what we don’t do is broadcast it and make our children feel the weight of it. What I have learned about sacrifices is that although we make them if we look or listen carefully there is most often a gain that comes from a sacrifice. Let’s use today with my three year old daughter as an example:
- Sacrifice: waking up at 6:00 AM to my early riser even though I fell asleep at 2 AM.
- Reward: Snuggling on the couch watching our favorite Sophia the First episodes.
- Sacrifice: Reading Three Billy Goats Gruff to her for the thirtieth time instead of my own book calling to me from my nightstand.
- Reward: Hearing her giggle and squeal with each “trip trap trip trap” I act out for her.
- Sacrifice: Using what little we have left over after paying our bills on music lessons instead of on my hair or my nails or nights out.
- Reward: Seeing her blossom and unfurl with each drum beat, piano note, and song sung.
- Sacrifice: Foregoing my favorite Ryan Adams mix CD for my daughters Kids Sing the Beatles CD.
- Reward: Singing harmony to O Bla Di. ( I mean come on–a three year old who sings harmony?? What a reward!)
- Sacrifice: Eating at my daughters favorite restaurant for the umpteenth time in a row instead of that new coffee house I’ve been dying to try.
- Reward: Having her hold my right hand through the whole meal, and at the end stand up on the booth, kiss me on my cheek, and say,”I love being with you mom.”
Yeah…not many out there who wouldn’t sacrifice anything for a moment like that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Logan has lived in Glens Falls, NY all her life. By day, she is an educator with 20 years experience, a mom to Aidan and Gannan, her two teenage boys, a new mommy to a beautiful daughter, Ila, and wife to the love of her life, Jeffrey. By night, weekends and any spare time she can find, Logan writes. She loves memoir and also adores writing essays about the challenges of parenthood. This year she started a parenting blog called A Muddled Mother, an honest place where mothers aren’t afraid to speak of the complications and difficulties that we all inevitably experience. Logan has been published in various children’s and parenting magazines including Today’s Motherhood, Eye on Education, Faces, and Appleseed. Logan’s previous column for Hilltown Families, Snakes and Snails: Teenage Boys Tales ran bi-monthly from June 2010-Feb. 2011, sharing stories of her first time around as a parent of two teenage boys. — Check out Hindsight Parenting: Raising Kids the Second Time Around every first and third Tuesday of the month.
[Photo credit: (ccl) David Ian Roberts]