No matter what changes over time, no matter what becomes acceptable, no matter how much technology advances, no matter how many doors open for opportunity; one thing that will never change is the necessity of sacrifice when it comes to parenting. Have we abandoned one of the most important aspects of the greatest responsibility an individual can ever hold?
There are many life experiences that can challenge one’s ability to sacrifice for the greater good in raising children. In today’s society, so many of us are now trying to discover and live our purpose. Finally, we’re realizing that our own individual lives do matter and it is up to us to live our truth. In the midst of this awakening, many more individuals have taken the initiative to take the necessary steps in making their truth a reality. But have we exchanged the sacrifice of parenting to simply now sacrifice parenting itself? Now that we’ve become so busy fulfilling our own selfish desires, what exactly are we sacrificing?
As much as we now try to get away from what is considered the normal time frames in life and instead do things the way we choose, sometimes these expected time frames can actually help more than hurt. We’ve learned that we should graduate from high school, go to college, embark on a fulfilling career, then marry and have children. At least in this perfect time-table, we would have the opportunity and time to selfishly sacrifice whatever and whomever we must, to get through each step without sacrificing the most important of these; parenting. But because we don’t live in this perfect bubble and a lot of us may have changed some of these around, it is most important to still understand that when we do become parents, it’s the selfish sacrificing we must bring to a halt.
As exciting as it may be to finally discover one’s purpose, sometimes that discovery can come later in life after other important matters have settled into our lives. When that purpose is discovered particularly after our children are born, it is important to understand that no matter how important we believe our purpose to be, it is not the parenting that must be sacrificed, in order to fulfill our own selfish purpose. It becomes a win-win situation when we learn the importance of sacrificing things, opportunities, and even relationships for the sake of productive and effective parenting. When we learn to work on our life’s purpose in between the time and energy it takes to be successful at parenting instead of parenting in between the time and energy it takes to fulfill one’s purpose, everybody wins, or at least those that matter.
Nothing will ever change the fact that parenting takes sacrificing. Therefore, as parents, it is most vital that we know what and who to put aside and when to do such sacrificing, so that we can always have that space and ability to connect to and reach our children. When there is so much going on and so many people and personalities coming in and going out of our lives, there’s a good chance that it’s the parenting that’s being sacrificed. The early years of parenting, especially the first eighteen years of our children’s lives, are the years where we have the most opportunity to be a major influence in their lives; years we don’t get back. It is in the moments of these years where decisions, big and small, will determine whether we sacrifice to make parenting a priority or we sacrifice the actual act of parenting. Whatever it is that we sacrifice, such will have a significant impact on the lives of our children.
What are some of the things you’ve sacrificed for the sake of parenting?
Tawana R. Powell
Author of “Life Fulfilled, the Ultimate Goal (Amazon.com)