Of course we all know being a parent involves making sacrifices. Your time, your money, your freedom, your right to pee alone etc. but that’s not what this post is referring to. I am talking about all the “stuff” you will sacrifice as a parent.
It started years ago with my dogs. Sometimes I would treat them with those dental type bones, and I would joke about how I was spending all that money and it would be gone in five minutes. Over time, as life changed and got busier it stopped being about the money and more about the time. Five dollars wasn’t buying me a bone, it was buying me the five minutes of peace I got while the dogs happily chewed on their bones. I would make jokes at the pest store about how long I thought each new bone or toy would last to make it worth the price.
Then one day after I became a mother there was that moment.
I am sure you have all had it.
You are tired and exhausted, and sit down for one second and there is your child doing something they shouldn’t be.
When my son was little he loved to crawl to the entertainment centre and start pulling down all the DVDs (which my husband has perfectly arranged and alphabetized) and making a mess.
That’s when you start engaging in the battle between your mind and body.
Mind: Geez, he’s in the DVD’s again. I’d better go get him and clean up.
Body: But you are so tired. Couldn’t you just let him play a minute or two while you take a break?
Mind: But he could damage something. And it will just mean more to clean up later.
Body: But your head hurts, and you have been on your feet all day, just relax or play on your phone for a minute.
Mind: But what if Daddy finds out? He will be very mad at both of you. Plus, you don’t want the baby to think it’s okay to play with the DVD’s.
Body: But you let me win last time and nothing bad happened. No one will ever know. Do it! Do it! Do it!
The, the next thing you know you have let you baby chew on your $600 smart phone (it was in an Otterbox case at least) and your other baby take every kitchen utensil out of the drawers and spread them around the kitchen, and you son is playing “gorilla” walking around the house on all fours with your good boots and shoes on his hands and feet…all so you could check your email or have a cup of tea!
If you read my blog regularly you will know that I am very careful about money and I do take care of my things. I try to be smart, like if I buy I dog toy I make sure it’s okay if the cat or the kids were to play with it, and when choosing things like furniture I am realistic. I have children and I know things will take a beating so they need to be tough enough to withstand it, or they won’t last long. But that doesn’t mean I don’t treasure my belongings or try to take care of them.
Still, everyday I find myself “giving in” some way whether it’s to “buy” time (to do laundry, change a diaper, or just sit down) or to make my kids happy (you can’t put a price on that baby laughter right?). Here are some of the things I have done:
- let the babies play with the remote controls (which are now all taped together, and we are on #2 for the cable box)
- let my son play games on my tablet (scared to death he would somehow damage it)
- let my daughters chew on my favourite necklace
- let the kids play in the clean laundry like a pile of leaves so I could fold the rest of it
- let the kids play with (and rip up) some books
- let the twins play in the dogs water dish and flood the kitchen floor
- given up food I am eating (for instance the twins mob me when I eat my cereal, so if I share it with them it keeps them from getting into other mischief, even if I am not full).
- I let my daughter “unpack” the diaper bag, toy box etc. and make a huge mess because it keep her busy
- I let my son clean the walls and mop the floors (which means he wastes all the cleaner and doesn’t really clean that well)
- I gave my son my professional paint brushes because he wanted to paint and his brushes were no good
- I let the babies chew on my sunglasses to occupy them when in the stroller
- several rolls of toilet paper and boxes of kleenex
Yes, maybe I am a bit of a pushover, but I am not a bad mother. I am just so busy, juggling with many balls in the air, so sometimes I just end up listening to the little voice in my head and sacrificing one thing in the name of something else.
So don’t be shy. Here is your chance. What is the craziest thing you have ever sacrificed and what was it for? Was it worth it, or did you regret it in the end? Remember if you can at least laugh about it then it wasn’t so bad.