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Mommy Musings: Thoughts and Opinions, Twins/Toddler Tuesday, What Do You Think?

The Sacrifices Of Being A Parent (It’s Not What You Think)

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!

I don't get how two babies that hate baths so much love playing in the water dish!

I don’t get how two babies that hate baths so much love playing in the water dish!

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.

June playing with a book from the coffee table

June playing with a book from the coffee table

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.


About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of four children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.


30 thoughts on “The Sacrifices Of Being A Parent (It’s Not What You Think)

  1. I call this messy parenting and I love it. My girls get to hold my phone while I brush their hair. They get to take all the magnets off the fridge while I cook dinner. They play with bath toys on the floor when I’m in the bathroom. I’m not afraid of germs or messes. I’ll get to them eventually. And kids learn through play like this. So we have future geniuses 🙂

    Posted by Heather C | February 4, 2014, 9:31 am
    • Thanks! I totally agree with you. It’s not until reading everyones comments that I realized it’s DH who is really against all this and he does not represent everyone else. Thanks for taking the time to comment because I really did learn something from it, including I am raising geniuses 🙂

      Posted by Shannon | February 4, 2014, 10:32 am
  2. Messy parenting is awesome, fun and real! My favorite was when my 7 year old played baseball and we had to drag our 13-month old boy along. I let him play in the dirt (diapers only) admidst the ranks of perfect parents who somehow kept their kiddos beside them on the bleachers. They gave me looks of pity, but I just smiled happily and enjoyed the dirt covered noise that is my son. My big question though…how do you find time to produce all of these great articles?? You are prolific dear Shannon!

    Posted by MamaMickTerry | February 4, 2014, 9:54 am
  3. oh my goodness… I thought that stuff was normal!! At my house, no they don’t get to play with tablets and phones and such. I don’t like that. But– dirt is a normal play thing. Water is a normal play thing. I used to put some water in the bathtub and let the kids play- in swim suits or their diapers whatever. We dug holes in the sandbox and added water and built moats and such. My kids used regular shovels because the plastic ones just break. My kids played in the mud and then took a bath in the pool– usually with soap and bubbles!! Germs and messes are a normal part of life! This whole hand sanitizer thing is a bad idea! Germs are not all bad!!!
    I brought in a kiddie pool full of snow for the kids to play in one really cold winter. The kids “washed” dishes at the kitchen sink. One kid really like stacking soda/beer cans, so he did.
    Have fun with your kids!!!

    Posted by vrein11 | February 4, 2014, 10:11 am
    • Thanks! I totally agree with you. It is my husband who freaks out if there is even one toy on the floor or a DVD out of alphabetical order. I guess it’s good he keeps me in check though. If it were up to me our living room would be a total playroom. I mean the kids outnumber us so the should get it right (we do have an actual playroom in my basement). Thanks for your comment.

      Posted by Shannon | February 4, 2014, 10:27 am
  4. Ah the joys of being a mom. I don’t know how many pairs of sunglasses I have replaced. Or how many times I have taken them out in the backyard to play in pjs just because they were so full of energy I needed them to go run for awhile and it wasn’t worth fighting with them to change their clothes.

    Posted by MommaNeedsCoffee | February 4, 2014, 1:10 pm
  5. This all sounds very normal to me. My house would be a bomb by the time the kids go to bed. Sometimes I think everyday objects are more fun to play with than toys. My twins would have played at the kitchen sink every day and flooded the floor, but it meant I could cook dinner and chop raw meat etc, without interruptions. I think kids need to be left alone, rather than micro-managed all the time. If you tried to stop them doing every little thing you’d rather they didn’t do, you would get nothing done.

    Posted by Olivia FitzGerald | February 4, 2014, 4:35 pm
  6. Very true post. Happy parenting!

    Posted by poeticsensibilities | February 4, 2014, 7:20 pm
  7. Reblogged this on Mommies Drink and commented:
    I struggle with this back-and-forth’ with myself daily. Great read!!

    Posted by Jennifer Pitt | February 4, 2014, 11:40 pm
  8. Like you, I have the same mind/body debate when my little ones are into something. I don’t have twins, but my two younger boys are 13 months apart, so juggling is part of my daily routine too. I let the kids play with my phone, sunglasses, wallet, keys (last two may not be the smartest ideas I’ve ever had, but whatever works, right?). We’ve gone thru several remotes for the TV and even a stereo with loads of missing buttons. Small kids break things, that’s a fact that I’m finally learning to accept – three kids later! I find now I actually contemplate less about “what if they break it?” and remind myself that material things can be replaced.

    Posted by Discombobulated Mom | February 5, 2014, 9:36 am
    • You are right. Sometimes I wonder why we even buy toys when my kids seem to enjoy playing with everything but! I agree that when you have more than one sometimes it’s inevitable since you cant be on top of all of them at the same time. Unless they .ale those hamster balls for children now? Hmm :-p thanks for commenting.

      Posted by Shannon | February 5, 2014, 10:02 am
  9. Yeah, so! Today! My daughter wore her white shoes in the mud. They are… mostly clean now, but never really going to be the same again. And that’s just in the last 24hrs. I think you do have to pace yourself a bit.

    Posted by Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist | February 6, 2014, 10:26 am
  10. My twins are only (almost) 9 months old and I already share most of my food. I think the only way I’ll be able to eat alone now is when they are napping or if I hide in the bathroom.

    Posted by Theresa | February 6, 2014, 1:18 pm
  11. Just read your blog for the first time really great! I have literally let my son pull every tissue out from the tissue box and litter the room with them for 15 minutes of peace. Yes a little tree suffered and died for my 15 minutes of peace but it was worth it.

    Posted by katetheo12 | February 10, 2014, 10:54 pm
  12. The hubs and I both have a gross virus, so today I let the baby pull the DVDs out of the entertainment center, pull everything out of his diaper bag, and pull baby wipes out of the pack one at a time. It was just not worth it to fight it. True confessions time: I also allow the dogs to lick/clean his highchair fairly frequently. I go behind them with a disinfecting wipe, but it makes clean-up much easier!

    Posted by thingsheatherlearnedtoday | February 11, 2014, 1:59 am
    • I am sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well. I am totally with you on the dog thing. You don’t notice it until you are at someone else’s house and the kids fling food on the floor and you start looking around for the dog to come and clean it up. Hey, you pre-rinse dishes right? Well, they pre-rinse the floor before I mop it! 🙂 Feel better soon!

      Posted by Shannon | February 11, 2014, 8:27 am
  13. I have done a few of these things myself, and my husband sounds a little like yours. 🙂 I’ve let my kids get soaked in the dog’s water so i could clean the kitchen (for one)! It’s good to let them be independent, too, I think… Thanks for sharing. You are definitely not alone!

    Posted by Amy K. | February 15, 2014, 10:07 pm

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