Being a parent means sacrificing your future for your kid’s future.
Parents strive to make kid’s lives better before they come in this world and continue to do that till their last breath. The sacrifices they make for their children are innumerable, I’ve tried to put some of those sacrifices here:
After becoming parent a couple’s life is centered around their little bundle of joy. A couple transforms into a mom and dad and everything that was before ‘us’ is now ‘our baby’. Throughout their life, parents dedicate their time directly or indirectly for their kids. Even relaxing after a busy day at work seems difficult as little baby is eagerly waiting to play with the parents the whole day. The ‘Me time’ is out of the schedule forever for a parent.
This is one of the biggest sacrifice someone makes as a parent. Emotional Quotient(EQ) is more important than Intelligence Quotient(IQ). An emotionally stable person is happier than someone who’s not. Our parents change their lives for us, but it does hurt their emotional health. There are some people and moments in their lives which provide them emotional security. But due to parental responsibilities they can’t meet that often. All these sacrifices dissipate their emotional health.
Parents spend money to fulfill all the kid’s needs right from childhood. They provide the best education possible and sometimes go beyond their limits to give kids better opportunities. These sacrifices take a great toll on their financial planning. Also the great Indian wedding, is a big enough expense to empty their pockets. If it’s a girl then parents go to the point of taking loans in old age to marry their girl by giving dowry at times. A son is expected to share financial responsibilities of his parents when they age. But if the son doesn’t earn it is worse for parents in their old age.
The first relationship that gets affected with the birth of a baby are of the parents themselves. The spouse are now first mom or dad. The priority list changes and suddenly baby tops the list of all relationships. Some friends and family members drift apart from parents emotionally. Life is now defined by relations that are important to parent and not individual. At times, parent may lose a treasured relation of lifetime because of kid’s misbehavior.
- Personal life
As we discussed the ‘Me and We time’ is out of the time table for the parents. A kid demands undivided attention till s/he becomes independent. By that time the age and financial independence is over for the parents. Post retirement they do find time for themselves, but the golden days of adulthood are lost in creating a life for kids than themselves. Many parents suffer relationship issues with their partner because they spend their lives either working or caring for kids. This causes a fading emotional connect between spouses.
Our parents curb all their freedom of choices for us. It can be freedom to take a job their heart desires, to live in city they like, to pursue their hobbies, to spend money the way they want. But they give up all choices for us. They rather chose a job that pays well, a city that’s suitable for our future, save money for our education and future needs. It is possible that they could’ve succeeded and lived happier if they had enjoyed their freedom of choice.
- Social life
The social life of parents takes a backseat after the baby. Once the baby grows up, schooling becomes the epicenter of parents to expand their social life. Once the kid is settled in live professionally and personally, they find time to expand their social circle. As individuals the growth parents would’ve gained personally, socially and professionally would’ve been way better the other way.
Majority of the times a mother sacrifices. Biologically having a major part in child birth, she puts everything on hold, including her professional life. Naturally father has to give his career more importance to fulfill family needs. Many parents take up jobs that allow them to spend more time with kids.
Parents usually give up on their favorite foods to inculcate healthy eating in kids. Going to restaurant that everyone else but the kid likes; giving up major portion of everyone’s favorite food to the kid to relish. Some less well to do parents have to even give up a one-time meal to feed their kids.
Starting from their wardrobe, to the house decor, to the car, all are decided to suit the kid’s comfort or later are ruled by her choices. Holiday plans are decided by kid’s education. Later parents are dependent on kids post retirement they even have to shift city to be with them. It’s very difficult, leaving the place they spend their lives and adjusting in a new setup in the old age.
Parents have unconditional love for kids. With old age parents become our kids and need love and care. Remember, a parent never retires. Maybe their words of wisdom don’t hold relevance in today’s world, but experience is the best teacher. After all sacrifices if a parent doesn’t even get love and respect, imagine the trauma they’ll suffer. The world is becoming smaller and we need to move places to grow professionally. We don’t need to drag our parents in their old age everywhere. Just genuine love and being there when they need us is more than sufficient for them to feel proud of their upbringing.
There’s one thought that I will mention, it’s very true for me, as a daughter, and now as a mother,
“The more I go through parenting, the more I owe an apology to my parents.”
Life is very short let’s live it the best. I am a learner forever, everyone around me teaches something that adds to my personality. And I love to share my thoughts and experiences with others, provided it interests them! Trying new things, meeting new people and traveling to new places interest me. This is reflected in my career from a Mechanical Engineer, to a Trainer, to a mother and now a budding writer!
- Jocelyn Noveck & Trevor Tompson, “What Makes U.S. Kids Happy?” (The Associated Press, August 21, 2007).
- Jack P. Shonkoff and Deborah A. Phillips, Editors “From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development” (2000), p. 226.
American Psychiatric Association, "Parents’ Antidrug Messages Beginning to Pay Off", Psychiatric News 2001 36:23, 9-9 (December 7, 2001).
Holly Kreider, Margaret Caspe, Susan Kennedy, Heather Weiss, “Family Involvement in Middle and High School Students’ Education,” Family Involvement Makes a Difference, Vol. 3 (Harvard Family Research Project, 2007).
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, “Califano Calls for Fundamental Shift in Attitudes and Policies About Substance Abuse and Addiction” (May 2007).
National Education Association, “Getting Involved in Your Child's Education,” http://www.nea.org/parents/index.html (no longer available online)
National Education Association, "What the Research Says," http://www.nea.org/parents/research-parents.html (as of February 7, 2003; no longer available online). Reporting on A.T. Henderson & N. Berla , A New Generation of Evidence: The Family is Critical to Student Achievement (National Committee for Citizens in Education, 1994), p. 1, http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED375968.pdf
Jocelyn Noveck & Trevor Tompson, “What Makes U.S. Kids Happy?” (The Associated Press, August 21, 2007).
Benjamin A. Shaw, Neal Krause, Linda M. Chatters, Cathleen M. Connell, and Berit Ingersoll-Dayton, “Emotional Support from Parents Early in Life, Aging, and Health,” Psychology and Aging, Vol. 19, No.1, 4-12, (American Psychological Association, 2004).
Jack P. Shonkoff and Deborah A. Phillips, Editors “From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development” (2000), p. 226.