I was driving my kids around town the other day and all I could think about was how utterly and completely exhausted I was. I am tired a lot. I am sure a lot of parents are. I am willing to be tired if it means that I can still make time for the other things in my life that I enjoy. It’s when I get so beyond tired that I am not enjoying anything, when it becomes a problem.
I think sacrifices are part of life. They are definitely part of parenthood. Every single one of us makes conscious and unconscious choices about what we are willing to sacrifice for something else. I know this probably sounds like a depressing concept, but I actually think it is pretty amazing how we all find ways to make life work for us in the way we need and want it to. Although, it may not be ideal, it is necessary.
I sacrifice sleep a lot. I work late nights and get up early to take care of the girls. I regularly give up potential nap opportunities when I have them, and use this time to do the routine cleaning I feel is necessary with a family of four and two dogs under one roof. But, I have learned to let go of my hatred of clutter and desire to have the house feel clean and orderly so that I can spend more time playing with my kids.
I also often sacrifice needed new clothes for myself so that I can buy things for my quickly growing girls. I choose family time over alone time. I will put aside the baskets of laundry that need to folded, in order to grant the simple request of a little girl wanting a story read to her, even though I know it means I will have to stay up later that evening to finish it before my work week starts. All of these things are part of my everyday life and while simple enough, they are still sacrifices. Choices that I would make differently if other factors were not at play.
What we choose to sacrifice is completely individual and there is no right or wrong to it. I have friends who prioritize the components of their lives completely different than I choose to. You have to find what works for you.
I like to think, that in making some of these sacrifices, we are often given a gift instead. So, while I may be tired and lacking of energy, wearing gym shoes to work with holes in the heels and behind on my book reading… it is all worth it for the joy I get from my family and the places and things I have gotten to experience because I am making decisions differently. I like to think that while I can’t do everything… I am doing some things really well.