As moms, we get used to making sacrifices for those we love. And let’s be honest – most of those things are sacrifices that affect mostly us. Our bodies house a human who, once on the outside, continues to use us as a jungle gym for the next several years. We sacrifice sleep. Peeing alone. Wearing clothes without some sort of ick or sticky on them. Sanity. And some days? Showers.
But we also give up other things. We give up life without toothless smiles and sweet giggles. We give up life without precious hugs from chubby little arms and accompanying slobbery kisses. We also toss away our jaded view of the world as we rediscover things through our kids’ eyes.
Sacrifices become a way of life. Something we don’t think anything about because they just become natural. Our husbands sacrifice too – they sacrifice time with us so they can provide for us. They sacrifice things they want to do in order to fix that thing that’s broken. They give up buying “toys” because their paycheck is now buying diapers. Sometimes, our kids make sacrifices. When life gets crazy, everybody does. Somebody misses this or gives up that. It’s the way it works. And it’s not bad, it’s just…life.
But there are times things get out of whack. When you are not so much sacrificing for your kids as much as sacrificing them. It’s a balancing act that’s not always so easy to manage, whether you stay home with your kids or work outside the home. Looking at starting school less than a month from now (where did summer go?), I’m reminded how much of a battle this is. For everyone.
I realize my calendar and schedule would seem rather empty to some, but that’s the way I like it. We don’t have 87 activities we participate in or 153 places we have to be every week. There are times that is the exception, and we just have to do the best we can. We move on through those times, catch our breath at the end, and remind ourselves to build in some downtime.
Sometimes you have to just clear your calendar. Stay home. Stay in your pajamas. Watch cartoons with the kids. Have a picnic in the backyard. Let the kids play in the sprinkler and roll in the grass.
You’ll never wish you’d said “no” when your kids asked you to spend time with them.