I've been thinking a lot about sacrifices this week. For Working Dad and I we are back in a time period where sacrifices are necessary for and from each of us.
There are some things that I've been sacrificing for years. To name a few, sunlight in the morning waking me up. Creamy peanut butter. Yes, I know what you are thinking. I should call these 'compromises' not sacrifices. But honestly, they definitely feel like sacrifices somedays.
Then there are the things that you've started to do without noticing. The TV shows your watching now, the way you use Olive oil instead of butter, or you've grown accustomed to a different brand of milk (1% vs non-fat).
Everyday we have to make choices. Choices that we make to improve our lives, or change our lives, or just to get from one part of the day to the other. And with these choices comes a sort of statement. About the parent you are. The friend you are. The husband or wife you are.
I feel like this is typically the moment when people talk about all the sacrifices that go into parenting. And yes, there are a lot. For me, right now, not being able to have both of us leave the house after 7 without arranging other care arrangements, and a night at the movie costing almost $100 (yeah babysitting!) are among the biggest complaints. But I'm not really here to talk about that.
What I want to say is that sometimes the biggest sacrifice we make is letting our little ones or our spouses do for themselves. My job in life is not to wait on EG. Nor is it to wait on Working Dad. We are in a partnership. With EG my role right now is very, very hands-on. I mean, she doesn't know how to blow out her nose yet... but my end goal as a parent is to create a self sufficient adult human being.
We can get into the stages of development, and how it's possibly inappropriate to call my 18 month-old a young 3 year old. But the reality is that no matter how you look at it, she still grows up. G-d willing to be here long after I'm gone...
So how do I do that? Sometimes, by not making the sacrifices. By showing her how two adults respond to each other in a loving committed relationship. By occasionally making myself a priority- because I am responsible for myself. Not Working Dad, not my parents, but me.
It's a challenge, but it's something I'm committed to. Teaching EG what are the behaviors of a self-sufficient adult. Sometimes that means waking up each morning in the dark. And sometimes it means saying that I need a break, and I'm using butter for my eggs.