Children, Sacrifice, Goals, and Parenting

If the “Parent of the year” award was based on sacrifice – my wife would win hands down. I have no problem admitting this because it’s the truth. When I was up late submitting applications to writing workshops and writing articles for The Metro Times – she was giving baths and reading goodnight stories. When I first started my photography business and was glued to my seat developing marketing and business plans – she was planning activities for the kids. When it was time to move; she was researching school districts and sub-divisions while I was editing photos and submitting teaching proposals to community centers.

I’ll be frank – I don’t have many “gifts.” My gift is my drive. I set a goal and won’t eat, or sleep until that goal is complete. And THEN: I’ll set a completely different goal (that has nothing to do with the previous goal) and follow the same process. Not sure why I’m wired like this but I just am. I don’t know how to function any other way.

I’ve had to work hard to learn “balance -” to listen, to contribute to family conversations, and to pay attention at family events. It’s not just about “being around my wife and kids” but mentally being engaged inside the household and with them individually. That’s why I always ask my peers the question: “Are you sacrificing too much of your life to be who you want to be?”

My wife does not have this problem, her goals are the kids. She spends countless hours a week planning activities, trips, and their futures. Though she makes me look selfish in comparison – I envy her. She thrives on their four heartbeats and their unlimited potential excites her to no end. Every other thing in her life takes a backseat to them and it’s obvious that this is more preference than burden. While I struggle just to “balance” – she cancels personal appointments, classes, work, meetings, and dates with no hesitation if it conflicts with anything in the kid’s (extensive) schedules.

Maybe the contrast is part of what makes our marriage work or maybe we’re just used to each other? Either way – her 24/7 sacrifice inspires me every day. And even though she doesn’t know – it quietly pushes me to be a better father and husband.

Leave a comment