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What wouldn't we do for our kids?

Life as a mama can indeed be a sacrificial life.  As we carry our offspring, we may give up things to preserve the best environment for the growing babe (for me, it was hardest giving up wine and rigorous physical activity).  Once the babes are born, we still give up the ease of going out for a date with friends or partner, we give up restful nights, we give up money that we would've otherwise spent on frivilous items for ourselves.  So many times, we put the kids first and foremost, above and beyond the things we love, need, and want - oh-so badly.

The top things on my list of those crazy things I'll do for my kids:

  • Not peeing.  Sometimes I get so busy with life in the home - running around with the kids, running errands, cleaning up, making dinner, playing checkers, reading stories - that I defer peeing.  Sometimes, I fear that I will cause permanent physical challenge.  But, better to get that story read than relieve myself, right?
  • Pooping on demand.  My second girl went through a phase when she needed to be the one to flush the toilet after she peed or pooped.  It was an assertion of independence.  Once, by habit, I accidentally flushed her poop, and she was pissed.  She threw a full out tantrum, in the middle of which, she told me, "I want poop back in the toilet!"  I pulled my pants down and tried to poop for her.  Alas, I couldn't do it.  It was already afternoon.
  • Not eating.  There are some things they love to eat.  Pad Thai is one of those things.  For sure, two orders is way too much for us, so we will only get one order on that special occassion that we get Thai food.  Maybe my love for pad thai has now just vanished.  I forgo the desire, for I know how much they love to see those leftovers show up in their lunches the next day.
  • Spending hours at the mall.   This is absolutely one of my most unfavorite things to do.  Alas, Lloyd Center is home to the only ice skating rink in Portland's city limits.  And, my first girl believes she is the next Michelle Kwan.  So, I bring the paper, a pile of work, and my phone & charger.  On one school in-service day, I spent eight hours at the mall, watching my girl and her friends go 'round and 'round and 'round.  Definitely not my favorite place to hang.

We all do things we don't love, for the love of our children.  I laugh about those things, and - in the end - that's all we can do.  We make choices, and we wouldn't do these things if we couldn't live with ourselves.  I know I'm not alone.  I want to hear stories of crazy things you all do, all for the love of your kids.

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That Poop thing is hilarious!

The one that comes to mind for me is I'm willing to freeze my butt off. Ever since having my daughter I've become remarkably immune to cold. Where I used to whine and mutter and complain, now I'll stand in the cold with frozen fingers and watery eyes -- just because she's having so much fun.

And I'm willing to sing show tunes from Annie ad nauseum.

OMG - pooping on demand!! i have nothing worth comparing.

I dont have anything like the poop story. But in terms of sacrifice. Thinking back on daycare that was almost an extra mortgage every month. So when I look at my very put together single (or non mom) friends and I see shoes, cars, vacations, perfectly colored hair... I remember what a financial drain kids can be. Which is fine- but it is funny- I was spending @ $1000 a month in daycare and I would never spend that on myself. So the financial aspect (besides the pooping and eating- or the not pooping and not eating) is a very concrete aspect of the choice to have kids.

that was sweet about the poop.

How funny. As I have read UM for the past year, I have seen so many things that I initially think, 'I would NEVER do that with MY child'...and six months later, I find I'm in the exact situation I read about and thinking how creative the parents on this board are. For me right now with a little one, the 'not peeing' is my most frequent and most frustrating one! (Sadly, missed showers and personal care are in there, too...)

wow..I'm selfish 'cause I pee...bad mother, me.

I've given up a total fetish for shopping for myself (oohhh, Annnn Tayyylloorrr...Nordstrom..yum) and now have transferred that entirely the joys of finding cheap playmobil and books for the kiddos. Oh, and serious biking. And a career. And uh, haircuts. Um, weighing 125. Reading books. Well, now it's just getting depressing :).

OMG...The poop thing is just hilarious!!! Mine is personal appearance. I have always been a little self conscious and fairly careful of what I look like when leaving the house. These days, I occasionally catch my reflection in a window or mirror while in public and think, 'Oh my God, I forgot to brush my hair (or teeth or wear matching clothes etc, etc).' Sometimes I'm embarrased, especially if it is something really obvious. Sometimes I'm irritated that I have so little time/energy for myself. Mostly, I think how great it is that my little one has helped me rearrange the priorities in my life.

We recently went and got flu shots as a family... My husband, myself and our 2.5 yr old. My husband and I went first and second, so that we could prepare our kid for his by showing it wasn't "that bad." My husband's keeping a straight face was admirable, but for me, it was downright heroic. I hate, that is H-A-T-E, needles, and so to put on a brave face and get through a shot without cringing or looking away or saying "OW!" was a major accomplishment for this momma!

I really miss going to the movies. For me it was a time when I could escape from life and enter a different world. Now with the cost of a babysitter and movie tickets it's not worth it. I used to love watching the Oscars too but this year I haven't see any of the movies. Oh well. I guess I can still enjoy all the dresses. Our nights out now include happy hour for dinner and much needed normal conversation.

Movies. I really miss going out to the movies. I used to be a film buff who'd be in the theater once or twice a week, now I just can't justify $20+ babysitting for a $10 movie ticket and hours away from family.

The not peeing story is funny. Having birthed two babies, I've got the, ahem, occasional continence issues that some may share... Often, when I've been too busy with kids to pee, and I feel a big SNEEZE coming on, I think to myself, "oh no! I should have peed" right before I sneeze and, well, many of you know what unpleasant sensation comes next... A gift that keeps on giving, that one!

coherent thought. conversations that seamlessly flow from a beginning, through the major points, and to a logical conclusion with no interruptions. and, of course, general standards for personal and household cleanliness. but all that stuff is meaningless, right? what's important will come back after they're grown, and what's not will fade into memory.

What do I miss?

Time that is truly, truly my own.

Not always having to be "on" or not having to think about how what I'm doing now will effect my ability to be "on" later.

Being able to do things and make decisions without considering how it will impact-- always, always impact--my daughter. Gives new meaning to the "ripple in the pond" thing.

Not ever having a stress-free moment: Feeling like, if I make a mistake at work, I've failed at parenting--because it's my responsibility to feed, clothe and shelter her, and my job allows me to do that.

Not always wondering if I'm doing enough, or too much, or if what I'm doing is the right thing.

as my lil muffin sits in my lap, I realize I miss TIME, free and clear to explore books, my art studio, the internet, and ON....I also really miss sleeping next to my beloved partner. Our lil babe sleeps between us. Also... I seem to skip feeding myself!This is a patterns I seek to change.
THanx for all your hilarious stories Mamas!!!!

Ooohh...the things I miss most right at this moment are long, hot baths by myself with only a book to interrupt my thoughts. And time to myself where I am alone with no responsibilities. Of course peeing and eating are missed as well.

Sleep on my own terms. Being able to take a nap on the couch, being able to go to sleep and wake up on my own schedule. But I guess we have all given up our old sleep habits to some degree. I also gave up an expensive and time consuming hobby.

sleeping in. I havent slept in in 5 years.

What else do I do for the kids? Well, just today a couple more examples:

- I was eating baby carrots and unconsciously picked over the skinny ones and ate the big fat ugly ones. My younger daughter only likes the small and slim baby carrots.

- My older daughter's comforter is in the wash. She asked me if she could use my blankie, the merino wool one that I snuggle with every night in my own bed. I said yes.

Dang it! I'm such a pushover.

I can completely relate on the first three, except my food is mac & cheese instead of pad thai. And we are going through the exact same poop situation with our almost three year old now. Hell hath no furry like a toddler who can't flush their own poop! But now that I'm pregnant again there are times when I just can't wait any longer to pee, so that has changed a little.

I'd say my biggest sacrifice has been sleep. Because I work full time I want to make sure all of my morning and evening time are spent with my girls while they are awake. Because of this I frequently am unable to get to the household chores until at least 8:30, which means that I'm not getting into bed until 11:00. I'm exhausted, but I'd rather be playing with or reading to my girls than rushing around getting the house picked up so I can go to bed early.

I'm with y'all on delaying peeing, and there are plenty of things I eat because my kids won't (ie the fat baby carrots) or don't get to eat because my kids love them (leftover pizza, mac n cheese, etc). Also of course giving up sleep, time alone, exercise. One of the biggest things I've given up is traveling--that's mostly a financial issue due to the expense of children (read, daycare) and the cost of traveling with 4 people instead of 2. There is also the fact that although I want to go to Thailand, I do NOT want to take that flight with a 4yo and an 18mo! I have high hopes that we'll travel to faraway and interesting places as a family in a few/several years. I try to remember that having small children is simply a busy, self-sacrificing time, and that they are growing, becoming more independant, sleeping better, each day. They'll be teens before we know it!

I think probably the thing that I do for my kids that I never thought or realized before I had kids is leave the bathroom door open when I am on the toilet -- even if my husband is around. Before kids, leaving the bathroom door open when the spouse was around was The Line That Could Not Be Crossed. I felt that, if my husband and I ever progressed to that point of totally not having any boundaries or caring what one thought of the other's "look," that we might as well call it all off.

Well, that has all changed, of course, because if I even try to shut the door, my son will just bang it open or stand outside the door and wail until I hop off the pot and waddle over the the door to open it. Sigh . . .

I could have written so many of these things myself. The last few weeks I am reminded of annother: forgoing or delaying cold meds, strong pain meds due to breastfeeding. This is on my mind at the moment courtesy of a cracked clavicle. But I love my daughter and she's not quite weaned yet.

I have a two year old, and for th majority of his life I cut back on EVERYTHING. I lost me in being a Mom, and though I love my son, I would do anything for him when I wasn't with him and I would be alone with me I didn't like me anymore. My idenity had become Seans mom! not okay!!!!

As a single mom I totally understand the finacial issues, hiring a babysitter, $10 movie tickets, shopping, not being your coveted size, no time to pull your self together (I swear I was the WORST offender) but that doesn't have to be your reality!

As a Mom you can't take care of your kids and family if your falling apart!

Some ways I reclaimed AJ!:
1. host a clothing exchange (a free way to revamp your wardrobe)
2. shop sales, I hit Nordstrom rack clearence at least twice a month and find cool things for $10-$20!
3.get that hair cut, you totally deserve it!
4.Make getting ready something your kid can participate in, my son reads to me while I do my hair (he shows me pictures and makes up crazy storeis) its fun I doing my thing and he doesn't realize Im not focased on him
5.Trade babysitting! I have two families I do this with, its a gaurenteed 2 weekend nights of freedom! And Im not paying for a sitter! Plus we get to host two mini parties a month!
6.sleep...get on a schedule, people laugh at me, but I cannot function...without sleep. My sons been on a bed schedule since he was 6 weeks old! Why I waited to do the same for me is dumb! Some nights yes the dishes can wait, and no one will die if the laundry is not folded!
7. We excercise together (yes me and my 2 year old), we take evening walks, @ the park I climb on the play structure, he hula hoop together, do yoga (I do yoga, Sean does downward dog- so cute) Im no where back to my original size but I keep it moving and use play time as excercise time!

I know things are easier sad than done, and motehrhood is sacrafice but you can't loose you! Your kids need the wonderful great people you were before you were Mom, as much as they need Mom! When I realized that, and took the time for me and sometimes its just a few minuets, I got happier in general and I know that reflects on my son!!!

AJ- you rock!

I miss time alone. Even though I'm technically alone (as in they're downstairs with the other parent) my ear is always trained on them. But it won't last long- by the time they're preteens they won't want anything to do with us!

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