The Sacrifices We Parents Make

I’ve been thinking a lot the last few months about the sacrifices parents make. We put our kids first about 99% of the time, and you know what, we totally should! Most of the time, I couldn’t care less about putting them first. I WANT to put them first. I want them to have an even better childhood than the one I had. But, sometimes, there are people that don’t understand and it can really start to get to them, and to you.


I was told a few months back that I use my kids as an excuse far too often. And it cut me to the core. Downright hurt. I’m not sure why it did really, but I can only assume that I got defensive for my kids’ sake. Even though nothing was said about them, their mere existence was mentioned and I crumbled. I cried like a baby.  I wanted to run away and take them with me.


But, they’re totally right, I DO use them as an excuse. Strike that. That’s not the right way to put it. They ARE my excuse. My reason. The purpose for my existence. Every decision I make is based around our family now, and every penny I earn is now earned for our family; and they always come first (second to God, of course). 

If I would need to make a drastic life-changing decision, the result would always be decided from looking at how it would affect our family. And if I make any decisions that would involve money, I would always decide first if spending it would interfere with their happiness in any way. If it would, then I don’t buy/do it. And nine times out of ten, it does.

Okay, so spending money might not affect their happiness TODAY, but here is what I mean: If I go out with friends tonight and spend $60 on food and drinks, then that’s $60 less I have that could have been used for Emma’s gymnastics classes, or for Alice to join The Little Gym, or even for a fun night out for dinner and ice cream as a family. $60 is hardly anything really - before kids I wouldn’t have even thought twice. But now, $60 could mean that we miss out on some family fun that would have created memories for a lifetime. In fact, we just spent $60 at Arnold Days in Arnold, MO at their carnival (that's where the pictures are taken). It was Alice's first time!

The other part of it too, is that since having kids my view on spending has changed completely. Now I don’t spend more than $20 on a dress. $10 on a shirt. $15 on a pair of jeans. I shop online for deals, and then I usually talk myself out of them before I click "buy." While I want desperately to dress in the newest fashions and fit in with everyone at work, I can’t bring myself to spend frivolously anymore.

My entire outlook has changed. We spend countless hours away from our kids to make money for THEM. Yes we deserve time to ourselves and yes we should be able to spend money on ourselves too, but would that make us happy in the long run? No. Not really. We allow ourselves one date night a month and we spend more money than I’d like to. It’s okay, but it takes me days to get over it. We spend time away from them, and then our family’s money on us and not them. I hate it. If I had it my way we’d do every date night at home on the couch catching up on our shows (but Gene always wants to go out).

I have no idea what the point of this post is. Maybe I’m just talking to be talking; to defend my choices, even though I don’t have to. I just feel like the only people that could possibly understand are Moms. And since the people reading my blog are probably Moms, maybe I just wanted to talk this out with you to feel better about my choices.

How do you explain to your friends/family/peers why you say no to the certain things you refuse?


  1. I might be better to just say "it's not in the budget" than try to explain to non-moms. Don't blame them...when you say you're giving everything you have to your children they're going to fear you're drowning in the mommy ocean, not happily swimming in it.

    1. You're right. I could just start saying it simply. I tried just saying "I don't want to" or "I don't think so," but then I was told I was just being difficult. So I guess saying it's not in the budget will just be vague enough. Thanks for the advice!

  2. It is so sad that in today's world others can't even try to fathom where another person is coming. Especially if that person is in charge of raising the next generation. I guess that is why I no longer have non-mom friends because the understanding just isn't there. It is hard to deal with this kind of negativity but hang in there. If they are true friends, they will come around to understanding.

    1. You understand! People tell me, "oh, they'll come around when they have kids of their own." I try to be patient, but it's exhausting sometimes. Looking back, I wonder if I was ever guilty of the same thing; it's hard to decide since I didn't/don't have many friends with children.