Parents and Parenting

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Perhaps it’s because Father’s Day is on Sunday and Mother’s Day just passed, or maybe because I just had a baby, but I’ve been thinking a lot about my parents lately. How they say that there’s certain things you won’t understand until you have kids of your own. How becoming a parent makes you appreciate your own parents even more.

And they were right, Mom and Dad.

do understand, not even two months into being a mom, that caring for a baby means sacrificing my own wants and needs sometimes. It means getting up multiple times in the middle of the night when I previously thought I needed 6.5 hours of sleep per night at the very least to function. It means feeding the baby when she wakes up right as I was about to finish this blog post and didn’t want my thoughts to be interrupted. It means bending over to change a diaper for the 10th time that day even though I’m worried all of this bending over and lifting a baby is going to cause irreversible back and neck damage.

Sophie isn’t even two months old yet. You, on the other hand, have been caring for me and making sacrifices for me for almost 29 years. You comforted me when I was a colicky baby, drove me to church activities, thousands of volleyball and basketball practices, and classes until I turned 16 and started to drive myself. But even that was a sacrifice, because you had to let me use one of your cars. You let me go to college in another state, even though that meant sacrificing weekends and many holidays with me. And then you went to visit me at college as much as you could, and all of the other random places I’ve lived, which means you’ve sacrificed a lot of money. Most recently, you let me live with you for 2 months: the last, uncomfortable month of my pregnancy and the first month of Sophie’s life. You sacrificed your time, money, sleep, and social activities just so you could take care of me and Sophie. The funny part is that, despite all of the sacrifices you’ve made, I don’t even think you see them as sacrifices. You have never made me feel guilty or like I owe you something. Thank goodness, because I could never repay you.

I won’t pretend to understand everything because, like I said, I’m 8 days shy of doing this parenting thing for 2 months, and you’ve been doing it for almost 29 years. But for what I am able to understand, I wanted to say thank you.

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