Becoming a parent is a choice. No matter what you believe as far as pregnancy options, in the end it is still a choice to bring a child into this world and into your life. That choice belongs to the parents alone. There’s a very real truth behind the old cliche that says “A child didn’t ask to be born”. When that choice is final, and a child is born, life for the parents change dramatically. Or, at least it should.
Unfortunately, every day I see parents who still want to continue life as they knew it before they had a child (or children in some cases). They still want to socialize as they did prior to the pregnancy. They still want things for themselves, or to do things that they are accustomed to doing. As I see it, they are selfishly thinking of themselves and not their child. They are still behaving as a child themselves.
Children have a lot of needs and as a parent it is our responsibility to meet those needs. When one chooses to become a parent they must grow up and assume that responsibility. Whenever there is a choice to be made between something the child needs and something the parent wants, no one should have to be told to ensure the child gets what he needs. Unfortunately for a lot of children, that doesn’t happen.
When my children were growing up, money was tight as it is for a lot of young parents. I got new clothes once a year when my mother in law bought me a couple of outfits for Christmas. When new clothing was purchased in my household it was always for my children. Would I have loved to have new clothes periodically through the year? Of course I would have. But that would have meant that my kids would have to do without and that was not an option for me. One time a friend gave me $20 for my birthday. I spent it on my kids. I’m sure that’s not what my friend had in mind for me to do with the money, but there were things my kids needed so that’s what I did.
It’s a huge personal sacrifice to choose to become a parent. Your time is no longer your own. You can no longer live life the way you did before you had a child. If you choose to continue the way you always did, your child will suffer and that not only isn’t fair to the child, it’s morally wrong. It isn’t just about having the money to give your child everything he needs, it’s about giving your time to him too, and that’s something money can’t buy. Your child needs your presence much more than he needs your presents.
So, although it is a self sacrifice to transition into a parent, it’s also one of the greatest gifts life has to offer. There isn’t much that can compare to watching this tiny person you created grow and learn and become somebody special with a personality all their own. Only a parent can ensure that transpires, and it takes commitment and a lot of love for your child. He or she deserves that from you. You may not be able to have your nails done once a week any longer, you may not be able to go out with friends on Saturday night as you used to do, you may not be able to take off on weekend trips like you did on occasion just for the adventure, but instead your child will have everything that he or she needs.
Always put your child’s needs first in any decision you make about the money and time you spend. Your children depend on you for that, and they deserve it from you.