Sunday, March 01, 2009

Giving up

So, this month's NaBloPoMo blogging theme is "giving." And yes, while I know I've completely abandoned my blog lately in favor of Facebook (damn you, Facebook!), it appealed to me for some reason. I have no idea if I'll actually go for an entire month, but at the same time, I wanted to give it a try.

Today's thought? Giving up.

Not only because giving up is what I would like to do at least 70% of the time. No, I'm referring to giving up in the sense of sacrifice. It seems to me that the biggest part of parenting has to do with giving up - whether you are sacrificing your time, your body, your sanity, your ability to change a tampon with the door shut, your free time, your personal life, your career... being a parent is all about giving things up.

Most of the time* I do these things gladly. I've accepted that this is The Way Things Are. I have consciously put the needs of my girls ahead of my own. The key word there is *consciously.* From what I read, or hear, or see, it seems that many parents out there do this naturally - they automatically subjugate their own wants and needs to those of their progeny like it's biological or something. But I? I can't do that. This parenting shit doesn't come naturally to me. I have to work at it. I have to consciously remind myself - their needs are more important right now. They need to spend a few hours of quality time with their mother more than I need to go see a movie. They need to sit down at the dinner table as a family more than I need to catch the Friday after-work happy hour. They need a bedtime story more than I need to watch The Office.

I give up. I give up a lot. I do it early, and often. I try not to be a martyr about it. Most days, I succeed. But every now and then, when I see all the shiny happy people my age, running around the Universe, selfish as can be, I get a little bitter. I give up so much - they don't have to give up anything. They seem so happy, so free, so fulfilled... I'm none of those things. And I have to remind myself - consciously, again - that I have *people* who love me. Who depend on me. Whose worlds would literally cease to exist without me.

It helps, a little.

*Well, at least some of the time...

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