Parenting can sometimes be distilled down to a series of compromises. I say this not because of the obvious connotations, but because of those that are not obvious. Let me explain.
“No man knows he is young while he is young.” -G.K. Chesterton
I’ve only recently discovered the non-obvious compromises of parenting. I’m not talking about giving up of my personal space, my disposable income, my opportunities to travel, or even my ability to watch what I want on my own TV. I’m more concerned about willingly giving up the energy to achieve my professional ambitions and my motivation to excel in my work to that aim. This includes work, community service, social and education goals. In short, all activities outside of the family and personal life are compromised.
Now I’ve always enjoyed new challenges that are inspiring to me. Teaching my children what it means to be an industrious life-learner while maintaining family duties is a fulfilling endeavor. Involving them in my own learning process so that they can be empowered by their contributions through the experience is inspiring indeed.
Perhaps the compromises are better described as sacrifices. The smaller day-to-day sacrifices certainly come at the expense of my personal achievement, but it doesn’t really feel that way. To the truly inspired, sacrifices are gladly given. I’m still working on the that inspiration but I actually believe that the perceived compromises are really just a weird method of life learning. This method is evident when you finally realize that they weren’t compromises at all but rather a personal settling-in to what you truly value. I’m always learning, especially when it comes to what matters the most.