What little sacrifice are you making today?

1. The Free Pass is still in effect today if you need it. Pass it on to someone else if you think they need it.

2. My friend Meggin McIntosh is hosting a free teleseminar called "Peace of Mind for the Caregiver" next Monday. It will be recorded so you can listen later if you can't call in live. In light of last Friday's talk about Alzheimer's, I thought some of us could use some peace of mind.

3. Today is 90 days out from Christmas, so my Christmased.com website starts up again today. Today's question is about what gift you'd want this year if you could have anything. (Not so easy to think about what YOU want, is it?)

4. Peaceful and reflective Yom Kippur to all who observe it.


I can't go to soccer tonight because of scheduling problems, and I'm sad about it. I've gotten just decent enough to know what I can't do yet and to try to get better every time I go out on the field. I'm missing tonight specifically to take care of my kids and keep their activities on track. This would have been a bigger deal a few years ago. It feels like less of a big deal now, so I'm noticing it to see how I feel about balance of priorities, obligations, putting on my oxygen mask first, and all of that.

What are you giving up for your children today, big or small? How do you feel about it? Does it feel like a static sacrifice, or something that won't change?


36 thoughts on “What little sacrifice are you making today?”

  1. I have eliminated dairy (and dairy fat is like lifeblood to me) for sixish weeks now, and now soy for twoish weeks in an effort to figure out some lingering digestive issues after prolonged breastmilk jaundice with my three month old – hoping to get to a year with breastfeeding. I never question whether I can do it, because obviously I do it with love…but I sure don’t love actually doing it.

  2. Oh, I didn’t answer the last question. Right now it feels like it’s never going to end, but eventually it will…even if it means waiting until he weans. The thought of which also breaks my heart a little.

  3. skipping my workout to help complete the girls homework, take them for new passport photos, meet their dad for a homework project to be completed at lunch and take the girls little friend to dinner with us.I’ll get back to my regular scheduled routine tomorrow.

  4. My husband is going to give up his sanity to take care of our son for the next 16 days while I’m in Russia. He has a 70-mile RT commute, so that’s no small thing. I’m pleased to say I don’t feel like I’m giving up anything today and am going on this work trip with enthusiasm. Actually, it’s restorative. I can’t say these things all the time, so it’s a nice change.

  5. Like pennifer, I actually don’t feel like I’m giving up anything today. I kind of feel guilty about it. Man, we can never just be content, can we? I’m going to work on just being content today.

  6. I feel like I’m being forced to give up my ideals today. DD6 said the teacher told them about the planes crashing into the Twin Towers on 9-11. These kids are 6, and we are in rural Denmark, and it’s September 26th. Why did she say this? I’m so surprised, thinking it’s out of context (possibly, don’t know how it came up) and such a huge thing for 6-year-olds to hear about. But a lot of people have said that it’s something they have already discussed with their kids, etc. I am American, but we live in Denmark, and it’s not a big event here, 11 years after. I guess I’m being overly protective, but it doesn’t feel excessive to me. Sigh.

  7. Today my husband is the one sacrificing: He is bringing the two oldest to work today. The first oldest is 18 and has a doctor’s appointment sort of near work. The 2nd oldest is 9 and has the day off for Yom Kippur. Hopefully he is still able to get some stuff done.

  8. I gave up a month of being at the office, daycare tuition, and being with my husband and two other kids to stay at the hospital with my 7 month-old, who is recovering from an illness. It was, in some ways a hard decision, but I think the baby recovered faster with a parent around (especially one who pumped/breastfed around the clock AND gave up dairy, eggs, fish and nuts “just in case” allergens in my breast milk was the reason why he wasn’t gaining weight). I just hope this doesn’t affect my relationship with the other kids permanently.I also lost sleep for work since I voluntarily kept a large, problematic project going remotely.
    This all feels forever, but we have a discharge date soon and I cannot wait!

  9. Right now, I’m sacrificing short term for long term. I know my priorities aren’t quite right for the short term, but I’m happy with them for the long haul. So, I guess right now it’s a little sacrifice of sanity and a clean house to give my daughter the kind of childhood I want while still having the career I want. Today it doesn’t feel like a big sacrifice, but there are days…

  10. No school today for Yom Kippur so I took the day off to be with the boy.Long term sacrifice right now is paying private school tuition to make sure he’s in a school that understands active little boys. That means no vacations, no retirement savings and pretty much nothing fun for me. I gave up my Entertainment Weekly subscription–not because we couldn’t afford it but because it caused a huge case of “I wants” in me.

  11. Ah – a topic I can relate to! This issue does not go away even when your child is an adult no longer living at home.Tonight I am helping her with a project instead of playing cards with my peeps. And I don’t mind one bit! As a matter of fact I look forward to spending time with her.

  12. I had to drop into school to give Zoe some antibiotics for a case of pink eye. I made the most of the extra trip to that part of town to prepare for a class tomorrow, so I can’t say it was a real sacrifice at all.On the flip side, my kids gave me an hour to myself while they had Italian lessons. A friend and I spent it walking around a pretty area of london in the sun. So I’m even Steven today actually

  13. I’m giving up a ticket to a fun cocktail party because my LO has been having behavior problems at school and my husband will be out of town. So, basically, I’m not hiring a babysitter because I’ll probably have to go home and lay down the law (again, for the third time this week) instead of having hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. But, if he’s had a good day, we’re totally celebrating.

  14. My sacrifice is working from home at a job which I am massively over- qualified for and frankly is rather boring. BUT it pays well and allows me some flexibility which is important right now.

  15. I am working for what feels like peanuts so I can have my kids with me in the afternoon. (I.e., part time work–but for lovely people, which helps.) I have to keep reminding myself that the afternoon program offered at school is mediocre at best and really not good for one of them in a lot of ways. I should be better about not answering emails and phone calls during those hours (1:30-bedtime), but it feels irresponsible not to. Clients!On a smaller scale, I finally have reached the point where I can sit and pray in synagogue on Shabbat. The kids come in for a little bit, then go play. But I still can’t manage to get there close to on time because breakfast-get dressed-sunscreen needs constant reminders. (They’re much more responsive to the school bell…)
    Anyway today was Yom Kippur, the most intense day, hours and hours in synagogue. I packed snacks, gave them permission to go to the park nearby (other than emergency vehicles, nobody drives). During a lull, I went out to check on them and could not find my 6yo in any of the places he was permitted to be. He wasn’t far, but that necessitated a trip home because he was obstinate and refused to even talk about safety and what had happened. Turned out that he was in a snit because of a misunderstanding with my 8yo…over a cucumber. So I missed an hour of the service and had to walk an extra six blocks in the heat of the day while fasting because of a cucumber. The good news is that I’ll be able to remind him of this someday, if and when he has his own kids…or even if not.
    (Oh, so the sacrifice here is my spiritual life. For years and years. Just when I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s not quite.)

  16. I had to give up going to services for Yom Kippur today because I didn’t feel my son could afford to miss occupational and speech therapy after missing both those sessions last week (due to circumstances totally out of my control). So i know what you mean, Kate. But a friend reminded me that we honor G-d when we take loving care of our families.

  17. Sleep. Oh my, sleep. (I just keep telling myself that she will sleep through the night again…some day…)And I’m pumping at work, which means about 45 minutes a day total that I can’t do much. So there’s that.
    And just…stuff. I used to feel free to run errands after work because probably the dog wouldn’t notice if I was a few minutes later than usual but now I rush to get home. Don’t get me wrong – I happily choose to come straight home – but part of me misses living with less to consider.

  18. I feel like the constant little sacrifice is having my internal monolog to myself in the evening and being able to complete a thought. I’m getting a bit of it back now that my kid is 8 and a strong reader, but I never know when it’s going to be a needy night and I’ll just have to put all my personal thinking/daydreaming aside until 11 (because there’s no way Mouse is out on time on a rough day) and then I’ll bonk out on the couch. Some days I’m Ok with this, some days I’m not.

  19. In the big picture I’m giving up living where I want and being near friends. I cherish the hope that it will not be forever, we’ll be able to move back before too much longer (a year? 5? I don’t know…)In the small picture I gave up my afternoon to drive to OT out in the middle of nowhere and I’m giving up any hope of a tranquil evening to enforce the writing of SEVEN notes of apology to kids she has apparently been intimidating at school. Sigh.

  20. Maybe not what you intended, but this post is having me resolve to make more sacrifices, as I’m currently the one in my family who doesn’t, much.

  21. Oh wait. I gave up saying the Kol Nidrei prayers for myself last night so I could hold the baby and watch the other two while my husband led a small service. But the previous point remains.

  22. Nothing but the usual sacrifices today.Less me time / time to get things done in the evening, to lay down beside L while he falls asleep…the most recent bedtime ritual.
    Less time to do stuff for me, the family or the house due to 3 hour daily commute (1.5 hours each way) to our daycare which is not near work or home. This is a sacrifice I happily make as our daycare is AMAZING and the peace of mind it buys me is well worth the commute sacrifice. AND, I started a pottery course for fun, so slowly regaining some of that me time stuff.
    Less sleep.
    These things will eventually end as L gets older, so there is a light somewhere at the end of some long tunnel.

  23. Sacrifice – such a big word… i don’t feel that I sacrifice much, but I should, and I will be soon enough. Right now (this week) it will be the husband who does because I will be going on a trip! I am so excited, but I will miss my kids terribly.Soon we will move across and down under the world AGAIN, and be about 30 something hours (by plane) away from my family/extended family. And I feel that is a HUGE sacrifice on my part because I feel like it’s so tough to be away. I am praying so much that it’s not the “wrong” decision.

  24. I became Old Yeller for a moment this evening today (no reference to the book, just to yelling mama) because I was acutely feeling the sacrifice I made Monday to take him to favorite restaurant, to yesterday to supervise his sleep-over but didn’t sleep well making sure other kid okay (both were great), and today’s time sacrifices just to give son the attention he deserves even though I have a lot of work to do. So the yelling came in when it was already 8:15, (past his 8pm bedtime), and he still hadn’t done his “evening chores,” (brush teeth, pajamas, bathroom). I just needed some time to do my work already and I was so tired and wanted to not do it. Five minutes later I sincerely apologized for raising my voice, explaining it wasn’t the right thing to do and I’m not mad at him. He did cry and I felt awful. He did also say he forgives me. (I know he is tired, too – see: sleepover last night.) So now it is 10:30pm and I’m just finishing my work even though I was tired enough to go to sleep for the night at 8pm. But his tears stay with me.Tomorrow will be a new day.

  25. sleep and then, sadly, health.I’d like to say that it’s worth it, to be present with my daughter, try to connect with my husband, and continue work that I love, and I suppose it is, but it does feel that perhaps this needs to shift. am i giving up something only to be able in fact to give less to everything else in life?

  26. My husband has a great job and I am a PhD student. My work is demanding, but unstructured and the time is flexible, so, although my husband is *superb* about doing his share of the parenting load, I am the one stuck with the lion’s share of chauffeuring that needs to be done during the day.Since my son started elementary school, which is 20 minutes in the opposite direction of where my daughter is in daycare, the door-to-door (home to grad student office) commute is 1.5 hours. One. point. five. HOURS! ONE WAY! That’s three hours of pure, mindless logistics per day. (By the way, this is all in a relatively small geographical radius, but it’s all in-tow driving through small streets, so…). Some days I’m cool with it and some days I feel like it’s destroying my sanity. Mostly I just give in to it and try to enjoy the time in the car with the kids.
    Today I’m leaving a career fair early so I can go pick up my son and his friend for their afterschool program b/c it’s my day to carpool.
    On one hand, I hate being the chauffeur and I hate having to give up such a huge chunk of time that could be spent productively (or exercising or whatever) to just drive people around. On the other hand, I’ll probably have a full time job next year, we’ll be able to afford a second car and either we’ll divide and conquer the commute or we’ll have a babysitter taking on some of the toting. And when that happens, I’ll probably miss the conversations we have in the car on the way to and from school.

  27. Not much of a sacrifice since technically I could have told her no, but I let my 3yo sleep with me last night. She is going to have a new baby sister on Monday and I’m feeling pretty guilty/worried about how she’s going to cope.I am already sleeping like crap, so I guess having a 3yo in the bed didn’t make it much worse. And to her credit, she slept really, really well.

  28. Hey Cat! I was reading to see if you mention which Nordic country, and voila! You’re in the same one as me!I’m 2.5 hours from you to the northeast, but we can figure something out.
    Email me at czilla007 at hotmail dot com.

  29. I can’t even think about what I’m giving up today. I’m just mentally not there.The one gift I really want? The money to cover recovery of my crashed hard drive that took the backup disk with it. There are 4 years of baby photos on there, last photos of now-deceased loved ones, and wow, I wish I had the money to get those back.

  30. For my husband’s career, I recently packed up a beautiful life in the sunshine, surrounded by our tribe of friends and a turquoise sea to move to a cold, dark nordic country where the language is unintelligible and where I know nobody. I am spending my long days alone at home with a crawling nine month-old, trapped indoors by the weather and my self-protective (read: self-sabotaging) hermeticism.But we’re healthy and have a warm roof over our heads and food in our bellies. Let’s just hope I can keep it together and not go postal… for a few YEARS. Oh man…
    PS, Anyone out there living in the Sønderborg, Denmark area who can come over and pry me from my shell?

  31. Having a 7-month that only naps on me and sleeps horribly at night = I have sacrificed just about everthing from my “old” life. I do not work out. I rarely see friends. I have not gotten a mani or pedi since…huh…not sure when (sometime when I was pregnant I think). I could go on, but I know you get the idea.I try to remind myself that this too shall pass, but most days it feels like I will never feel rested or never have me time again.

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