As we venture further into adulthood, we start to grasp the value of time and come to appreciate the significant amount parents invest in their children. Reflecting on the hours spent shuttling kids to activities and lessons, while we struggle to organize our own lives, is a humbling experience. It becomes even more apparent when we witness colleagues achieving success while simultaneously raising young children. Comparing their accomplishments to our own as single individuals makes it difficult to justify the wasted hours. Some may argue that their parents were often away due to their careers, unable to make the same sacrifices but it leads us to the final sacrifice.
Who Are You? No Really?
The ultimate level of understanding as a parent involves grappling with questions of identity. The early years of parenthood consume a significant portion of time. The ideals of being a principled parent quickly dissolve as we face the relentless gauntlet of demands from our young brood. Understanding what is important enough to pursue outside of family is very penetrating. As they grow older and constantly challenge our beliefs, I can only now start to understand the annoyance I must have inflicted upon my dear parents. This reflection also reminds us of those parents with demanding careers, who may have experienced guilt for not being fully present or frustration for not being able to give their all.