Recently on Toddlers & Tiaras, I saw something that made me cringe. Okay, I always see something that makes me cringe on that show, but this wasn't flippers, or spray tans, or crazy sugary caffeine drinks for kids, but rather a big sacrifice one family was making so their daughter could participate in pageants.
Maddi is just 2 years old, and her parents want her to compete in pageants so badly that instead of using their hard-earned money to buy a house, they spend it on her pageants. They don't even rent a place of their own; instead, they live with Maddi's grandparents so they can pour every penny into their daughter's eternal pursuit of a crown.
In this case, I'm sure most will agree that this is outrageous, because pageants are ... well, pageants. The murky (at best) merits of those aside, however, there are plenty of other parents out there who give up homes, cars, and much more to help fuel their children's dreams (or their dreams for their children) whether it be to pursue sports, schooling, or other endeavors.
On one hand, I admire parents who are willing to give up everything for their children. Good for them and their selfless selves. On the other more selfish hand, however, I'm not sure they're doing their children any favors. While I say I would do anything for my children, the truth is I wouldn't. Oh, I'd do anything to protect them and keep them healthy, but I'm not willing to give up everything in my life for them, be it materially or emotionally.
Could I scrimp and save and downsize our life to send them to the very best private school in town? Probably. Could I give up some meals out and my penchant for cute shoes to get them specialized coaches, and pad their college savings fund to the hilt? Yes, I could. Could I give up my long runs to spend more time with them in the mornings and on weekends? Yep. I could go on and on, but the fact is that I don't, and I won't. There are some things I'm just not willing to sacrifice for my kids, and I think that's okay. Actually, I think it's better that way.
I want them to know that we will support them and help them when we can, but it's also their job in life to make their own way. I don't want them to think my life revolves around them. They need to know that mom and dad have lives too, and I hope that helps them make their own lives better.
So be it pageants or pitching coaches, college or a quest for a crown, I intend to not always put the needs (or what I determine to be their needs) of my children first. Instead, I'll put them right there in the mix with mine and my husband's as well, and figure out what's best for all of us.
How much is too much to sacrifice for your children?
Image via AOL