Thursday, August 5, 2010

Humility and Selflessness

I was reminded, after spending time with a friend who recently had a new baby, about the selflessness and humility it takes to be a parent.  Priorities no longer include how many hours at the office I logged  and how much bigger my pay check will be because of it, the rat race of getting ahead in my career no longer matters, what new resturants we've been to or how many parties we've thrown are a mute point, and lazy saturdays of watching movies in bed are a thing of the far far past. It was so easy to say pre kids that we could only "afford" so many or that having a kid would make getting a career that much harder.  And while these facts are very much a reality in my life, I would not change a single thing about it. 
To write about oneself being selfless seems to be somewhat of an oxymoron yet it is one of the only ways to describe parenting.  You are giving all of yourself to another being.  Whether it is something you as a parent strives for or not, you are undoubtable doing so in even the smallest of ways on a daily basis.  From the early months of waking to feed your baby, whether you are able to physically provide the food from your breast or not, to the toddler years of wearing bananas on your work shirt and having a purse full of diapers and sippy cups instead of ...well what else would one carry in a purse?
You are giving all of yourself to your child. You are being selfless, even when you spend a night out with your girlfriends, because you are most likely thinking, worrying, longing for you children.

To write about being humbled is another thing. I am not sure that all parents are humbled in their everyday.  I think that some, while still giving their all to their kids and being as selfless as the next parent, still find ways to keep their pride. Whether they wake hours before their kids to "maintain" their pre child looks(maybe its a 10 mile run, maybe its a shower and clean ironed clothes), or work late into the night after the little ones are in bed to "maintain" their career and stay at the top, these parents are still holding onto their pride. I find it admirable that there are parents out there that are capable of surmounting these, in my mind, unattainable tasks.  They still get to win races, have careers, get raises and promotions.  But for those of us who instead have taken the other path, to be humbled day in and day out, are living in such a way that only a parent can understand and even desire of themselves.  Until last night, I am not sure I wanted to be humbled this way.  I still wanted and tried to win races and dreamed of a career. While I do hope these things still happen, I have come to terms that they will come in due time.

I feel my humility everyday when my fellow graduate from nursing school ask me where I am working and I reply that my priorities lie with my babies and I am hoping to find someone flexible enough to understand that and still be willing to give me a chance and hire me.  When we think about the economy and the housing market and see so many family and friends snatching up amazing deals on incredible, gorgeous houses and knowing that our growing family is growing right out of our little bungalow, we are humbled.  We are choosing instead to work less hours and spend more hours together.  While I would love so much to move into a spacious, roomy house, and often day dream about it, instead I choose to not work full time in order to cook lunch for my babies everyday and be home when they go to bed. And we are humble in our wonderfully, cute bungalow where we are lucky enough to live.

When all is said and done, I still choose life with kids. I am rejoicing in the joy they bring me every single day. To watch them grown and learn is truly a miracle of life. There is no other way to describe it. To hear Belay work on one word for days and the suddenly he masters it and doesn't stop repeating that word over and over again, is a gift. Watching Adi turn into a little girl who carries on full conversations and makes us laugh so hard has been the highlight of my summer.


  1. Well said Jane, well said. You have definitely got your eyes on the prize(s). :-)

  2. I can't imagine you will ever regret living simply, and being with your kids. I always find it refreshing to hear from moms who share your perspective!

  3. This is so, so true, & I appreciate the memory this brought me. A few years back, a close friend of mine called wanting my opinion on her simplifying & being home with her children. I told her she would never regret it. Less than a year after she decided to spend more family time, she died suddenly. Sorry, this is not a happy story, but it made a huge impression on me...I don't believe I'll ever look back & wish I had spent less time with my family.

  4. Well said, Jane. I just left/took a break from my career and went back to my old job for the sole purpose of what a nice, flexible, family-oriented life it will provide for me and Abel. I couldn't be happier! And as Dardi so wisely said, I know I will never regret this choice to spend more time with the babe. :)

  5. Jane you are DEFINITELY making the right choice! I am more grateful for the fact that I got to stay home with my babies than for almost anything else in my life. The big house and other rewards will come later and when they do you will remember these years and say to yourself once again, all that really matters is my family :)

  6. Well said Jane... It is such a gift to your children, and in in the grand scheme of our lives it is only a little precious blip, you know? Sometimes in the day to day it is easy to forget that.
    It is always good to be reminded of the gift of being able/choosing to be with your children.