What did your parents give up?

by Kristina on May 12, 2014 · 7 comments

Embarrassing parents - swan duckling

Good morning Dinks.  This past weekend I watched an episode of Judge Judy where a mother was suing her daughter for crashing her car.  It got me thinking – WOW I owe my parents some good car karma because I was a horrible driver.  I was always in a rush and I was very impatient as a 16 year old young driver.  These traits combined with the fact my parents both drove standard cars made for a very interesting couple of years.  It led to a total of four car crashes to be exact.

Teaching your kids to drive

I personally cost my parents several thousands of dollars during my teenage years while I was learning to drive.  The cost of driving lessons, the cost to replace one clutch and an incident with a neighbour’s parked car come to mind.  Then two years later my sister got her learners permit and drove my Mom’s Jeep through our garage door.   To say that my driving cost my parents a lot of mental, emotional and financial stress would be an understatement.

For years after I moved out I was not able to drive my parent’s cars when I came home to visit.  My parent’s said it was for insurance reasons, but I think they were still traumatized by previous events.

When my sister and I go home to visit our parents they still insist we sit in the passenger seat.  My Mother has mentioned on several occasions that she wishes we would have kids so we could experience what she went through while teaching us to drive.  I guess the trauma still stays with my parents.

Putting their health to the side

To have two teenage daughters is definitely a hazard to any parent’s health, but that’s not what I’m talking about.  When I was young I had really bad teeth which required two to be pulled out, three years of braces and two years of wearing a retainer.

The cost of multiple dental appointments can quickly add up.  Then there were the two times I lost my retainer while on vacation and my parents had to pay for replacements.  To this day my Dad tells me to take care of my teeth because it cost him 10 years in working overtime.  Now that I look back on the situation neither one of my parents have spectacular teeth and I wonder why they never got them fixed.  Maybe it’s because they couldn’t afford it after paying for their kids.

Following their dreams

My Dad always tells stories of how he wanted to be a writer (maybe that’s where I get it).  I always wonder why he never pursued his dreams, but I never ask.  I guess it’s because I am afraid of the answer.  Will he tell me that he never went to college because my Mother got pregnant and he had to find a full time job to support his new family?  Yes I think that’s the exact reason.  Maybe it’s not, but I guess I’ll never know.

I am not saying my parents regret having kids, but I think their lives would have been a lot easier (and better) if they stayed Dinks.

Photo by Flickr

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen @Sprout Wealth May 12, 2014 at 5:45 am

Often, children tend to forget to appreciate their parents and the endless sacrifices they had to make (and to some, still continue to make) for their children especially when already trapped in each individual’s daily concerns. But when we come to think of it, there is really so much we all ought to be thankful to our parents for. I am sometimes guilty that it takes an occasion like Mother’s Day before I seriously make some efforts to show my mom how much I appreciate her.

2 E.D. May 12, 2014 at 8:17 am

My mother gave up college and a potentially fulfilling career because she was pregnant with me. Also, it’s possible that she gave up having a happy marriage, because I’m not sure how happy my parents are to be married to each other.

My father gave up his woodworking business because it wasn’t producing enough income. And again, the happy marriage.

They both also gave up most of their hobbies and almost all of their friends. There were five of us kids and between their jobs, church, and our school activities, there wasn’t any time left.

3 Kathy May 12, 2014 at 8:26 am

I don’t know if they would feel they gave up anything because they probably didn’t feel there were options other than what they were doing. We were quite poor in the sense there was never anything extra. We had a home and food on the table but never anything extra like a lot of clothes, vacations, good furniture etc. I remember my mom telling the story about how one time she had to borrow panty hose from someone to attend a funeral because she didn’t have money for that.

4 NZ Muse May 12, 2014 at 5:29 pm

I was pretty cheap, actually. Just braces and a few inexpensive tennis lessons and music lessons (which were like $100 for the year at school). No nice clothes, gadgets, holidays. My epiphany came when we talked about going to gifted school: http://nzmuse.com/2014/04/day-first-realised-expensive/

5 Brock @cleverdude May 13, 2014 at 6:44 am

When I was 12, we moved across the state. When I was 17, my Father moved back to where we were originally from, but my mom and I stayed for one more year so I could finish my Senor year of high school without switching schools. I didn’t ask for it, they just did it because they didn’t want to make me switch schools for my last year. Whenever I think of parents sacrificing for their kids, I think of how my parents lived apart for almost a whole year just so I could finish high school with my friends.

6 Kristina May 18, 2014 at 7:29 pm

I think parents take on the task of putting their kids first when they make the decision to have kids. Sometimes this means sacrificing their dreams, but honestly no one says they can’t do both…have kids and pursue their dreams.

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