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Leslie Backkart

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Having children, do you feel it is a sacrifice or responsibility? DO NOT SAY BOTH!

I really want to see an explanation on your experience in becoming a parent. Looking back, has it affected the outcome of your life? YOU, the parent, in the should have, could have, would have..,did you make a sacrifice or just accept to be a responsible parent. Share your feeling of the grief or joy on being a parent. PLEASE CHOOSE ONLY ONE DESCRIPTIVE IN YOUR REPLY

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    Aug 10 2013: Hi Leslie,
    Sacrifice? "Destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else"; "something given up or lost"? Absolutely not!

    Responsibility? Yes.....a beautiful, joyful responsibility that affected the outcome of my life in a most enjoyable way. Nobody can teach us as much as children teach us in every moment of their precious lives. I am still learning from them, and now I'm learning from their children as well:>)
  • Aug 7 2013: Hi Leslie,
    that becoming a parent has affected the outcome of my life is an understatement! Having children took me on a crossroad I didn't know I was embarking upon, and I can't say I feel it is a responsibility or a sacrifice - I have many other words to describe how it feels to me!
    But, with respect for your question, I would say responsibility.
    Our kids were love babies - completely unplanned and unexpected. Serendipities, I'd call them, definitely not 'accidents'. I feel in many ways honored to be a parent.

    I feel as a parent that I need to act as a guide to help my kids along in the process of them leaving me. The more independent they become, the better I've done my job. To me, being a parent is more than just providing food, clothes and a roof over their heads - it's about creating an environment where they learn the most important traits of all in my opinion, namely, empathy, respect and communication. They need to feel safe, loved unconditionally, and know they have a place in this world, regardless of where or what that is.

    Who's to say where I'd be now if I didn't have children... still gigging till early and sleeping late, probably. I doubt my life would be as fulfilling!
  • Aug 7 2013: Our first was a surprise. Of course for me it was a responsibility. One I very much enjoyed. We did sacrifice some, but mostly it was enriching. It was fun, furustrating, work, and what a joy.
  • Aug 7 2013: Responsibility - making sure they had what they needed (not necessarily what they wanted) up to college. there was a song in Hawaii "Days of my youth" and at the end the singer is looking at their child and ends the song

    Ah, my innocent child,
    I'll spare the untruths
    Of the magical days, the bright shining days,
    The beautiful days of your youth.

    Part of the responsibility.
  • Aug 6 2013: Accepted the responsibility. It was planned and at a time when my income could provide for the family. I continued to work and received as much or more love and enjoyment from the experience as I gave. It was joy, and it allowed me to relive my childhood twice, fixing the things I thought should be different and sharing the things I thought were good experiences. There were good times and bad times, but raising a family added a dimension to my life that I could have not experience any other way. It changed me, as I now think like a parent first when i deal with all young adults of an age similar to my children, and when I deal with younger children. I find myself sympathizing with parents trying to do the right thing, and frustrated by parents that tend to shirk the responsibility of being a parent.
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    Aug 6 2013: My fishing, camping, and hunting time was profoundly reduced when my wife announced our home was about to grow two feet (in blue booties). I knew that was one possible outcome of the my relationship with my bride of 5 years. It was a sacrifice. I had no responsibility to become a Father but I inherited one when the nursery became occupied. Yeah, it's sacrifice, but well worth it.
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    Aug 11 2013: It's hard work because it is both - there's no point choosing one over the other.

    Your life does a 180 degree change - for me, I was immediately on the outside of my social group as I was the first of all my friends to have kids. While I was suddenly awake at all hours and devoting my life to my newest family members, my friends all carried on with their lives and very few bothered to include me as a new parent. In their defence, this was because I suddenly had new priorities. I certainly felt then that having kids was a sacrifice.

    This implies that having kids is a responsibility because why else would they be a sacrifice if you didn't feel responsible for providing for them?

    I have felt grief and joy as a parent. I have felt angry, selfish, full of joy and love, protective, worried, exhausted and proud. It's not easy but nothing worthwhile is easy.

    There's also a lot of inane positivity out there where the truth about what it's like to have kids is glossed over in order to appear the all-loving, perfect parent. It's hard work.

    To try and choose between sacrifice or responsibility is pointless. Having kids is not summed up in a t-shirt sized sentence. It's impossible to explain to childless people what the experience is like.

    I would say it is both and that sacrifice and responsibility lead to the greatest of rewards.
  • Aug 11 2013: Responsibility. It is not some kind of enforcement but a wonderful thing only parents could take.
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    Aug 8 2013: Neither

    Sacrifice what?

    Responsibility is natural.
  • Aug 7 2013: Hi.
    It is booth. There. I didn't say both.
    I had my children doing chores.
    One day when they were a bit tired or it just seemed too easy to not want to do their chores,
    I, apparently as parent, told them they were going to do them and get them done and provided
    them with some words of wizz-dumb to encourage and help them make a better decision.
    Noting their disappointment, I said, "It's hard being a child, isn't it?"
    They both sighed, nodded and said, "yes it is, " glad that someone had recognized their pain,
    dilemma and frustration. I agreed with them.
    Then I said, "It's hard being a parent," and their mouths fell open.
    A responsibility requires something. One of those somethings is sacrifice.
    As I said, "it is booth."
    Hope that's okay with you.
    I guess I'll find out. Or, maybe I won't.
    I think it was the ALL CAPS that did it.
    Someone else here said it was or is a reward. Here's a reward I would like to share.
    One day was worse than most others. I was incredibly depressed, almost suicidal. I couldn't get out of it
    and it was connected it seemed, to deep, drowning loneliness. The kind of deep loneliness and depression that makes one hang their head, then their neck bends and then their upper body. Very heavy.
    I distinctly remember feeling like the only man in the world.
    Not knowing what to do, I went out and just drove. I wound up an hour later pulling up to where my daughter was working. I don't remember how I got there. Her head was sticking out a window and she was pulling it back in when she heard my vehicle. She was able to look up as her head disappeared but in an instant it popped back out again and she gave me a smile and a look that made me feel like the only man in the world.
    That is worth its weight in gold, except the spelling is actually 'wait".
  • Aug 7 2013: Hi Dear Leslie Bachert.I feel neither a sacrifice nor responsibility but a reward.Children's raising and growing help me to understand and experience lots of things in my life.I take it as an opportunity to explore to deepen my life's level.Being paretns,I can feel more close love in this world,I can understand lots of things I didn't when I wasn't a mother yet.

    I think raising kid it is a challenging job in life,and the job is the most siginificant and profound in my life.There is no any job can more than it.It helps me learning a lot,it supports me growing up meanwhile seeing my kid's growing...
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    Aug 7 2013: little Witches! Some days you want to ring their necks! The youngest is the biggest player, the shock of realizing they know you just as well as you know them and what's worse is the reverse playback they pull on you.Makes me proud that they don't look sharp but can't be taken.
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    Aug 7 2013: .

    It is our VALIDLY HAPPY "responsibility"
    because our life goal is to keep our DNA alive.
    Only having children can make it.
  • Aug 7 2013: Becoming a parent is perhaps the most selfish act that a human can perform. Yes, there is a cost, as there is with anything. It is not a sacrifice.
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      Aug 7 2013: I assume you mean what you said, "selfish", and not "selfless"? Will you elaborate on how deciding to bring a child into the world is selfish? I know Ayn Rand considered selfishness a virtue, but, today, I think the word has negative connotations with respect to character and morality. Also, since you clearly do not consider it to be a sacrifice, do you see willful entry into parenthood as a responsibility? Thanks Barry!
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        Aug 7 2013: Such a conundrum is plausible on all accounts.
      • Aug 8 2013: The connotations associated with "selfish" and "selfless" can make this difficult to understand, so, if you can, for the sake of this discussion, discard those negative and positive connotations.

        Today, in the developed world, parenthood is a choice. So why do people decide to become a parent? It is not for the sake of the unborn child, and it is certainly not done for society or any other noble cause. People decide to have a child because they want to have a child. The motive is completely selfish. That decision results in a lifetime of responsibility and actions which are selfless in the sense that they support the life a separate individual. But all of that comes after the decision. The motive for the decision is to satisfy the personal desire of the parent, and that is why the decision is selfish.

        I do not like the wording of the question. Having a child is never a sacrifice. There is no responsibility to have a child, but once you have a child, caring for that child is a life long responsibility.
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          Aug 8 2013: Excellent points Barry. Do you give any credence to the old idiom, "Mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy!"? As a happy, young DINK (dual income no kids) I consented to pursue the role of parenthood in response to the persuasive urgings of my bride. At that point in my life there was an element of personal sacrifice in the mix. I knew our lives would become less simple, less exclusively focused on one another. That is why, strictly in the decision making stage, I see parenthood as a sacrifice. Being a Mom or a Dad is an act of love, sometimes sacrificial love.
      • Aug 8 2013: Thank you, Edward.

        Whenever I help my children, it is always an act of love. The responsibility exists, but I never think of it, and it is certainly never my personal motivation. I have certainly sacrificed for them, but it seems to me that the word is appropriate only in hind sight. For loving parents, I think this whole conversation is more about how we use these words than about the decisions and actions involved in parenting. My love for my family shapes my life the way mass shapes time space, and determines my path the way stars determine the path of light.
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          Aug 8 2013: Thank you Barry for comments and request on your explanation on selfish.
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          Aug 9 2013: We agree there is an element of sacrifice whether in retrospect only, or ongoing. Sacrifice can figure in love, especially in Motherhood! There is nothing unloving about sacrifice.