[ Titled “Finding Value and Read in Sacrifice” and written by me, this article was first published on https://writermomlife.com/finding-value-and-reward-in-sacrifice/ ]
I don’t drink alcohol anymore.
I’m breastfeeding my little one.
I don’t go out dancing at night anymore.
My family needs me as a wife and mom.
– A new mom that’s adjusting and trying her best
… not grabbing a drink with you at the bar.
Let’s catch up by email instead.
… not hanging out at your place for hours playing games.
I was tempted but my time is so limited.
… saying “No” to road trips to Atlantic City and Foxwoods.
My days of gambling are over.
… missing your phone call.
It’s my writing night and I don’t want to spend it on the phone.
… only responding via text message.
My baby was asleep in my arms and she needs her rest.
– A new mom that’s making every effort to write a novel in her spare time
I’m sorry and … Some of my sacrifices are temporary. My time will open up one day as my child gains independence and my novel writing becomes more streamline. On that day, I hope we’re still friends.
I quit my full-time job!
Now that took many conversations with my husband, months of planning, and a few experiments with our budget. Giving up the ease and comfort that two incomes can provide, evening willingly, is tough and requires discipline.
I gave up my leased car!
I decided not to conveniently roll into another lease, because I wasn’t using my car often enough to justify the expense. Instead, I am saving up to buy my next car (preferably a certified used vehicle).
I stopped eating at restaurants regularly, going on impulsive shopping sprees, and spending all weekend hanging out with friends.
My time management skills have grown exponentially!
Now, I plan ahead and make better use of the small gaps in between daily activities. Instead of getting on social media or checking my email, I use the time that my daughter sleeps or the commute time when my husband drives to write. I write on my phone, my laptop or pen and paper—whatever is handy at the time!
My cooking skills have improved greatly!
I have perfected several 30-minute meals, meaning I spend much less time in the kitchen. Our dinners are healthy enough to feed our daughter (once pureed, mashed or cut into tiny pieces). Eating at home, and healthier, helps us avoid buying jarred baby food as well.
I like cooking but never really got the hang of baking. Due to living on budget, I’ve started baking cookies and cakes instead of buying them. Our snacks and treats are now a little healthier and last a little longer.
I now have a deeper appreciation for the simple pleasures in life!
With a baby at home, restaurants and movies are a rare treat for my husband and me. Now, we spend more time talking. We talk about philosophy, culture and spiritually.
We make the effort to visit family more, play our strategy board games and host potlucks.
On the weekends, we take advantage of daytime, family-friendly activities like nature walks in local parks and day trips to explore new towns. I‘ve come to realize that fun doesn’t need to cost our entire paycheck and it doesn’t only happen at night.
I hope sharing my experience helps you come to peace with some of the sacrifices you’re making or will make in pursuit of your goals.