Thursday, January 29, 2009

Professional Sacrifices

There are many ways in which I would like my children to emulate me or my husband. I would love for them to seek education, feel empathy, strive for success, dance, sing, play an instrument, appreciate humor, etc. However, there are also several ways in which I want my children to ignore the bad habits of their parents and find their own way. For example, I want them to love exercise, eat healthy, organize themselves, have self confidence without arrogance, read intelligent subject matter, etc. I just wonder how I can prevent them from picking up bad habits.

For example, Evie lifted up her shirt the other day, poked at her belly, and said, "Mommy, my belly is fat just like yours." Insult aside, I feel terrible that she is already saying she is fat even if she doesn't know what it means precisely. We have, in the past, asked her when she has eaten a lot if her belly is "full" or "big", but we've never referenced her as "fat" (at least after the age of one - since clearly I've already told you that George is getting fat - but that is baby fat and it is different. I digress). Nor do I refer to myself as fat all the time, as far as I can recall. When I was pregnant, I always said, "Look kids, my belly is getting big." I never said fat, because, well, let's face it, it wasn't fat--it was big.

My point is that I want to instill good habits in my children that I am lacking, but I don't know how. I don't want Evie worrying about her weight or her physique, but it is constantly an issue I face in my life because there is no time and/or I am not motivated to tackle running or anything else. Being healthy does not come naturally to me, nor does athleticism. I love to dance, but there isn't a place or time for it in my life right now. Other than that, I don't know how to access my athletic side, if in fact I have one. Chuck is athletic (playing basketball several days a week), but he does that away from home so the kids can't fully appreciate what is involved. And to top it off, neither of us eats overly healthy. There are other things like music and reading that we want them to embrace, but so much of our time is focused on relaxing at home with the kids when we aren't focused like a freight train on our careers that we can't set the example by embracing those things ourselves.

So, I question whether I want Evie and Luke to focus so heavily on their careers and education. Should they so singularly work to succeed or should I tell them to avoid the sacrifices I make. Will they be happy not making the same sacrifices or not. I wish we could have it all. Maybe they can somehow.

Sorry for the philosophical post this morning, but these are the things I think about when I'm up at 3 am feeding little George.

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