Life Lesson #2 – Don’t over-sacrifice

Being a mother comes with a lot of sacrifices. Not only on a daily basis, but sometimes we even put our careers, our hobbies, or even our hopes and dreams on hold for our children. For years, I didn’t see the night sky as I stopped going out with the hubs or with friends for dinner because you could either call that prime time with the kids or ‘the witching hour’, whereby I had to see to dinner, baths and bed. And of course, after all that was done, I would be so exhausted that some days I would fall asleep while putting them to bed even before they fell asleep!

And because we have done so much for them, we get upset when we feel unappreciated or taken for granted. Worse, when they were around the ages of 8 or 9, sometimes they would say things like they liked daddy better because daddy plays Play Station with them and lets them watch movies and play the iPad. Here we are, doing all the hard work and sacrificing almost everything for them, yet daddy just waltzes in and is the favourite parent. Thankfully, I had a very good bunch of SAHM friends and we managed to laugh at the irony of it all as we were in the same boat.

Jokes aside, the greater issue here is that I have seen women in my mum’s generation who have spent most of their lives sacrificing for their families, and now that they are reaching the end of their lives, they could be silently regretful or even resentful. They may have given up their careers, their passions, or even hung on to an unhappy marriage just for the sake of the children. 

And if somehow their children end up being unfilial, or perhaps even filial children who might be faced with the constrains of taking care of their own families and have not enough time, money or energy left for them, they may feel very sad or bitter. But can they blame their children? After all, the children did not even know what had transpired and definitely did not ask their mums to give up everything for them. But as mums, that’s just what we tend to do. To put everyone else’s needs before our own.


I have a whole long list of ‘Things I want to do when the kids are older’. But I’ve come to the realisation that I should stop putting my life on hold for the children (after all, I’ve already devoted 15 years to them), and think out of the box to see if there are things I have always wanted to do that can be worked around the family, and start from there. Because I sure don’t want to reach a point when I am old and be full of resentment at my kids or angry at myself. And even if my kids end up being filial and try their best to make me happy, I might still be discontented as I was not able to fulfil all the things I wanted to do in life. Perhaps I’ll share my bucket list in another post.

So I’m going to seriously look at my list, and even though my hands are already full taking care of the 6 of them, I will spare a thought for myself. Because if I don’t I may end up being unhappy which will make my family unhappy, and even if they wanted to, they can’t turn the clock back for me. I don’t want to be on my deathbed with a heart full of regrets at a life half lived.

Other life lessons (which I’ve learnt the hard way):

Life Lesson #2: Don’t over-sacrifice
Life Lesson #4: My bucket list
Life Lesson #6: Passion vs Family

Linking up with:


~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore  ~

4 Replies to “Life Lesson #2 – Don’t over-sacrifice”

  1. Very true. I think the older generation especially expected a lot of gratitude from their kids. Our generation not so much overtly, but perhaps still silently.

    So best to sacrifice because we want to, not with expectations. And by keeping ourselves sane, our families stand to benefit the most!

  2. Yes, definitely without any expectations in return. But you know how it is as a mum, we tend to neglect ourselves without realising it. You won't believe it but i've just realised it, so I'm going to start to find a better balance 🙂

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