It's pretty common to hear talk of the "sacrifices" parents make for their kids—but that's a word Stacia L. Brown never uses. "Sacrifice has always connoted regret, solemnity, and even martyrdom," she writes in the New Republic. Of course parents often make choices that put their kids first, but calling those choices "sacrifices" can cause a child to take the often difficult decisions their parents make personally, internalizing the idea "that if it weren’t for them, their mothers and fathers would be able to rest regularly or work less hard or pursue their pre-parenting dreams."
Often, when people talk about the "sacrifices" of parenting, they do so reverently. But the truth is, these choices and compromises are made consciously and pragmatically. "We decide to have children, whether or not we’re aware of the financial, emotional, and physical tolls it will take on our personal enrichment—and we decide how much to let parenting reroute, derail, or otherwise impact our pursuits," Brown writes. "Life is different for me now that I’m a parent; sometimes it feels more limited. But that feels like an extension of my decision to raise a child, not a sacrifice." Click for her full column.