The Sacrifices You Make When You Have Children

Parents Sitting With Children Reading Story Indoors

When you’re preparing to become a parent, or you’re already one, there are a lot of sacrifices you make. There are the more obvious ones. For example, if you have a motorcycle, you might stop riding it because they’re so dangerous and you want to make sure you’re there for your child.

If you were a partier, you probably gave up those habits to spend time with your family.

Then, there are those sacrifices parents make that might be less apparent but no less critical.

If you’re preparing for parenthood or already in the thick of it, the following are things to know about what it truly means to make sacrifices for your children.

Is It Truly Sacrifice or Just Change?

While above, we use the term sacrifice, and it’s one that we do commonly see connected to parenthood, it’s worth asking if it’s genuinely a sacrifice or maybe just changes that occur naturally and that you make once you have kids.

There are negative changes sometimes, which are usually short-term. For example, your sleeping patterns certainly change when you bring a new baby home, as does your overall schedule.

Those negative changes are feeling, however, and the longer-term changes are typically the best parts of parenthood.

Putting Yourself Second

Again, we can see this as a sacrifice or perhaps just a change, but once you have kids, you put yourself second. If you’re debating whether or not it’s a good time for you to have kids, you do have to remember this. You can’t be number one anymore, and for some people, that’s a good thing.

You worry about someone else more than yourself, perhaps for the first time in your life. That can be a bit stressful at times, but it can also give your purpose.

You’re responsible for another person, which adds a whole other dimension to your life

This can go back to the idea of the motorcycle. Maybe at one point, you loved to live dangerously. Now that you’re preparing to have another life to care about aside from your own, you may be less inclined to engage in some of the riskier behaviors.

Money-Related Responsibilities

Financially, it can be costly to have a child. If you’re just in the planning stages currently, you will have to think about it. You may have to start being better about budgeting and setting money aside in case of an emergency. You might want to create a college fund, and you’re going to have to put more of the money you make toward the needs of your child.

That might mean fewer nights out to dinner or impulse purchases.

You’ll Sleep Less

You often hear references to how little sleep the parents of newborns get. That’s true, and you’ll be up and down all night in those early days. That doesn’t last forever, but it might be a long time until you can go back to your sleeping patterns from college or your early 20s.

Even older kids tend to wake up pretty early, which means you’ll have to as well. That also means you might find yourself going to bed earlier than you once did.


This isn’t so much as a sacrifice, but something you may give yourself as part of parenthood, which is the gift of wanting to improve yourself. When you’re a parent, you want to be the best version of yourself. You want to feel your best physically and emotionally, so you can dedicate yourself to your family and having a fulfilling life.

This is a good thing. You might get more dedicated to making healthy choices, and you may be more mindful about your health in general.

Relationships When you have kids, it can be much more challenging to maintain those meaningful relationships in your life. Your marriage or relationship with your partner may be stronger, but the occurring changes can also test it. You have to commit to finding time to be together, even after kids come.

You might find that once you have kids, you spend less time with some friends and more with others.

You just might find that some people have priorities more in line with your own, and that’s okay.

As you can see, the term sacrifices isn’t always accurate because there are many positives on the above list, but you do have to be mindful that changes will happen when you have a child. Preparing yourself mentally and changing your mindset can help you navigate an otherwise uncertain time.

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