I buried the Snickers on a mountain overlooking a pristine lake. The other hikers in my group ate theirs days prior…like animals, but not me. A candy bar was given to us halfway through our 150 mile hike in the Cascade Mountains back in 2003. Food being scarce, a saved treat such as a Snickers had more worth on a mountain than Lindsay Lohan driving a Marlboro truck into cell block eight. And I buried it.
Why? Sacrifice. Now I’m not so pious that I came out of those mountains with tablets, but I did feel a sacrifice of that magnitude would help scrub my soul (if it got muddy during my early 20s). History is now repeating itself.
Fast forward to present day. I’m poor. Poor is a bad descriptive word because in the grand scheme I’m a zillion times more fortunate than most of the world’s population. Let’s just say I’m justifiably frugal. I’m also socially extinct. Few visitors to the house, no outside associates, and maybe one RedBox rental a month keep me pretty contained. What’s the reason? *Snickers* Not the candy bar, I mean that I just snickered as I was getting ready to write this: Because I’m a stay-at-home parent. Yet again, I’m sacrificing.
My wife and I have chosen to sacrifice a ton to make this happen. It’s not very apparent just how much we’ve given up until we talk to other people. As I listen to them speak I hear my thoughts saying, “What do you mean you went out twice this week…I get to eat out once every 60 days!” But it’s worth it. We believe in what we’re doing so strongly that we’re willing to sacrifice a lot to do it.
Antenna television – yes. Willing to be the crazy coupon person in the check-out line- yes. Toilet paper square limit three – yes (modifications to this rule arise from time to time).
Again, it’s worth it. I truly believe my kids and family benefit as a whole immensely from having an at-home parent. I also feel the sacrifices in my life, such as the Snickers and self-imposed fiscal-chop, have made me stronger. When viewed in a certain light those things we give up don’t really seem to big. In fact, the intrinsic gain is so great it’s as if nothing has been given up at all.
Now if only I could find that Snickers coupon.
Nathan Bright is a 30-something stay-at-home dad who resides near St. Louis, MO. He is a husband to an amazing woman and father to a doubly amazing 2 year old little girl. His blessed home is scheduled to be even more blessed in March, as Nathan and his wife will welcome a second daughter to their family. When Nathan is not blogging for OurMilkMoney.com’s The Daddy’s Den, he writes and illustrates his own children’s books. Available for purchase immediately is Maddi Patti and her Stay-at-Home-Daddy.