It feels like whatever I do, I can never repay my parents for everything they have done for me. And since I got married, I feel like whatever my husband and I do, we can never repay our parents for everything they have done for us as individuals and as a couple.
And—not to sound too depressing—I don’t think we ever can repay our parents, to be honest. The only thing we can do is try.
A bunch of my friends and I have been trying for years to repay my parents with both little and big things. Gifts, considerations, exceptions, decisions, all made with our parents in mind, with the hope that the little joys we can offer them can pile up into something worthwhile. The process has brought us all a lot of joy, and we can tell that our parents are appreciative of it as well. A great beginning!
As we started having our own children, things suddenly got a little easier. It came to us through a big ah-ha moment at a coffee shop one weekend: that the best way we can hope to come close to repaying our parents is by honouring them. And the best way we can honour them is by paying it forward—by giving to our own children what our parents gave us.
And funnily enough, it makes even the toughest times with our little ones so much easier.
When we rock our baby to sleep, we remember what our parents did for us; we think of our parents and thank them for giving us the strength to keep rocking our baby to sleep.
When we hold our baby through a crying spell, we remember our parents’ patience and thank them for being an example of patience we can uphold before our baby.
When our plans get thrown out of the window because our baby’s schedule suddenly and unexpectedly changes, we remember our much of our parents’ plans we ourselves ruined, thank them for being so understanding of our developmental needs and remember to be just as understanding with our baby.
When dietary restrictions make our diets ever so bland, we remember how our parents would deny themselves treats so that we wouldn’t be unfairly tempted, and we find sweet taste in our food.
It’s very humbling, guys, how having a baby helps us become a better person as well as helps us honour our parents.
Gosh, do we owe our little ones a lot.