Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:
Personally, I realized what my parents did for me when I was about 24. Additionally, I discover the little things they did for my benefit all the time now as I talk with my family about my growing up experiences.
As for my kids, when I sacrifice for them, it's for me and them. The reward is the satisfaction that I'll be raising good kids and giving them better opportunities than what I had when I was growing up.