It didn’t take me long to realize after our son was born that motherhood is hard. Very hard.
Labor is hard. But then, breastfeeding, trying to return to a somewhat normal schedule, resting, sacrificing your freedom, and letting go of selfish tendencies is hard, too.
It took me a while to truly find joy and fulfillment in caring for this helpless little life. I didn’t understand just how much sacrifice it would take. Questions of doubt and fear and anxiety ran through my mind. Did I really ask God for a baby? This is too much. Can I go hid under the bed and forget about my responsibilities? I can’t do this! Am I ever going to feel like myself again?
When my son was born, I realized this is everything my mom went through for me.
I once heard a popular speaker say that children grow up totally ungrateful toward their parents because of their obliviousness to everything they do for them. They simply can’t understand in their developing brains all of the tears, pain, sacrifice, heartache, and work a parent goes through for their life. Looking back, that was me, and my two sisters. Blissfully unaware and ignorant.
But now I know, with a child of my own, that my mom is a hero. Moms everywhere are heroes. Because motherhood is not a cake walk. It’s not easy to give up your needs and desires to think of somebody else’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But I wouldn’t trade the lessons I’ve learned for anything. I wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything.
It’s a precious gift, being a mom. We are handed the opportunity to overcome the sin of selfishness when so many people never will. They will live their entire lives for pleasing themselves. This road only leads to depression, emptiness, and, not surprisingly, loneliness.
I thank God for giving me a selfless mom. I understand all that she went through now. I see her with a new respect, love, and appreciation. This perspective is one that can only be gained by becoming a parent yourself.
Each day of caring for and raising a baby has its challenges and opportunities to practice selflessness. My son is now almost nine months old. He cries and fusses. He also laughs, smiles, and talks. Playing with anything but his real toys entertains him, and he needs constant entertainment. He can feed himself finger foods and he hates being put on the changing table.
It’s humbling to think about how my own mom watched me through every phase of development as I’ve watched my son through. She dealt with my fussiness, gave up her free time, changed all my diapers, spent hours feeding me, and lost a good month of sleep when I was first born.
But she also watched me laugh, play, crawl, and discover the world around me.
So, is motherhood worth it? Is it worth the blood, sweat, tears, pain, sacrifice, heartache, work, and selflessness that undeniably comes with it?
The answer is, it has to be worth it. It can’t not be worth it. Or else, life would be pointless. In fact, life wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for a mother. And life is the most precious, beautiful, wondrous, miraculous, phenomenal, and perfect thing. How can something like that not be worth it?
I’m thankful for the lessons becoming a mom has taught me, one of which is appreciation for my own life-giving hero.
I can now say with confidence I am not the selfish and oblivious person I once was.
My heart overflows every day with love for this little life that’s been placed in my care.
Motherhood is hard. Very hard. But there is nothing more worth the sacrifice.
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