Skip to main content

Sacrifices of Motherhood

Motherhood requires sacrifice. 
As I play the very unhealthy, yet seemingly inevitable, game of mom-comparison I find that different moms sacrifice different parts of themselves and their lives pre-kids. 
Here’s my list.
I will sacrifice reading.  I love to read.  I have a degree in English—that required LOTS of reading.  My roommate used to say if she read as much as I do, then her eyeballs would fall out and roll down the hallway.  That never happened, but for a few years of my life, I dedicated a significant percentage of my time to reading.  I will read again when my kids are older.
I will sacrifice a neat home.  If I hear you complain about how someone’s home is dirty or untidy, then you will never be invited to my home.  I have two kids age 3 and under.  I know a mom of four who keeps a spotless home.  I envy her, but I will not strive to be her.  I will live in clutter, knowing the day will come when I miss seeing Thomas trains and Eric Carle books scattered around my home.
I will sacrifice peer friendships.  I have an amazing support system within my family—a husband, a twin sister, a plethora of helpful parents.  I interact with co-workers, paid and unpaid, who care about me and whom I care about.  I relate to teenagers—yes, teenagers—who sometimes grow to know and accept me, with my strengths and weaknesses, in deep and authentic ways.  I know there are people I would love being friends with.  I know I could learn from them and grow with them.  Maybe there will be time later.  For now, my time goes to my family, my job, and a bit to my home…and that feels like too much.
I will not sacrifice food.  I love to cook.  I will cook when I can.  I love to sit down and eat with my family.  I will not be like the mom in the film, A Christmas Story, who didn’t eat warm meals so that she could literally wait on her husband and kids.  I will demonstrate that Mom is a part of the family, not the servant of the family.
I will not sacrifice sleep.  Much of this I cannot help.  When I can, I will sleep instead of read or clean house (see above).  I can function without reading the latest Picoult novel or washing those 5 dishes in the sink.  I cannot function and be a decent person, mom, wife, employee, or pastor on no sleep.
I will not sacrifice my self-worth.  For me, this means I will not end up on a Mommy Makeover show with flat, stringy hair, no make-up, and mom jeans.  I will not.  Now, this is a slippery slope, and I don’t wait to slide into sinful vanity.  But, I will remember that while I may have baby excrement under my fingernails at times, I am not excrement.  I will shower every day.  Most days, I will present myself in a way that makes me feel good about me.  Some days, I will present myself in a way that makes me feel great and knocks my husband dead again.
Sometimes I feel guilty about my list of things I will not sacrifice.  I watch moms devote every ounce of their energy to their kids while their wet hair is in a ponytail, and they’re wearing an oversized tee over mom jeans.  I feel guilty for being so vain.  But, my suspicion is that they also have their lists of what they will not sacrifice.


Popular posts from this blog

A Response to Charlottesville

Visiting our nation’s capital is an easy day trip for us, and how I chose to spend a precious vacation day this week.  I took pride in explaining the buildings and icons of my country to my children.  I am proud to be an American.  

But today, I am not proud.  
Today, I weep.

Four days ago, I saw the beautiful, infamous words “We the People” with my own eyes for the first time.  
Four days later, I am reminded of how far we still have to go to fully live into those words:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

What has happened 63 miles from my home, in Jefferson’s beautifully-domed, colonnaded city, is far from perfect, just, or tranquil.
This is not what our founding fathers wanted for our country, nor is …

A Message to Graduates

I have been a Pastor to Students (The title has changed numerous times; the role remains.) in Powhatan, Virginia for roughly 12 years.  I daresay I've been ministering to teenagers in this community longer than many.

Over the last dozen years, I've gotten lots of cool opportunities to minister to teenagers in this area.   But one had always eluded me--speaking at a baccalaureate service.  My husband had done the honors.  Other great pastors in the area had as well.  Once, I'd offered the closing prayer.  

This week, that changed.  I had the distinct honor to share with the PHS Class of 2016 at their baccalaureate service.  It was a wonderful experience working with great students, parents, and school leaders.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity!!!

A few people missed it and have asked to see what I said, so here it is, ALL of it:

June 1999 I sat in this space for my Baccalaureate service.  Before I was a pastor at PCC, before I moved back to Powhatan to raise my family, …

Disillusionment of Adulthood

Now that I’m in my 30’s, I must confess to disillusionment.  Growing up, I had ideas of what adulthood would be like.  I’m here, and it’s not entirely what I’d imagined.
For starters, I remember growing up amidst all the drama that comes with, well, growing up.  The gossip.  The hurt feelings.  The misunderstandings.  The fights between friends.  The back-stabbing.  And I remember being told that it would get better.  I’m not sure who told me that, but they were clearly wrong.
The drama may look a little different.  The words may sound a little different.  But the anguish of relationships remains.
Adults hurt each other’s feelings—intentionally and unintentionally. Adults nitpick and cause fights over inconsequential issues. Adults gossip. Adults cry, scream, and pitch fits. Adults build relational alliances, competing in “us vs. them” relational war. Adults let issues build and exponentially swell until they explode. Adults rarely identify the actual issue instead of the presenting issue. Adul…