I was told from birth about the sacrifices a mother makes to be a mom blah blah blah back to me me me me me.
Then I remember when I became a young woman I was told that I wouldn't really understand this concept of motherly sacrifice until I became a mom myself blah blah blah back to me me me me me.
Then I became a mom.
I was sure I finally understood what all the sacrifice talk was about. With a little less blah and a little less me, I began late night feedings, diaper changing, sleep deprivation and buying baby food instead of cute shoes. Not to mention the sacrifice of that fabulous waist line that would never ever return.
My appreciation for other moms, for my mom, for my mother-in-law grew. Yes, motherhood was going to be a lifetime of sacrifice at the very least but I could swing it. I'd been prepared since birth!
As my children grew into walking, talking, opinionated and thankfully sleeping individuals, I reclaimed a little sleep but now found myself giving up not only physical time but mental time. The hours I spent checking off lists in my head of things they needed, or worrying about what more I could do to help them have optimal life experiences, were and still are incalculable. Time must be really what that sacrifice fuss was all about.
When the teenage years hit, the sacrifice factor quadrupled instead of easing as I once thought. The physical demands turned from late night feedings to late night waiting. From wiping bums to wiping tears. From building blocks to tearing down walls. My mental output of worry and checklists went into hyperdrive. And I still don't know what a closet of cute shoes looks like, nor do I have that fabulous waist line back. Compound all of this with the fact that my reputation went out the door as well. Any theory that our home contained all loveliness and normalcy was shot to you know where every time my teens opened their mouths. Yes I now sacrificed my pride.
And at this point I'm thinking,
"Seriously I've got nothing left to sacrifice!
"I've given it all for the kids.
"Why didn't anyone warn me about this?"
Then came a startling realization.
One day I was talking to a friend about how our children adored their dads. We were so proud. We loved that they loved their dads. I started noting though how in many many instances moms don't generally get labeled the 'favorite' parent. Why is that? Have I not just listed the sacrifices made by them? And then it hit me.
This is a sacrifice moms make too. Perhaps one of the biggest ones. They make the sacrifice of not getting the glory, not being the favorite all the time, not being the fun parent. As the more-hands-on parent, their faults are scrutinized, and falling short is more pronounced. They often have to carry out punishments and be the heavy in discipline (generally speaking), so of course they take a little more of a hit.
With so many balls in the air, it's easy to see which ones they drop. So there it is, there it was, echoing in my ears. I realized that this sacrifice might be the most painful one for me to swallow the glory. After giving all I have, they might still feel like I fell short. They probably will.
But to this I say:
Take my body. Take my heart. Take my time. Take my money. Take my shoes. Take my mind. Take my reputation. Take my pride. Yes, and even take away the praise. That's OK.
I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything in the whole world. The love God grants a mother for her babies cannot be balanced on a scale against anything this world has to offer. No judgment is too harsh, no sacrifice too heavy. That love will always outweigh everything else. If I sacrificed all that I had for the precious children the Lord has blessed me with, I would still owe a debt. It can never be balanced because the sacrifice is what cultivates the love.