The divine Stephanie posted the most fantastic video today about invisibility in motherhood. It brought me to tears. And yesterday, the master word-crafter Terresa wrote something that spoke to me. It was a beautiful and honest reflection on motherhood. About the sacrifices we make. They've got me thinkin'.
I am feeling particularly sacrificial today. I've been pregnant for 36 weeks. I am more exhausted than normal. My back hurts oh-so-much. I'm having a Braxton Hicks contraction right now. (Yes, I checked. They're BH, not the real thing. Whew.) I am sacrificing my body, and will soon sacrifice even more to bring this spirit into the world. Then the sacrifices will just continue as I give up sleep and ownership of my body for the little one.
But that's what we do.
We sacrifice sleep. A lot of sleep. Whether we're feeding a baby, or consoling a child with a bad dream, or just teaching a child that they can pull down their own pants, moms sacrifice sleep by bucketful. By the 10 gallon drum-full.
We sacrifice an organized dinner prep for the child who just can't get enough time with mom. We also sacrifice a clean kitchen, because toddlers aren't known for being the most efficient in the kitchen.
We sacrifice the last of the frozen Junior Mints to the kids asking for, "Just one, please!" (It's my own fault for not being sneaky enough.)
We lay these things and countless others upon the altar of motherhood, hoping that not only will they make a difference to our kids, but that they'll make a difference in us. If I'm giving up things that really matter to me, I'm changing what matters to me. And that changes me.
With any luck, I'll get to the point where those things don't feel like a sacrifice. Is it possible that I could see them as golden opportunities? Maybe instead of yelling to my son from my warm bed that he can pull his own pants down, I can get up and congratulate him for being so big. I can memorize his little face, so happy that he's done something so grown-up.
Maybe instead of kicking my kids out of the kitchen, I can teach them how to stir the noodles and roll out the dough. Maybe I can tell them how happy it makes me to have helpers, and how important it is for boys to know how to cook. Maybe they'll actually grow up learning a few things about the kitchen. (Hey, a mom can dream, right?!)
Maybe instead of reluctantly handing over the Junior Mints...........I can be sneakier about sneaking them. Or maybe I can be thankful for the kids who keep me from consuming the extra 50 calories. And I can teach them about sharing even the things we love a lot, because that's what you do in a family.
Maybe instead of looking for ways I can be selfish, this mom thing will teach me to rejoice in selflessness. It's only in losing myself that I'll find myself.
Hopefully I'll find someone worth keeping around.