Wednesday, December 7, 2011
As for me, when people ask what I've been up to I can't think of anything. I'm busy all day and do a lot, but not much to talk about. Jonah is my life now. Everything I do is for him, and I don't mind.
When Jonah was born I began losing myself. Each day he lived I learned to give up a little more of what I thought fulfilled me in exchange for what he needed from me. I gave up going to lunch with friends at the drop of a hat. I gave up professional achievement. I gave up sleeping in. I gave up shopping for clothes, and I gave up going on adventures to exotic places. I'm pretty sure I gave up important parts of my brain.
In exchange I got sleepless nights and days, dirty diapers, poop in the bathtub, dinner thrown on the floor, doctors appointments, worry, and the most intense heartache I have ever experienced. I also received dimpled smiles every morning, first words, first steps, beautiful giggles, bright eyes, and an intensity of love and emotion I didn't know was possible.
I do not want to make mothers feel guilty. I have good friends and good mothers tell me they feel guilty for not enjoying every minute of motherhood when they know it is a precious gift. I won't say that I cherished every minute of motherhood. It is hard to wake up every three hours. It is hard to haul a car seat everywhere you go. It is hard to pump breast milk for 8 months. It is hard to make dinner while a toddler demands your attention. There were days when I longed for Jonah to sleep so that I could veg out and watch Survivor. Sometimes when I could hear him waking up from a nap I would freeze like a deer in the headlights hoping he would fall asleep again. Motherhood is hard, often mundane work.
I just want to say that it is sacrifice that creates pure love. I felt more love in the short 14 months Jonah lived than I have felt in my entire life. I believe it is because I gave more of myself and my time to him than I have given to anyone else. Now my time is my own again. I can sleep or travel or work or play. I could pursue a career, or a passion. I am free to find fulfillment in my own endeavors, and yet I long to lose myself in motherhood again.
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 10:39