Wednesday, December 7, 2011


This morning I read a passage from my journal.  It is from September 28, 2011 the day before Jonah died.  First I wrote about all the amazing things Jonah did that day.  He climbed the highest stairs to the highest slide at the playground, learned to suck through a straw, and signed "dog" when he spotted a puppy.  Incredible right? As soon as Jonah was born my journal became about him, with only moments of me in between.  That day I happened to write these words about myself:

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


  1. So well said. As my kids are getting older, I see that some bits of freedom come back, and the worry and stress change to different versions.

  2. Read this while ignoring my kids. Hoping for just a little more me time. I always seem to be wanting more me time. Thank you for the reminder. I love reading your words, but hate that your sorrow and pain are what provide such important insight and perspective for me,

  3. This was so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm a new follower.

    I've been thinking about Motherhood a lot lately. I wrote my thoughts down on Sunday.

    Just if you are interested.

    So glad to have found your blog. Jonah was beautiful.

  4. Julie, you pen your thoughts so beautifully. I appreciate your perspective. Your entries always bring tears to my eyes, but I laughed out loud at this part: "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." :)