A question for mothers: What was your biggest sacrifice for your children?

A question for mothers: What was your biggest sacrifice for your children?

I was recently asked this question by a newly pregnant mom..and I thought about it for some time. I immediately thought about what my mom sacrificed for me.

One of the reasons that my mother is my rock is because of what her and my dad gave up for me. They don't make me feel guilt about it; they were gracious to be able to do it. But they gave up a lot. When my dad received promotions and raises, they never bought new cars or bought a bigger, better house they could afford. They always showed us their love through time. My brother and I played a lot of sports and at least one of my parents were at every single game. My mom drove us 25 miles to school each day. Some days she was in the car for 2/3 hours driving us. When I asked her what she gave up she said "Paying for private school, and time (in the car)." Of course she would do it again without blinking an eye she says.

If a new mom asks me what to expect about being a new mom; I always say that you give up your world for the child...as if it's a gift that you want to give. The first time you look at your child, you know that you would do anything for them. So you do. I had to put my career on hold to stay at home with my kids when our baby was sick. It was the hardest decision; and the most rewarding years of my life. 

I'm not near as remarkable as some of my friends and mentors...read what these moms say...(I simply asked them "what was your biggest sacrifice for your children?' No other details. I asked over 40 women, some stay-at-home moms, working moms, moms that are retired, moms with teenagers, moms with newborns, moms with 4+ kids, moms with one, moms with pretty significant health issues, moms that adopted, moms of children with multiple challenges-a melting pot of amazing moms).

(Please have grace as you read these as some of them are very personal quotes.)

"I don't feel like I've sacrificed. I mean, we have such a full life that I don't feel like I've had to sacrifice anything for it".

"Oh wow, my time. Choosing to bring children into the world means I don't focus on my strict agenda and needs at the expense of them. It doesn't mean I ignore myself or don't prioritize me (my gifts, needs, responsibilities) it does mean everything has to pass through a filter for whats best for their hearts and my call as a mommy".

"My biggest sacrifice is the time sacrifice I make.  I've worked hard the past five years (during the middle/high school time when they don't need me that much) so that when they go to college they do not accumulate much debt.  They are both very independent, self sufficient, confident young adults."

"Wow!  What a great question!  The first thing that popped into my mind was knowing that while they are our gifts from God, ultimately they are His.  The thought in and of itself keeps me continually loving on them.  Watching parents struggle and grieve the loss of their young mystifies me; how does God make them THAT strong?"

"Probably my career". "My body, it just didn't matter any more."

"As I sit here thinking, that's a great question...I'm not sure if I feel like I actually sacrificed anything. Obviously having kids brings great changes in your life, but nothing I feel I gave up and missed."


"Sacrifice seems like a strong word, but I would say that every life decision was more about the children than me. I lost my "I", but no regrets."

"Myself. Period.....but truthfully it doesn't feel like a sacrifice because she became my word, and I took the backseat happily. I think most would agree with that too!'

"WHEW! I think every mother(married anyway) gives up a part of their relationship with their partner. Something that has to be rekindled and molded again once the kids are grown."

"my breasts...sucked the life out of them, literally!"

"hmmm I wouldn't say that anything was a "sacrifice" because I chose to do it but probably giving up my career to raise them. Thats ben my most challenging part of being a mom".

"If I'm being totally honest I think the majority of the stuff I sacrificed was material things...nice car, the nails every other week, buying nice clothes and north thinking twice about it. And of course my job.  But those are so insignificant now because I found out who I am being a mom."

"I don't know the biggest..my first thought was career, freedom, financial obligations from having kids, inability to be selfish and the impact on marriage (which requires constant reprioritization." 

"Being a single mom I sacrificed my love life/dating relationships. I would absolutely do it again."

"sacrifice is a harsh word, I just say that I changes my way of life when I had to. Their needs came before mine and that's how I wanted it, I didn't consider it a sacrifice. I considered it motherhood. Does it sound crazy? I loved every minute of it, even if I did complain sometimes. If you want one word I would say freedom to do whatever I wanted- but that's just not motherhood!"

"That's a toughie, simply because I would give up anything at the drop of the hat for them. But, if I had to choose just one I would say time. That covers the bulk of it. My whole world revolves around theirs and even if I plan "time to myself" I'm still thinking about them and that's the first thing out the window if they need me".

" Career. I would do it again in a heartbeat.'

"That's not an easy question/ answer.  Since I got pregnant out of wed lock & in college...the personal sacrifices were many. Today due to my health, I don't have a choice but to be content w/the role of mom & wife. My neurological issue does not discriminate. I have enough energy to be a mom/wife only. Everything else: education (3 classes from Master's degree-honors) marketing career, church volunteer, full-time board member & hobbies are pushed to the back-burner. The fact of the matter is I wouldn't have it any other way. This blink of time with my babies is short lived. I hate to admit it but if I weren't physically limited I would be less present with them even when I'm physically there. So I choose to trust that the Lord has me right where I need to be for this season. In the mean time we continue to seek for treatment & answers."

"my life but that was also my biggest blessing.  I died shortly after having my first and they told me that would happen because my body just couldn't handle a pregnancy at that time.  Second was - I thought ever getting married, a lie satan tries to tell single abused pregnant young women.  Someone tried to talk me into having an abortion (well several people including my parents) and one of the things they said to try to make me decide to have an abortion was that having this baby would mean that I was giving up on the man God had for me for this baby that was going to be too hard to raise on my own.  The last large thing was college...I had signed up to take college classes but felt like I needed to work and pay the mortgage so we have a place to live...then when my first was younger the only way I could afford care, and housing was to work 2 or 3 jobs...no room for college classes...but honestly I won't change any of it.  God used every bit of it to be a blessing...even the super hard stuff."
"Food choices and my sanity .....I have had to 100% change my way of life due to my food allergy kids. Each day I live my life around food prep and fear. I can't mess up, not even once or it could be fatal. Certain restaurants we aren't allowed to even walk in...(five guys) . His sports....I'm constantly looking over his shoulder for the snack they bring. 
I can't attend certain cook outs that I used to love. Friends birthdays because all cake is unsafe.. I can't even attend "spirit night"  at chick fil a with my kids. Every vacation with friends or family I send emails with rules,  so that we can attend. So embarrassing. Neighbors have to wipe down before we show up. It's exhausting . But if that's what I have to do to keep My children's safe, I do it. Not sure if that's a sacrifice ....but it sure feels
Like one being the mother of a food allergy kid. Haha Of course there are others.
My body, My sleep, My profanity. "

"My biggest sacrifice was time. I missed out on a lot when they were little. First steps, first words. I was working and putting myself through law school as a single parent. But, I did it. And we are all better for it, and I would do it again."

"My marriage. With four children we try hard to make our marriage a priority, but we are constantly bombarded with schedules, interruptions, homework, arguments between siblings, someone in our bed having bad dreams and tiredness. ...we are always tired."

WHY do I feel like new moms or pregnant moms need to read this???

It HELPS me to know what we are capable of humans. How extraordinary simple people can be. These women are everyday heroes. They are raising our youth; the future of our country. Their job is quite possibly the most critical role (of course dads too) of a human beings life...

When I am having a tough day...I know this....

I know that a single mom of two young girls can put herself through law school while she works full time. I've seen it. 

I know that a young mom can have miscarriage after miscarriage, be torn from being pregnant with second trimester babies and lose them and still happily try again. To truly believe that she was put on this earth as a mom, and dammit, she will be one. Two very healthy vibrant girls later, she is an amazing mom. I've seen it!!

I know that a mom with a child with severe autism, a degenerative brain disease, severe allergies or other health issues can wake up everyday and be a superhero. I've seen it. 

I know that a mom that had her very own mother die at a very early age can be the best mom ever. I've lived it. Love you mom!

Being a mom is a gift. The sacrifice is the gift. We find ourselves through giving to our children.

Extraordinary people don't come about without adversity.

Sometimes there are more bad days than good days for that particular season. Just remember, (if you are still reading-ha!) that we are all together in this chaotic glorious mess of life. 

We are all grateful, we are all trying our very best, and of course, we would ALL do it again.

#lifeisateamsport #encourageamom

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