Motherhood comes with a lot of sacrifices. From the day we conceive we experience nine months of it physically, mentally and emotionally. Then there’s the whole laboring thing. And finally, we have our sweet little baby in our arms and realize it was all worth it.
But the sacrifices don’t end there (I’m convinced the lack of sleep in pregnancy is just a way to prepare us to give up on sleep altogether). Now, don’t get me wrong. When I say “sacrifice” I do not mean burden. A burden is a chore or a debt that must be repaid. A sacrifice is something we do willingly because we love the person on the receiving end. It is considered a sacrifice because we don’t expect anything in return.
While I have made many of the common sacrifices that comes with childbearing (the nine months of sharing my body, the labor, the sleepless nights), I had yet to really feel the weight of what it means to have to put my son before myself in a big, life-changing way.
The past six months since my return to work had been a whirlwind of juggling babysitters and childcare, fighting exhaustion every morning and evening, cleaning nonstop, trying to maintain status quo in my professional and personal life, and all the other normal tasks that come along with just sheer existence on earth. I did my best to take it in stride but ultimately our family was suffering. So, after a lot of thinking and praying and serious internal conflict, I decided to leave my job at The Dodo and stay at home with Miles.
It feels strange saying goodbye to something that I had just started. This wasn’t just any job. This was an opportunity to work for a company doing something I truly believed in: I got to go into work every day knowing I was making a difference in the lives of animals and helping to change the history of the way we as a society treats them. So the decision to say goodbye to that was not one I took lightly.
The hardest part was accepting that I am exchanging a job I love and enjoy for one that is more challenging, with very little reward and no breaks. Yes, of course raising a child is rewarding but if I’m honest with myself, I much prefer our comfortable lifestyle of two incomes rather than planning my days around nap times and playground visits and cleaning. But I brought that little man into the world and now life isn’t about me anymore. And, as a Christian, life really shouldn’t be about me anyway, should it? But how often do we actually get the opportunity to close the door on something we really want for the sake of doing what’s best for someone else? So if nothing else, I am grateful for the opportunity to practice living sacrificially.
“Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” Luke 17:33