Motherhood isn't a sacrifice

Painting by Firmin Baes
Do women make sacrifices when they become mothers or do women simply switch from one dream to another?

When a woman chooses to become a mother, she is making a big decision—sometimes the biggest decision of her life and the consequences are life changing. And with these changes she must rethink her priorities—what is now her MOST important priority and what is no longer as significant in her life. Things that were once her highest priority have now slipped down the ladder (perhaps a career, independence, freedom, earning lots of money, travel) and have been replaced by a child that requires her utmost attention.  

Deborah at Growing in His Grace writes: "I overhear conversations between women talking about “before I had children” and what was “sacrificed.”I see women who posts pictures of themselves in their homes celebrating a time when they were childless–the fun years."

I believe that the term “sacrifice” makes women feel resentful and discontent because for many modern women (Christian and non-christian) it means that they have had “to surrender something prized (independence and self) for the sake of something considered as having a higher claim (your children)” (Sarah Driscoll). Today, we are encouraged to be independent and to carve out an identity outside of our family relationships: in work, in travel, and in our friendships. These activities are seen as very important and what we all should strive for whereas motherhood is for the dowdy woman at home in her slippers—motherhood is not seen as equal in value or importances to other activities. Therefore switching from an independent woman to a mother is a step down and therefore a sacrifice.

But if we change the focus from the word “sacrifice” to looking at all the things a woman gains from motherhood — just in the same way women get promoted in a career—we can lift the status of a motherhood and make it much more positive.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. (Psalm 127:3)

Whilst things change for a new mother, she hasn’t lost anything—a baby can only be seen as a gain, something more precious than anything else she has done. Motherhood is a gift and when you consider it as a gift, how then can you look at motherhood as a sacrifice. 

Motherhood doesn't steal us away from things, it enriches our lives, it makes us stronger, it empowers us, it makes a better people.

When the baby is small it may limit some activities, however, there are still many things women can do — motherhood doesn't steal everything from us, it only changes our priorities and sometimes we do things we hadn't considered before, such as working from home. Motherhood doesn’t exclude you from life, it only change when you do things or how you do them — so as women we need to stop complaining about sacrifices and all the things we are "missing out on" and look at motherhood as a gift and value all things one gains from being a mother. 



Comments

  1. No "lively debate" here!
    I totally agree!!!

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  2. Lovely post. I enjoy visiting. You Bless. Come over sometime and visit me.
    I am at
    http://www.myjourneyback-thejourneyback.blogspot.com. I write about my house and garden and review books. I'd love for you to visit.

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    Replies
    1. I stopped by your website the other day and just popped over today and left a message :)

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  3. Having children and being a mother has been about the biggest blessing of my life. I lost 7 babies, including one who lived for a day, before I had my three, and I'm not sure if I appreciate them more because of that or not, but really, children are miracles and blessings. Hard work, lots of anxiety, loss of so-called "freedom," maybe, but nothing worthwhile is easy. Besides, the blessings more than make up for the sleepless nights. xo Deborah

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    1. Children are such a blessing and joy and many prayers and have been said late at night for both my children - it hasn't been an easy ride but along the way I have gained strength I didn't know I had and learnt and thing or to!!

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  4. Excellent! If you make the choice to have children, then NO ONE should be thinking of you with pity for what you have "given up" - not yourself, or others. If you don't want to "give up" those other dreams - it is easy - don't have children!!!!(Just my 2 cents ;) )

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    1. Those women who have children but keep a demanding career are going to miss out on their children's lives to the point they perhaps should have skipped the children. You can't have both and focus completely on both.

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  5. Just yesterday I read a pertinent quote out of one of my favorite books "Stepping Heavenward" by Elizabeth Prentiss. It's in regard to the author having given birth to her third child. Her sister in law sees this new child as "one more mouth to fill, and two more feet to shoe;more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure for visiting, reading, music and drawing." Here is the author's inward response:"Well!This is one side of the story ,to be sure ,but I look at the other. Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss ; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering in my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of my friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom I minister in Christ's name, I make willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation, my other darlings have left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her life - long prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!!"

    It's funny she used the word sacrifice, but I think it's in reference to her sister in law's perception of the sacrifice the author will (according to the sil) have to make.

    Our culture does seem to look and focus on the negative aspects of the motherhood and we mothers don't always help our cause by only talking about the hard things of motherhood and talking of always having to get away. I hope to exude a positive outlook because I truly love being a mother.

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    1. Thankyou so much for sharing this story - isn't it strange we do focus on the negative when it really isn't that great whilst the good out-ways any bad. This is especially the case when a mother of many children has another one, the comments are often very unpleasant as if the person saying the comment was the one who would have to look after the baby. We live in a strange world sadly :(

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  6. Oh yes! This is a pet peeve of mine - these women who behave like motherhood is some dreaded disease that destroys their lives and their chance at happiness! What a foolish way to view something that is a blessed gift, an enrichment (as you said). Children help shape us even while we attempt to shape them into a vessel fit for the Master's use... in so doing, we become more fit and useful for the Lord's purposes also! How is that a bad thing? Yes, motherhood can be tough and we might miss some things from the past - but the same can be said of any change we make in life... and that side of things is very small compared with the blessings that flow from raising children for God's glory!
    It strikes me that motherhood IS a sacrifice in some respects - but not in a negative way... In order for us to become the children of God, a big sacrifice was made -- and when we have children we do give some things up, too. Nothing as big as the sacrifice Jesus made to enable us to be God's children though -- let's get our perspective straight!!

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    1. Why have a child if you think you are loosing so much? It isn't fair on the child or anyone else who has to put up with all the complain :((

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