It's the same thing when people ask what being a mom is like. Honestly, it's everything. It's late-night feedings and it's constantly trying to find a pacifier and it's sweet little coos and laughs. It's feeling so incredibly needed and so incredibly loved. Before I had children, I would see this quote often. I used to think it would be my parenting motto.
"You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice
will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you ever make."
Gordon B. Hinckley
I thought having children would be this great sacrifice that President Hinckley was talking about. I was prepared to give up my body, my life, my sleep, my friends, my quality of marriage for this great little investment. I've even seen this quote on Pinterest among collections of quotes about motherhood (the quote is actually referring to serving an LDS mission). But honestly, it just doesn't apply to motherhood. Because being a mother isn't a sacrifice. It's a privilege. Every smile, every cuddle, every tiny finger and toe, every unglamorous late night and every poopy diaper change- it's a privilege.
Everyone's experience is different, but motherhood is wonderful for me. It's not this terrible, exhausting, difficult journey that I used to believe it would be. I shower! I sleep! I still have friends! I still leave the house every day! Of course some days are harder than others, and for me, breastfeeding really has been as hard as some of the horror stories I heard. But even so, motherhood is not a sacrifice. Of course it's a lot of work. Everything worth doing is a lot of work. But I still don't think of it as a sacrifice, or even as an investment. Even in my craziest worn-thin fussy baby day, it hasn't been a sacrifice. Not even one second of this incredible experience has been a sacrifice. It's a privilege, and I love it.
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