Motherhood is many things.
It is snuggles in the morning, hand-holding in parking lots, hip-carrying heavy bodies.
It is also repeating yourself a thousand times, picking up an endless flow of toys and books, holding firm a midst cries and shouts of frustration.
I never realizing how utterly hard it was. As a child and young adult I romanticized my days as a mother filling it only with fun, spontaneous joy.
The fun, spontaneous joy is absolutely there but it does not come without a price.
Motherhood is sacrifice.
It is giving up your mind, body, time, desires, and energy to provide safety, nourishment, and love to new life navigating this existence.
Your children invade your space and time and it can be incredibly frustrating. I have spent a great deal of my time feeling lost and pushing back against so much self-sacrifice. But the more I resisted, the more unfair it felt. Anger and frustrated increased ten-fold and there was a whole lot less spontaneous bursts of joy with all of that brooding going on.
I started praying often, that I would be more willing to accept the sacrifice of being a mother. Instead of muttering and murmuring, I would seek the light and search for how it is transforming me as a person (which includes transforming me as a mother).
The sacrifice of mothers is hard and often totally unfair. But it is sanctifying and by His grace we are qualified for the task.
What I never understood until becoming a mother, is the spontaneous joy I had always imagined often occurs because it is hard, because of the sacrifice. It is a glimpse of why it is worth it.