It’s been a tough couple of weeks as a mother. When one person gets sick then everyone gets sick and when mom is sick it feels like everything gets thrown off. Or maybe I’m just thrown off because I’m sick.
At any rate, it’s one of those times in life (this seems to be a reoccurring theme on the blog) that is ridiculously difficult but creates so many beautiful moments. Listening to my perfect – yes, perfect!! – husband sing to my sick little baby to calm her down while he bathes her is one of the most rewarding moments of my career in motherhood thus far.
That being said, the beautiful moments don’t make anything less hard. I stood there and listened to that song through a cloudy, throbbing head, a sniffly, stuffy nose, and the world’s tiredest, achiest, first-time-mom muscles. I’m not the person that can preach about looking on the bright side, and looking for the rosy, happy moments in life. To be honest, I’m not very good at it. I get mopey a lot, I like to blame other people and outside circumstances for all of my problems instead of taking accountability, and darn it if I don’t like to eat up the attention I get when something bad happens to me.
But even with all of my negative nancy tendencies, somewhere deep in my soul I know that life is really all about the hard stuff. I know that the bathtime song of my husband means twice as much to me when it’s happening at the end of his day off from work that he spent taking care of his sick little family instead of relaxing or doing what he likes to do. It should mean a lot to me even on a good day, and it does! All I’m saying is that the tough stuff has a magical effect that makes the good stuff mean much much more.
And this is true everywhere. The things that I “give up” to be married and to make my marriage work make the things that I “get” out of my marriage worth EXPONENTIALLY more than they would be without my efforts. The sacrifices I make as a mother and the selflessness I have to learn from my children make the rewards so much more rewarding!
What I am trying to say here is that yes, we can choose to live mediocre lives, and shy away from the tough stuff, or we can choose to live vibrant lives. But a vibrant life encompasses all colors – not just the colors we like. A vibrant life is one with ups and downs and in betweens (take note – only ups and downs is no good either).
And yes, families are the epicenter of vibrant living. There are those who will disagree but I am telling you right now that nothing will bring more opportunities for sacrifice and simultaneous pure JOY than marriage and children. No hard thing you experience will ever be as rewarding as the difficulties of family life. Nothing will teach you about beautiful disaster like family can.
And so, from a sick-mom-with-a-very-sick-daughter’s perspective: I get it. I get why people hesitate to start a family, or at least put it off as long as they can. I get why so many moms feel like they just can’t hack it, and why we succumb to complaining to each other about how hard it is instead of celebrating the “little moments.”
I get it. It’s because it’s stinking hard. Life is hard. Getting married, starting a family come with enormous sacrifices. But that’s exactly what makes it so worth it.
So don’t give up, okay?
*This post was originally published at http://subtlesphere.com/everything-worth-your-time-requires-sacrifice/