Now where was I?
I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic. But I really did feel that way at times, in those early years of motherhood.
For me, the transition from zero kids to one kid was the most difficult; it felt like the greatest loss. But adding two more children within three years sealed my fate: My life became unrecognizable to myself. I tapped into strengths I didn’t know I possessed. But most of the time being a mom meant working out of my weaknesses.
And so this is my struggle, the question I’ve pondered over these years: What does it mean, exactly, to “die” as a mom?
If it were a matter of how to distribute a limited amount of food or shelter or other basic physical need, the answer is easier: My children get the loaf of bread, I go hungry.
But what about emotional needs? What if I give myself to or for my children so completely that I lose myself—and my sanity—in the process? How do I know how much, or which parts, of myself to sacrifice? How do I know when I’m acting selfishly, versus when I’m acting sensibly?
Does anyone else wrestle with this?