thought to self

Something keeps running through my head. It just up and popped in there one day and now I'm trying to cling to it.

Because it's not the big stuff that I have a tendency to sweat. I'm a survivor of many big things, just like most humans...so I have practice at persevering through pain and carrying on.

But I've also had a lot of practice with the daily grind
and yet it still really gets to me so much of the time.
I mean, the thing about the daily grind is that it really won't ever end.
I'm selfish enough to dislike that.

stupid kitchen floor always dirty stupid where's the broom ugh
worry worry worry (
enter big thoughts)
why why why are the
Legos all over the floor again seriously?
It's 5 freaking 45 what in the world is this child doing UP
worry worry worry (
enter more big thoughts)
oh I get so sick of meals. Three a day? That's too many.
It's 3pm? Really? HOW is it NOT 9pm? HOW?
stop whining! stop fighting! stop whining!
worry worry worry (
even more big thoughts)

You know, stuff like that.

This is when I start to trudge and martyr and pout.
It's hard not to do that because motherhood and life, well, they're

Motherhood, if all of its parts could be summed up in one tiny definition,
a million little sacrifices all piled up to make one big one.
And as much as it hurts and exhausts so much of the time,
it's also beautiful because it's the very thing I needed most,
to work away at my protective shell, my internal focus and my
tendency to dislike
anything that messes with what I want when I want it.
It teaches me what we all need to know. The simple truth,
it's not all about me.

And so I say, as of late, when I start to stomp and sigh,
Heather, don't resent the sacrifice.
And then something softens in me somewhere under all that exhaustion
and frustration
because first of all, the details and repetitive sameness,
they aren't going anywhere, so I'm wasting my time to wish them away.

And as it turns out, for me anyway, sacrifice is a comforting word...
when I stop to see that it's making me more of who I want to be.

37 clicked right here to comment:

SarahinSC said...

Very well said! Parenting IS sacrificing to the millionth degree.

From Tracie said...

Don't resist the sacrifice. I love that. I need to remind myself of that today....probably around four o'clock.

Lindsey said...

Making me more of who I want to be.
Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Thank you for this. I'll remember it. xoxox

LisAway said...

What a perfect definition of motherhood. And one definition of sacrifice is giving up something good for something better. I love that. Thank you for helping me not feel so alone in my forgetting not to grump over the things that I can't change permanently and need to get used to doing with a smile.

Robin said...

I also love the word "surrender."

Ashleigh Baker (Heart and Home) said...

I think, essentially, I just always want to say, "Yes. That." when I read the thoughts you commit to this space. Because, really, you've said it all. And the only thing left is... Yes. That.

Tessa said...

I feel the same way. The little things are what overwhelm me, where as the big things make me slow down, reflect, and see where I am truly grateful. I need to work on letting the little things work on me in the same way.

MommyJ said...

My mother has a quote that I wish I could say exactly, but I don't remember it all. The general gist is that a woman's kitchen, her home, is one of the most sacred alters of all, where she daily lays her sacrifice at the feet of the Lord. It's hard to remember that, in the middle of the daily grind. But it's true. Lovely post, Heather.

Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities said...

The small stuff is never small, is it? Wonderful post on the ceaseless cycle that is life with kids, and life with self.

kate hopper said...

Yes, this is exactly how I feel some days. Thank you for the reminder to surrender to it. And Happy New Year to you and your lovely family.

Denise said...

Mav, a big resounding YES from your pal Goose. So so lovely. The softening...yes, I feel it, too, when I stop, remember, breathe...and yes, realize that it's an ever-evolving pile-up of sacrifice. thank you, friend.

Kimberly said...

I get so resentful of that daily grind, and as an act of rebellion, I haven't properly mopped my floors in...oh...three months or so. It's getting pretty...sticky.

Thank you for this glimpse of grace...this sweet reminder.

I'll mop the floors tonight after the kids are in bed. Until them, I'll savour some of the sweet moments.

Mainly a midwife said...

Love your post. It truly is one big sacrifice. My biggest challenge ever is to get up every day and lay that sacrifice down lovingly. It's hard. Somedays it seems impossible. And morbidly, the thing that helps me is to imagine my life without my kids. It horrifies me and it reboots my mind to thankfulness and gratefulness.

Kazzy said...

Just like lots of little moments make a life, lots os little sacrifices make a mother.

Jamie said...

you did it again! amazing! I'll be sharing this on FB! Perfect. Thank you!

Brigid said...

"stupid kitchen floor always dirty stupid where's the broom ugh
worry worry worry (enter big thoughts)
why why why are the Legos all over the floor again seriously?
It's 5 freaking 45 what in the world is this child doing UP?
worry worry worry (enter more big thoughts)
oh I get so sick of meals. Three a day? That's too many.
It's 3pm? Really? HOW is it NOT 9pm? HOW?
stop whining! stop fighting! stop whining!
worry worry worry (even more big thoughts)'


deb said...

I eluded to this ( and some other things) , in my own more slant less yes this way.

Jessica said...

thank you for this, it is perfect for me today. I am copying your words to my journal right now.

KLZ said...

You mean like how I want to throw all our laundry out the window and leave it on the lawn to rot?

That kind of stuff?

I'll try to accept it but I'm not sure I can like it...we'll see

Ann Imig said...

I love your words. I never tire of them not one.

And that says a lot after all this time in blogland.

Rachel Sue said...

"Stop resenting the sacrifice" needs to be framed and hung on my wall where I can see it every waking moment.

trishatfox said...

This is a really good one. I think if I had had words like these to read 16 or 17 years ago I would have been brave enough to chose a different path. I think when it came right down to it, maybe I was afraid I would resent the sacrifice. That makes me sad.

The Three 22nds said...

eloquently stated. I need to keep remembering that too...

Ashley said...

Well said is right! Visting from mormon mommy blogs :)

TKW said...

As you know, I get bitter about the meaningless tasks of motherhood on a regular basis. Your post is a lovely reminder that all of this "daily grind" is for a higher purpose.

My friend Jody described parenthood like this: It's like being pecked to death by adorable ducks.

I think she's onto something.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

So true, and yet so hard to do. And ironic too? Because we rely so much on someone who made the ultimate sacrifice for us. So we keep trying. :) Great thoughts, Heather.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

What a concept - to not only accept but appreciate sacrifice. That's given me a lot to think about... (worry worry worry - enter big thoughts)

Elizabeth @claritychaos said...

This post reminded me of this quote by Muriel Rukeyser that really impacted the way I look at motherhood and all it encompasses - she says it a bit differently than you do here, but I think the sentiment is the same.

"I think there is choice possible to us at any moment, as long as we live. But there is no sacrifice. There is a choice, and the rest falls away."

To look at what we're doing face on, and not in the context of what else we could be doing. Like you say - not resisting it. Letting it make us the people we want to be.

Great post, Heather.

Alita said...

This is tender, powerful, and evocative. These are the very same reasons that I'm battling my demons without batting my eyes. Well, maybe a little doubt here and there. You are right. It doesn't go away. And my mom said the same thing to me when I was small (before kids) to not RESENT the sacrifice. Her mom did but she wasn't willing to do so.

It is the best example to set.

Nice post per usual.


Heidi said...

You nailed it, sister! I actually feel bad for people who don't have kids because there is nothing like kids to make you the best version of yourself. They miss out on all the fun and good things about having kids, but they also miss out on all the refining and it's so darn necessary for each one of us. I remember thinking how much I had to change in order to cope with my oldest's disabilities. Our next didn't come along for five years after him and then I was so shocked to find that there were more sharp edges that needing wearing off in order to be what SHE needed me to be. It was quite the revelation.

JCK said...

I was writing today about the insanity of it all. Gets to me, too.

Thank you for bringing me back to center. It's not all about me. And, that's good to know.

Wishing you a year of good things, Heather! Happy New Year!

Melissa said...

yes exactly! oh thank you - i will definately be saying that to myself, in fact let me take a breath and say it right now... thank you!!!

rebecca @ altared spaces said...

The Chineese Water Torture. Do you know this one? My brother was fabulous at it. One drop of water at a time. That's all. Sounds like no big deal.

One tiny drop.

Again and again.

Until I'd break open, screaming, begging him to let me do ANYTHING to escape.

Breaking OPEN. That's what motherhood has done for me. A new me has stepped out.

There was no way for that doorway to be opened any other way. I couldn't have even found the door. The zillion tiny drops of water (or 5ams, or crumbs on the kitchen floor, or legos...) This is how it happened to me. I am someone new.

Thanks for seeing this doorway with me. It makes me feel like there are others in this new land who lived (living) through it.

Sarah@EmergingMummy said...


tacy said...

just wanted you to know I loved this!

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

This is exactly the thing I needed to hear today. Thank you.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I need to read this every day. I get stuck in there, too.


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