Sleep deprivation. Loosing the "pre-baby" body. Less "me" time. No time alone with hubby. These are all the sacrifices people talk about when you have a baby. These are things you are expecting, anticipating, freedoms you know you are giving up.
The there is the other stuff, the "second string" sacrifices you may have only heard when eves dropping on mommy friends. Things like never getting to pee by yourself or getting puked on or children running off with important things like cell phone or key or wallets.
Then there is the dark side. Things mothers don't often talk about because you just can't bring yourself to discuss it over a cocktail or even at a playgroup. Things you can't say out loud least your children repeat them. Things that sacrifice our very pride.
It goes beyond the humility of our children looking like booger crusted hooligans at church on those mornings you just can't seem to get your shizit together. It goes further than the embarrassment of your adorable new baby farting like a frat boy in the grocery store and leaving a green cloud behind you and everyone assuming it was you. The crimson moment when your toddler hands the nice man who just brought you dinner a soaked nursing pad.
I have fished toddlers out of airplane toilets. I have used my shirt to wipe off snot. I have fed my lunch to hungry kids because theirs just wasn't enough. I have eaten things baked in an easy bake oven by my 7 year old and if you don't think that is a sacrifice I invite you over to try her newest baked good.
As mothers, we sacrifice our clothing to blow-out poopy diapers, our hair to sticky fingers of curious babies. My glasses are always smudged from a toddler who trying them on. Half the time I find my bra and underwear somewhere unusual because someone was wearing them as a hat. Mothers sacrifice the ability to enjoy our coffee while it is hot, our cereal before it is soggy and the ability to change clothing without a running commentary about our naked form.
Tomorrow morning I will meet with a group of moms who I have been hanging out with since Jamison was a tiny babe. I love these girls. I am so excited for them, most who are just venturing out into motherhood for the first time.There is a bonding that happens between moms, a mutual understanding of sleep deprivation to the point of delirium, choosing outfits by what is easiest to nurse in, and having to make hard choices for people who don't yet have voices of their own.
Like so many things in my life, that which cost me most is most precious to me. On crappy days when I want to hand in my resignation I will remember that my children are only little for a while and will dig deep to find that last little bit of patience. I will remind the new mama's how fast the little ones grow, the days are long but the years are short.