Motherhood: An Act of Sacrifice or Ultimate Selfishness?

A lot of mom-related feelings this week. Eggroll is eight months old. She’s going to start daily daycare here soon. It’s been two years since my mom died. I hit my pre-pregnancy weight yesterday. This article was posted on Scary Mommy.

I’m not sure where this post is going to go, so let’s enjoy a stream of consciousness from my head.

(Editor’s Note 1. Golly, my stream is running a little grouchy. I blame the cold weather and the recent cold that Eggroll and I have been passing back and forth, but this is a conversation worth having anyway. 2. Randy once told me that if I was going to be authentic on this blog, I needed to be honest about everything. So here we go. Please don’t judge, just be entertained.)

Mommy Rant - why did I want to be a mom?I have spent a lot of time thinking about the sacrifices required of moms. Moms may put their career on the backburner for awhile. Or if not career, what about relationships with their significant other, their friends, their hobbies? We are told it’s OK to put on pounds, get stretchmarks, lose hair, vomit uncontrollably for months at a time, endure back pain and leg pain and cooter pain, because babies are so worth it.

But honestly, what do we get out of this deal? 

Why do you want to be a mom?

I’m eight months into this ride and I’m still searching for an answer for this question. Eggroll is fun to play with, but so is Noah and I didn’t have to carry him for 42 weeks. She is fun to play dress-up in fancy clothes with, but so is Randy when we’re getting ready for a date night. Had Eggroll been sick or worse, that would become my cross to bear. What’s worth that heartache?

It all sounds so negative and so selfish. I love her, the little human living in my house  so much! I now can’t imagine life without her. I just don’t know why this life ritual of becoming a parent felt so necessary before.

Why did you want to be a mom?I can’t come up with a single reason that wanting to be a parent doesn’t seem selfish. “To raise the person who will cure cancer (find world peace, break sports records, etc.)” seems somewhat self-righteous. “To have someone care for me in old age” is honest, but you could pay people to do that.

A very independent girlfriend of mine is trying to get pregnant. After I posted that article from Scary Mommy, she confessed that she’s afraid of losing her current on-a-whim lifestyle. To which I said, be very, very afraid. Moms are expected to make so many sacrifices. Dads do, too, but even the best of them don’t get the c-section scars, experience the nausea, or struggle through the pain and recovery of childbirth and breastfeeding. Most of the good ones even flake on making doctor’s appointments and realizing tonight should be bath night. It’s a lot of pressure for one person to make sure the little human is healthy, fed, clothed, and relatively clean!

I told this friend that it’s all worth it, because that’s what I’m supposed to say, but is it? Again, I can NOT imagine life without Eggroll. I watch her sleep every night before I go to bed. Its a new kind of meditation. Her giggle (which sounds very similar to her cry) makes my heart burst with love. Someday I hope to share the experience of baking cookies and shopping for a prom dress. That will be fun.

But in the mean time, I need to worry about ebola, strangers, uncut grapes, and electronic screens. I need to play with the same four toys for the 8,000 time today because we only have 30 minutes until the next nap time and running errands is such a pain in the butt with her anyway. I can’t even turn the TV on in the background, because again… electronic screens. (Related – when did the TV and iPads become the Boogie Man??)

See what I mean? This is a horribly negative post. I’m still so glad we had her. She was the perfect addition to this little family, just as a Pot Sticker will be someday, too. But I still don’t know why we had her besides “it’s what came next.” The only reason I can think of adding a Pot Sticker is to give Eggroll a sibling, something I wish I had.

Perhaps this is just the Old Maggie rearing her ugly head once again. Yelling about wanting to piss away an hour at the library just because she can. I’m going to spend some time with this question and would love to hear your feedback, too.

Why did you want to become a mom? If you have made a conscious decision not to have kids, why?

If you are now that you are a parent, have your original expectations been met? New ones realized?


  1. Pingback: Living It Your Way - Truly, Margaret Mary

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *