Maybe not all mothers see them as “sacrifices” per se, but there’s certainly an extended period of “giving up . . ”4 ½ years of giving up various things, as I’ve been pregnant off and on since late 2010.
- I gave up pretty much all vices as soon as I found out I was pregnant each time (and, to be honest, picked them back up in between each).
- I gave up taking the Metro when I finally got to my third trimester partly for fear of getting sick, but also the klutz that I am was scared of falling down the ridiculously steep stairs/escalators at my two regular stations.
- I gave up taking trips because of budget restraints and I simply was too preggers to even enjoy walking at times.
- I continued to give up the Metro when my daughter was finally born because her daycares weren’t very accessible by public transportation and, admittedly, for fear of her or me getting sick.
- When she reached toddler age, I gave up a couple of my freelance jobs and some personal projects because I simply couldn’t find quality time to spend with her, and give my all to the work.
- I gave up any nights alone. (I honestly haven’t spent one night apart from my kid since she was born. Not that I’m complaining about this.)
- In some ways, I stopped dreaming big dreams and the dreams that took their place were dreams of simply having a clean house and the opportunity to take a long shower.
You get it, parents, I don’t need to tell you this — we stop prioritizing ourselves. But is that a good thing for our kids? Which brings me back to my adventure today: I am currently heading to a vigil in downtown for victims of recent terrorist attacks in France. My husband questioned why it mattered so much to me to go. It’s not like I’ve been politically active in recent years (save two community meetings: one regarding homelessness and another on crime and safety). And I was incredibly defensive to the point I was driven to tears, unexpectedly. “Why now?” he asked.
- Because I'm a writer.
- Because I work with artists.
- Because I’m scared.
- Because I’m angry.
- Because I want to be with other people who are feeling the way I do instead of living in this self-imposed bubble I have been living in.
- Because I want to be part of something bigger than me.
- Because I have had three miscarriages and if there were a gathering for people who were sad about them, I'd go to that, too.
- Because I’m terribly upset about cancer and injustice and healthy food being too expensive and want to find time to do something about those things, too.
- Because I don't want to feel alone.