Sometimes, being a mother means sacrificing your needs and your wants for your children and for your husband.
I find that sacrifice usually comes in the form of physical things- buying my husband and children clothes before I buy myself anything, giving my children the last bite of the coveted ice cream or cake, waking up in the middle of the night because a baby is ready for play time, watching Dora The Explorer instead of my trashy reality TV shows.
Sometimes I get tired of sacrificing for my family, but I know it won't always be this way. There will be a day that we will have plenty of leftovers from dinner, and the TV will be all mine to watch, and I won't have to shop for my children's clothing anymore. So, I take it for what it is, and I (for the most part) try to enjoy as much of it as I can.
But sometimes, being a mother means sacrificing emotionally.
Since Joshua's death, Mothers Day has been hard. It used to be a fun day of being able to remind Shane that I could have that extra piece of cake or sleep in that extra half hour, but for the past 3 years, it's been a day that I dread for the simple fact that I don't get to spend the entire day with the 5 people I love the most- one of them is gone, never to be seen again on this side of heaven.
The sacrifice comes when my children and my husband want to celebrate me. You see, I don't want to take that away from them. My kids have fun making me sweet little handmade gifts, my husband loves to buy me quirky but special little "extras" that I would never buy for myself. They love celebrating me and lavishing extra kisses on me for just one day.
So, I put on my happy face and I let them celebrate. I try not to let my sadness and my grief show. I try to show them how much I truly appreciate their thoughtfulness and I treasure the extra affection. But all the while, I feel like a little part of me dies with every Mothers day.
Where some would see a dining room table full of love and laughter, I see only an empty place, where a sweet 3 year old boy should be.
Where some would see a happy family of 5 in a family picture, I see an empty spot and a heart that is missing a piece.
Behind my smile and my thankfulness, there is a wound- so deep and so raw that I'm not sure it will ever heal.
But, I don't want to ruin it for them. I don't want them to look back at their childhood and see a mom who couldn't pull herself together. I don't want them to think that I made every special occasion in their life about my grief.
So, I smile. I laugh. I hug and kiss my family. And when the night is over, I crawl into bed and I weep.