But when you focus on all that which you have gained in becoming a parent your list becomes far more significant. Your personal gains and outreach to the future holds more esteem than the other list could possibly come close to. As I ponder on all the benefits I have received through becoming a parent there is one huge one that stands out: I’ve gotten to know myself better than I ever have. My strengths and weaknesses have come to a forefront. I have recognized my talents and passions more so now than I ever did before. I’ve found me in motherhood. And I have a strong theory in how this came to be…
It’s been through sacrifice. Giving of myself all day every day to my kids. Caring for their every need and creating the space for them to find out who they uniquely are by instilling sacred family values. It’s been through in fact losing myself in caring for them that has in turn made me find myself. The true me. The wonderful me that I’ve actually become quite fond of.
So what I wish I did more of before I had my children was simply to have served more. To have given more of myself to the needs of others. To have been more informed of the projects and programs that help people at home and abroad and to have put myself in the work. To have made a difference in more people’s lives other than my own. To have put myself last more often. I wasn’t completely selfish before marriage and children, but I was definitely self-involved. I was a lot more consumed with finding out who I was, what I found fun, and what made me happy that I actually lost the ability to truly find that out. If I had just given more of myself I am certain I would have found me so much quicker.
If I could go back and speak to you, my younger childless husbandless self, I would urge you to make more sacrifices in caring for others. I would plead that you be more attentive to others’ needs. Spend more time not just developing talents, but sharing them with others. Let go of self-doubt and throw yourself into the work. Share whatever little means you have, be it time or monetary funds, to truly care for another. It will prove to bring you more to the person you were meant to be, and it will refine you in ways nothing else can.
In simpler terms, I would probably just tell her to strive to be more motherly. After all, isn’t service and sacrifice in loving another what being motherly is all about?
Heaven's slice is sacrificing your life for another's.