Our conversation went something like this:
Interviewer: "Is having kids hard?"
Me: "Having kids? Like birthing them? Yes, it's very hard, I would not recommend it."
Teenager, probably rolling her eyes: "No, like raising them?"
Me, giving up trying to be funny: "Well, yeah, that's hard too."
Interviewer just weeks away from flying the coop herself: "Did you have to give up a lot, like your freedom?"
Me, thinking back to life before kids more than 6 years ago: "Umm, yes. But I was 30 when I became a mom, so it wasn't like I was out partying every night, if I'd been 22 or something it probably would have been more difficult."
To which she was incredulous: "22?!! I would never do that, you'd give up like your whole life!"
Me, realizing I'll likely have dependents in my home until I'm retirement age: "Well, but then when you're 40, and they move out, you get your "life" and your freedom back. You could travel..."
Her: "I can travel in my 20s."
Me with a smile: "But in your 40s you'll have money to do it!"
Final question. Interviewer: "Is it worth it?"
Me, without hesitation, "Yes, it's totally worth it. It's so rewarding." *
The sleepless nights are redeemed by the sleepy hugs and toothless grins in the mornings.
The crying, screaming, sassing, and back-talking is made up for with coos your baby reserves for you, toddler talk that only you can translate, and teenagers who every so often open up and come to you for advice.
The sacrifice of time for the things you used to do, or want to do now, is rewarded with time spent molding a young life into a person who will change the world as an adult.
The rebellion, defiance, and even rejection are worthwhile because they teach you to love like Jesus; unconditionally.
When Isaiah sees a character in danger in a storybook, he anxiously cries out, "Mommy!" Not to me, but to their Mommy. He knows that their mommy can rescue them.
Mamas, you are a safe place in a scary world, your babies need you like they need air. What an honor to be so important to someone. Whether this season feels rewarding or draining, love on... You are one of God's greatest gifts to your little ones, and they are one of His greatest gifts to you.
"So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up." -Galatians 6:9