I was recently asked by someone if I ever have time to do the hobbies (or studies/career) I enjoy, while being a mother. It was ironic because I recently had been thinking the same: is it possible to juggle everything and maintain a hobby? But when she asked me, the real question became abundantly clear:
Doesn’t the baby get in the way of what you really want to do?
She mentioned her ambition, love for her hobby, but as a bookend she included her desire to have a child. Now, I am in no position to judge anyone’s heart or crush anyone’s dreams but her words really made an impression on my heart and revealed the flaw in my own question. It seemed like a baby would potentially be in the way and she was looking for reassurance that it wouldn’t. But here’s the secret:
The baby is always “in the way.” And that’s perfectly fine.
The baby gets in the way of your perfect body. They get in the way of a good night’s sleep. They wiggle their way into your bed and get hungry right when you sit down for dinner. They make getting basic self-care a bit more of a challenge, let alone hobbies. They sometimes even seem to get in the way of your prayer life!
It can be frustrating and tiring and sometimes you need to make a way to just have some alone time and recharge. But a child is more than just a side hobby or a super ambitious career choice. If your vocation is marriage and God blesses you with children, you’ve been given one of the greatest possible means of attaining holiness. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13) and what great love indeed it is to “lay down” your life and live for your family!
Of course I have ambitions and hobbies; I write in my blog, I embroider, paint and knit but these are secondary to my obligation to my husband, son and home. I would rather feed my son than paint a pretty picture!
Consider the following quotes from Fr. Lasance in The Catholic Girl’s Guide:
“What does not a mother do and suffer? Amid, pain, anxiety, and care she tends her child, she watches beside it day and night, she prays for its physical and mental well-being, she thinks of it at all times. She makes the child what it is…and for the sake of this dignity she gladly renounces the glitter and fame of public life, the strenuous joys and distracting vanities of the world” (p.49)
“The robe of maternal dignity appears especially precious when we think of the glorious reward which is the portion of the good Christian mother. Her reward will indeed be great both on earth and in eternity” (p.402)
P.S. I would also like to note that men also must sacrifice different things when they become husbands and fathers but as a woman, I think it’s best to speak to other women and let men encourage their fellow men ❤