I’ve seen enough motherhood memes to know that many mums feel like they’ve had to make sacrifices since becoming a mum.
Earlier this year I asked the rather controversial and bold question to a large group of entrepreneurial mums online:
What sacrifices have you made since becoming a mum?
I expected the answers would depend on the mindset and experience of each person who answered my question.
30 mums, either actual or aspiring business owners, kindly shared their thoughts with me and the responses were interesting to say the least.
Most mums felt they had made sacrifices along the way. No surprises there.
The most common sacrifices made were career, sleep, time for themselves/hobbies/relationships and their body.
Career was the most common sacrifice among entrepreneurial mums.
I honestly wasn’t expecting career to be the most common answer though.
Many of these mums started their own business since becoming a mum to be more available to their family. They cited a lack of flexible work arrangements as the main reason they left their career.
I get it – it can sometimes seem impossible to find an employer that supports your career aspirations and need for flexibility. There ARE opportunities out there though so keep looking until you find it.
A few mums felt they had not made any sacrifices since becoming a mum and instead had let go of activities by choice. What a relief! I was secretly hoping to hear at least some mums say this.
I don’t believe sacrifice is a necessary part of motherhood. Change is. Sacrifice isn’t.
Some aspects of my life are completely different. By choice. Choices I’ve made to make my life more rewarding, enjoyable and easier.
When I tried to keep everything the same post baby it was a struggle and didn’t feel right. I willingly let some things go, like going to the gym 5 times a week. Devoting this amount of time and energy to the gym was at odds with how I wanted to spend my suddenly more precious time. Since becoming a mum I go to the gym 2-3 times a week and receive the same mental and physical benefits as before.
Other things I value, like sleep, have felt more like sacrifice than surrender. I’m hoping this is only a temporary sacrifice though. I optimistically dream of a future with more sleep. Oh what I’d give for guaranteed 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night!
Officially the definitions of sacrifice and surrender are quite similar.
Sacrifice is giving up something valued for the sake of other considerations.
Surrender is to give up or hand over something.
To me there is a distinct difference though. Sacrifice implies unwillingly giving up something while surrender implies a willingness to let something go.
The difference matters. Sacrifice and resentment go hand in hand. Resentment is a red flag and an opportunity to reclaim something that was relinquished.
The truth is I shudder whenever I hear/see a mum mention having sacrificed something for her family. No mum should feel she had to give up something she valued to benefit her family.
Where there’s a will there’s a way and it’s worth finding a way to hold onto something you value.
It’s why I believe you CAN have it all: when you believe that you can and find a way to make it happen.
What have you willingly surrendered since becoming a mum and why?
What have you unwillingly sacrificed since becoming a mum that you want to reclaim for yourself?
It’s never too late to make a change and reclaim something that you unwillingly gave up, especially your health, career and me time.