Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetTwo weeks ago {Feb 11, 12:28am} we welcomed our third child into the world, Charles Kelly Castleberry III. We love our sweet Charles (or Charlie) so very much already and it’s still hard for me to believe he is actually here!

It is also difficult for me to believe that our oldest, AudreyKate, will be four years old next week! And now Grant and I have three kids ages four and under!

Since Charles’ arrival, I’ve been reflecting a lot on how motherhood has changed my life.

Not too long ago, I read a blog post a young woman had written about how she was afraid to become a mother because it might cause her to lose herself. I have mulled over those words off and on since I read them and have asked myself the question, What has motherhood caused me to lose?

As I sit here with a newborn on my lap, typing with one hand, I cannot help but agree that being a mother has come at a cost.

Motherhood has caused me to:

Lose sleep.

Lose tears.

Lose writing time.

Lose reading time.

Lose “me time”.

Lose quiet time.

Lose my patience, my temper, and my uncluttered house.

It is the biggest (daily) sacrifice I have ever made.

I guess it’s true. It has caused me to lose myself.

My only regret is that I am four years into this journey and I haven’t lost more of ME. I’m still more selfish and self-centered than I want to be.

John the Baptist, who Jesus said was the greatest man who ever lived (Matthew 11:11), had one burning desire:

He must increase, but I must decrease.

For the Christian wife and mother, motherhood is a calling.

God has used little hands and little feet to help me understand that I cannot lose myself enough in the calling He has given me.

And it is in the losing that something of worth is truly gained.

Motherhood has cost me, but make no mistake, it hasn’t robbed me.

It has given more than I could have ever hoped or imagined. It has caused me to look to the Lord and redefine what I value as important. It has changed me and grown me and helped me to value the quiet, unnoticed things.

Changing a diaper in the middle of the night.

Laying down with a three-year-old who needs me.

And cleaning up a potty training accident yet again.

These things among many others are helping me turn from my selfishness and pursue that which is good and right and true.

One of my favorite verses is Luke 9:23-24:

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

This is the beauty and wonder of the gospel. It is in the losing that we gain.IMG_5060

When I held our sweet Charlie for the first time just two weeks ago, I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. Nine months of anticipation (and sickness) and a long labor had all been worth it.

His life is a gift beyond compare.

To my dear AudreyKate and Evangeline, you are worth it. Nothing I’ve lost of myself compares to what I have gained in being your mom.

And I can only pray that I keep on decreasing so that you may clearly see the One who is worth it all.


If you were encouraged by this piece, you might also like A Brave New Mom

13 thoughts on “The Cost of Motherhood

  1. GraceAnna,

    I can’t believe it’s been almost 4 years since I was blessed with the opportunity of being your nurse when you had AudreyKate. I obviously still follow your blog and enjoy every bit of it. Congratulations on the birth of your sweet baby boy!!!

    Angela Cook

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Oh Angela! I was JUST thinking about you when I was in the hospital this time…just thinking about what a wonderful nurse you were when I was a brand new mom! Still remember when you offered to take AudreyKate and hold her for me. That was the best! Haven’t had a nurse do that since. Miss you and hope you are doing well!

  2. GraceAnna,
    Thanks so much for writing this and sharing your heart. It’s so good to be reminded that motherhood is part of our sanctification process and that it is good and beautiful that we lose ourselves for their sake and for Christ’s. I am refreshed by that reminder. Love you sweet friend and am so happy your little man is finally here!

  3. Wow, this has been something that has been on my mind for more than 2 years now, ever since I got married. It’s been quite a heavy weight on my ahpulders. No one has ever explained motherhood in this way. THANK YOU!!

  4. 27 years and 3 children later i have lost myself to the blessings of motherhood. .Wouldn’t change a thing…especially with nights like last night when my 19yr old needed hugs and comfort from momma. …..

  5. Imagine my surprise when I read the name of your sweet baby boy, why? Because in 1981, I also had a sweet baby boy Charlie. His name is Charles Kelly and he is now 33! Congrats on your newest member!

  6. I found this through the Like Mother Like Daughter blog…and have to totally agree with you! I have a 2 1/2 yr old and a 8 month old and have been thinking about this very topic a lot. Amen to losing more of ME!!

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