the cost of motherhood | how much are you willing to pay?

the cost of motherhood is high but the value of children is higher


So many of my earliest childhood memories center around playing house. Whether we were playing “Little House on the Prairie”, building a fort outside, or dressing and redressing our dollies, I always wanted to “play house” so I could be the mom, have babies, and mother the children.

Now that I am the mom (no longer playing house any more) I realize just how funny that is.

I wonder would my 8-year-old self have any idea what being a mom is really like?

Probably not.

Because being a mom is not just cuddles and kisses. Babies aren’t always easy to feed or put to sleep. They poop and spit on their cute outfits (and yours). They cry about everything (and sometimes for no apparent reason at all). And they are generally just a lot of work.

As much as I thought I had learned that from all my years of babysitting and childcare, becoming a mom for myself was a huge reality check.

Of course there are so many things on the other side of the coin too – like having no idea how exciting it is to watch a baby grab their toes for the first time, or the amazing feeling of freedom when a baby learns how to fall asleep on their own, or the way hearing him speak your name for the first time – mama – will cause you to melt into an absolute puddle.

All of these things must be experienced as a parent to be understood completely – the sacrifices and the joys.

And the reality is, there are moments when I want all the benefits and blessings of being a parent, without all of the responsibility and hard work of it.

{Eeek, I said that out loud – don’t judge.}

But that’s the deal with things of value right?

They cost a lot.

The price tag is high.

So if children are life’s most precious and valuable gift, then it makes sense that they come demanding a high investment from us:

Sacrificing our time. Giving our attention. Constantly listening. Endlessly learning. Seeking wisdom. Defining expectations. Creating home. Giving affirmation. Reassuring. Connecting. Loving. Comforting. Nursing. Nurturing. Believing. Serving without acknowledgement or thanks. Teaching. Playing. Giggling. Disciplining. Dreaming. Cooking. Laundering. Taxying. Correcting (ourselves). Examining our motives. Holding. Kissing. Losing sleep. Trusting. Apologizing. Forgiving.

Children cost a lot.

A lot.

But that’s only because they’re worth a lot.

A lot, a lot.

So even though my childhood notions of being a mother were a little bit skewed, there’s no doubt in my mind that these tiny jewels I now call my own are worth every “penny” they cost me.

The cost of motherhood—parenthood—is high, but the value of children is much, much higher.

Dear friends, some women would give anything—pay any price—for the opportunity to become a mom. (I always remind myself of them when I’m struggling.) I know we all know it’s worth it… but for those of you with children, do you ever struggle with the cost of motherhood?

About Author

Adriel Booker is an author, speaker, and advocate based in Sydney, Australia who believes storytelling, beauty, and the grace of God will change the world. Adriel has become a trusted voice in areas of motherhood and parenting, Christian spirituality, and global women's issues. She's also known for her work with the Love A Mama Collective—serving under-resourced women in developing nations through safe birth initiatives—as well as her years spent as a Bible teacher and leadership coach. Her latest book is Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss and she's made the companion grief journal available for free. Find Adriel across all social media platforms at @adrielbooker or sign up for LoveNotes, Adriel's 'secret posts' that aren't published anywhere else online. ✌️


  • Stephanie
    2 February 2012 at 12:58 am

    I struggle daily it seems. But I have found some ways to be easier with it and the struggle is not so hard now, still there but manageable!
    Stephanie recently posted..Making a choiceMy Profile

    • Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos
      2 February 2012 at 10:06 am

      I think I have moments nearly every day where I struggle too. And sometimes I have to fight (myself) to not mope. Maybe the struggle is part of the strengthening… Ultimately, I know it’s worth it.
      Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos recently, hair | a post-partum rantMy Profile

  • Life As Wife
    2 February 2012 at 1:07 am

    I think I struggle with the “price of motherhood” because it’s such a steep price upfront. You have to be all in before receiving any of the benefits. I can’t believe I’m comparing my wonderful son to a pair of shoes but sometimes it feels like you’re buying a super expensive pair of leather boots. You have to give up the credit card to get the shoes but the shoes last forever.
    Life As Wife recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Story of UsMy Profile

    • Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos
      2 February 2012 at 10:07 am

      Oh, that’s SUCH a good point! It IS such a steep price up front, and you often don’t see the “fruit of your labor” immediately. But you’re right – you Do have to be all in to receive the benefits. Thanks for your insight. I really love it.

  • Jessica W
    2 February 2012 at 5:28 am

    Love this Adriel. So true. I’m counting the cost today…a hard day. One is sick and one is just being difficult (why can’t my 3 year old understand how she has all the power to make a hard day harder?). But I am purposing to thank the Lord, in the midst of the trials, for the great honor it is to be entrusted with these little lives to steward. God help me access the grace to do it well. Thank you for this sweet reminder. Motherhood costs so, so much. But what a privilege it is!
    Jessica W recently posted..Called to CompassionMy Profile

  • Jessica
    2 February 2012 at 11:47 am

    First, I love the picture and the message of this post. I think I do have moments when I struggle with the “cost” of motherhood. I do have moments when I wish I didn’t have to wake up at 4:30 AM to exercise or to write or to just sit still. But, I think those moments are far outnumbered by the other moments, the moments when I can breathe in the fullness of this life and realize the value that my children have given my life, my new life. In spite of my trials and tribulations and stresses and missed sleep and everything else, I know that I love this life and wouldn’t change it for any other.
    Jessica recently posted..Stumbles| A lesson in mothering for a second timeMy Profile

  • Rachel
    2 February 2012 at 8:43 pm

    We are a little late on the ‘falling asleep on our own’ milestone. But tonight! No fuss, no bother, I put him in his cot and he lay down to sleep, just like that! And I don’t feel rejected!!! It IS worth the hard work!
    Rachel recently posted..resetMy Profile

  • Adriel @ The Memos
    2 February 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Congrats Rachel! I know what a big deal that is for you guys! Here’s hoping you’ve rounded a corner!!! 🙂
    Adriel @ The Memos recently posted..don’t carpe diem | do you? or don’t you?My Profile

  • Lindsey Whitney
    4 February 2012 at 4:38 am

    Agree. Isn’t that what we all want? (Sort of). With Abigail (just turned 2), the “real work” of parenting is just beginning, I feel. Discipline. Saying no. Setting up limits and boundaries. Things were mostly fun up until this point, and it kills me to see her upset or pouting, but I know it will be worth it in the long run.

    (Love the onsie picture on the side bar!)
    Lindsey Whitney recently posted..Questions from a Reader: Summer MinistryMy Profile

  • Danyelle Franciosa
    22 February 2012 at 1:40 pm

    The cost of motherhood is price less no one can buy it nor debt it. I love my mother and I always value her and love her very much.
    Danyelle Franciosa recently posted..Bifold Doors BrisbaneMy Profile


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