I'm glad I missed the pretty lie. It was always plain to me that the awful and beautiful truth of having a family is that there is a tremendous amount of responsibility to others, along with a tremendous amount of reward.

Being capable of appreciating the love of being a family together is probably one of the greatest gifts of being human. Can you imagine a world where everyone was solely a self?

Do you have to give of yourself? Yes, tremendously. Do you have to give up yourself? No, I don't think so. Find help in keeping a little sense of your self until your kids have grown and moved on. Your parents -- his parents. Your church. Your friends. Other moms. You shouldn't have to hate the gift you've been given.