a labour of love

a labour of love

  (British & Australian) also a labor of love (American & Australian)
an activity that is hard work but that you do because you enjoy it He prefers to paint the house himself - it's a real labour of love.
See also: labour, love, of
References in classic literature ?
His clothes were few enough, and to carry Grip was a labour of love.
This being purely a labour of love, Mr Squeers readily complied, and leaving the room for the purpose, almost immediately returned, supporting a sleek personage with an oily face, who, bursting from him, and giving to view the form and face of Mr Snawley, made straight up to Smike, and tucking that poor fellow's head under his arm in a most uncouth and awkward embrace, elevated his broad- brimmed hat at arm's length in the air as a token of devout thanksgiving, exclaiming, meanwhile, 'How little did I think of this here joyful meeting, when I saw him last