How I imagined motherhood is quite different from its reality.
In my imagined world, babies always slept well, never cried unnecessarily, were on solid schedules and were rarely cranky. In reality, the inability to FIND any schedule which worked caused baby to BE cranky which made ME cranky, leaving a trail of tear-filled Kleenex behind me.
In my imagined world, days would be filled with quiet hours of individual play and ample time to complete all household tasks. In reality, most days (honestly, nearly all), found me playing one game after another, with one toy after another, alongside an active toddler while food hardened on dishes in the sink and laundry piles multiplied before my eyes.
In my imagined world, I got dressed everyday, which included make-up application and well-groomed hair. In reality, sweats became my best friend and make-up what? Oh, the ponytail ~ I wore it well.
What I imagined life to be turned out to be the polar opposite of the reality it was. It threw me for a loop. For a while, I couldn’t reconcile the fact and grew insecure and anxious about my ability to parent. Instead of stepping back and evaluating, I gave into my feelings–my tired, subjective feelings.
Giving in led to comparison. I began comparing myself to all mothers ~ young, experienced, moms of multiples and moms of singletons. My tally board accompanied me everywhere and reinforced my feelings of inferiority.
“How does she do it? She looks great!”
“I can’t believe she’s not totally stressed out! I am.”
“Her house is always together, empty sink and all.”
Although I smiled through the day, even laughed upon occasion, my feelings of inadequacy deepened. My worth, or lack there of, haunted me. I emotionally withdrew even though I was present.
Days passed. Negative feelings loomed, rearing their ugly heads at the most inopportune times.
Maybe the dishes weren’t done in a timely manner…
Maybe ponytail-creased hair was an accessory…
Maybe laundry piles graced my utility room floor…
Maybe I didn’t have it all together like others…
What I did have was a desire to instill biblical truths into the heart and life of my little man.
I wanted him to understand who God was and His incredible sacrifice.
I wanted him to grasp the power of prayer and it’s importance in our lives.
I wanted him to know, love and follow Jesus to the best of his ability all the days of his life.
His new life in Christ began December 2009, when he asked Jesus into his heart at the corner of Jupitor and George Bush during a red light stop.
He knows Him, loves Him and is learning how to follow Him daily.
I’ll pass on dishes, laundry and make-up for that any day!
Now, it’s your turn…
What did you imagine motherhood to be and how has it differed?
How have you dealt with the difference and what life lesson have you taken away?
What encouragement could you offer to a mom struggling to reconcile the real verses the imagined?
Because of Him,
Stefanie Brown is the wife of Dan Brown, Executive Director of LIFT Ministries. She is a graduate of Berea College in Berea, KY where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. She practiced nursing for 10 years before leaving the profession to stay at home with their son, Alex, now 9. During her time at home she started ZERO2THREE Pediatric Rehab Services, a company, which provided therapy services to children ages birth to 3 with developmental delays. She recently passed this Kentucky-based company on after 7 successful years of service. She and Dan re-located their ministry to the Dallas Metroplex in 2009. She and her family reside in Plano, TX. Her writing began after an encounter with the Lord in the summer of 2010. It was in that moment she knew writing was her ministry, her calling, her element. Her blog, UpLIFTing Words was birthed out of the encounter. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.