Sweeter Than I ImaginedBlog / Produced by The High Calling
With its fatigue and frustrations, full-time motherhood isn't what Brittany Williams pictured. However, as she writes for our series The Work of Imagination, "This dying—with its endless sacrifices—has led to life. The job is now sweeter and richer than I ever imagined."
I’m a dreamer, so I shouldn’t have been shocked when motherhood didn’t turn out how I’d imagined it. See, in a way, I died the day my son was born. Let’s rephrase that: I’ve been learning how to die more and more each day since my son was born over three years ago.
I’ve had a job since I was sixteen. I answered phones at a salon, seated parties as a restaurant hostess, and played nanny throughout college. I have been a teacher, a grant writer, and an editor, but by far, the hardest job I’ve undertaken is MOM.
Reality Versus the Dream
I don’t have a day job, which means my kids are with me all the time. This is both hard and rewarding. I know them better than anyone on the planet, but I never imagined I would be this tired. (I consider naptime my break in the teacher’s lounge.)
My son just turned a corner and is now expressing his complex thoughts. He’s articulating what he wants while remembering far too much of what I say. I’m terrified by his memory, yet blown away by his questions.
His imagination astounds me. And it’s bringing me back from the dead.
This dying, with its endless sacrifices, has led to life. I’ve foregone years of sleep, countless workouts, and many events (and dairy!) due to breastfeeding. All for these two little humans.
I’d always imagined getting my needs met—an early morning, five-mile run, two cups of coffee and a forty-five-minute quiet time—before I began the mom-part of my day (surely babies sleep until 8 o'clock, right?). I couldn’t anticipate raising actual humans who would never fit any mentally-prefabricated mold.
Today, these tiny people call me Mom; the older one has even learned my first name and thinks it’s funny to use it on occasion. Thankfully, I no longer desire the paper cut-outs I once envisioned. I don't need living and breathing accessories to make me look better.
I want my children to be who God created them to be.
Sweeter Than I Imagined
For years, I’ve laid my life down to train my children, and I’m beginning to see the fruits of my labor. My oldest starts removing his pants, unprompted, when he needs to go potty; I taught him that move! He prefers books to television because I’ve never allowed a television to babysit him. The ideals we established from infancy somehow stuck. And now they are actually paying off.
As we sat down for dinner tonight, I asked my son if he wanted to pray. We’ve prayed the following since he was born: "Dear God, thank you for this food, for this day, and for each other. Amen."
He prayed the prayer, all on his own, and then we ate. Following dinner, as we’ve trained him, he asked to be excused before he got down from the table. And as we put his baby sister down for bed tonight, he belted out “Jesus Loves Me.” He sang in scream, to be sure, but he nailed every single word.
I couldn’t have been prouder.
When it was his turn to go to bed, he whispered along with each word to "The Lord’s Prayer" before giving me the three kisses he delivers each night—one on both cheeks and one on the lips.
He can say these words on his own after listening to us use them for three years. Over and over, we have said these prayers and sang these songs, wondering if we were just talking to ourselves.
I feel like I’ve gotten a mom promotion. I have no boss who will notice, and my pay certainly hasn’t increased, but the job is now sweeter and richer than I ever imagined.