Do you remember when you were just graduating high school and part of you was so excited to be on your own while the other part was terrified about what you were going to do with your life?
I remember being so torn about what I wanted to study in college. I wanted to study everything! I wanted to be everything! I had so many dreams and goals and plans. Then life happened. It happened in its own way which was nothing like what I had on paper.
Part of my life is exactly what I wanted: a loving husband, sweet and adorable children, and a cozy home. However, as difficult as it is to say out loud, part of my life plan was left out.
For a while I was totally fine with that. I was busy learning to be a mom and adjusting to this season of my life. I gave up all my hobbies and all my friendships because I felt like I didn’t have time for those things. My husband and my kids were my friends and that was all I needed (or could even handle to be perfectly honest).
Then something happened. I started feeling kind of depressed and a little resentful. Be prepared, the not-so-perfect mom and wife part of me is about to be uncovered.
I went through a short period where I would daydream about what it would be like to be just me again. Not mom-me or wife-me, just me. Single, free-me. The me that only had to worry about, me. I would daydream about going back to college and enjoying all the things I felt like I missed out on. I would daydream about traveling to Europe, skydiving in New Zealand, and doing humanitarian work in South America. I dreamed about writing a book, like I’ve wanted to do since kindergarten. I dreamed about having the financial freedom to enjoy life a little more. I even dreamed about renting a hotel room and having a spa day, all by myself.
I think part of this came from turning 30. Man, remember when 30 was old? There’s this scene from the movie, The Switch. Jason Bateman is explaining to this little boy why adults don’t like people to know when it’s their birthday. When the little boy asks why he says, “Because getting old sucks. Most people don’t accomplish what they’d hoped to and they realize that they are most likely not going to. They end up living these quiet lives of denial, and uh… brushing birthdays under the rug just becomes a big part of that.”
I suddenly realized that I was 1/3 of the way through my life and I had failed to accomplish so much. Being a mom is wonderful, but being me is important too isn’t it?
I had to come to grips with the fact that it wasn’t my husband’s or my kids’ fault. It was my own. I squandered my single years. I accomplished a few things but mostly I just got myself into mounds of student loan debt and took too long to graduate from college. Then there was this attitude I was dealing with now. As if my life was basically over. I’m turning 30 and already thinking about life as if I’m 90.
It occurred to me that I still have 2/3 of my life to be more intentional about accomplishing my goals. I can be a mom and still be me, I just have to make it intentional and quit floating through my life as if I have no control over it.
I realize that being a mother is the noblest of callings. It requires tremendous sacrifice and hard work. But does it really mean we can’t do anything else?
I attended a conference a little over a year ago and one of my favorite bloggers spoke. Cara brook from maskcara.com explained how she had to decide whether or not she was going to go forward with her business even though she was a single mom at the time. What she said struck a chord with me and it was the permission I needed to make some changes in my life. She said, “I realized that if I want to encourage my son to dream and to work toward accomplishing his goals, I have to show him that by example. I can’t give up on my dreams or I will be giving him permission to do the same.”
That was when I got serious about blogging. It seemed an ideal outlet for me and a way to work on my writing. I know I have a book in me someday and I felt like this was a great starting point. It’s something I can do on my own time, in my own way.
It’s been a process of trial and error to balance blogging and motherhood but I feel like I might be getting the hang of it. It’s refreshing to be doing something that makes me feel more like me and being able to connect with other women and old friends through this kind of a platform. Of course, I’m still in the infancy stage but I have big plans and I’m excited about what the future holds.
Writing has made me even more aware of the priceless blessings I have. It’s fun to write about things I’m learning and sharing that with other women. I have been lucky to have so many people who support me and uplift me with their sincere encouragement. Long story short, I’m a much happier mom now.
So can moms have dreams? I say absolutely YES. In fact, I think it should be required for motherhood. I don’t think it’s healthy for us or our kids to be so consumed with their needs and wants that we lose our own identity. I think it’s powerful for a child to grow up with a mom who works toward her own dreams and inspires him to do the same.
* * * * *
What is your secret dream? What are you going to do to work toward it? Do you think it’s selfish to think this way?