As moms, we often feel pulled in opposite directions. Once that first child enters the picture, priorities shift and things are never quite the same again. But that leaves us in a quandary: What do we do with the dreams God planted in our hearts long ago? We love our spouses and children and cherish these insane, wonderful, crazy years–but those dreams are still there, waiting, whispering to us in the dead of night, tugging on our heartstrings.
Where do dreams fit now that our lives are scheduled around other people and their needs? How do we balance our responsibilities with our dreams, without feeling we’re failing one or the other.
For many women I know, the answer is to shelve their dreams for “someday when…the children are grown, we have more money, I don’t work full-time, or (fill in the blank).” The problem is that none of us are guaranteed someday.
Other moms long to take next steps, but they are tethered by guilt. I don’t believe God gives us dreams to frustrate us. He is not a cruel taskmaster dangling what we want just out of reach.
Sometimes, we think we’re not worthy of achieving our dreams. In my new novel, AngelFalls, the heroine wants to be a mother more than anything in the world. But after a childhood on the streets in Brazil, she doesn’t feel worthy of motherhood, even though she mothers the many orphanage children in her care. She struggles with feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
If any of this strikes a chord, let me encourage you: you are NOT alone. Talk this over with your spouse, close friends, other moms. Carve out a bit of time to pursue your dream and ask those around you not only to help you protect that time, but to encourage you to claim it, without making excuses.
Then, ditch the guilt. God did not say that when you became a mother you ceased to be anything else. Actually, moms who have interests and dreams beyond motherhood are generally happier moms, which equal happier kids. Your family will initially balk at not having your undivided attention every second, but when they see you’re serious and excited about what you’re doing, they’re more likely to hop on board the dream train.
Start small. Figure out what ONE little thing you can do TODAY that will bring you a step closer to your dreams. Let’s say your dream is to write a book. Did you know that if you write just 200 measly words a day, you’ll have written a novel in a year?
Motherhood is an incredibly short season of life, overall, so we don’t want to miss any of it. But with a little balance and planning, we can be great moms and follow our God-given dreams at the same time.
Connie Mann is an author, blogger and USCG-licensed boat captain. She is the author of Angel Falls, TRAPPED!, and Parenting in the Home Stretch: Twelve Ways to Prepare your Kids for Life on their Own. She was the editor of a parenting magazine and now encourages fellow dream chasers through her blog: www.BusyWomenBigDreams.com. When she’s not writing, she’s usually out on Central Florida’s waterways with local school children or her fabulous family.
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