Becoming a mother is a game changer. Big time. Suddenly, you’ve got so much more to think about than yourself, and at its most basic level it feels RIGHT for your little darlings’ needs to come ahead of yours. When my kids are sick I wish I could take it on, instead of them. If there’s one cookie left in the cookie jar, I give it to my doe-eyed little guy instead of gobbling it down myself. (But not the good chocolate. I have limits.)
Still, it makes sense. From a biological and evolutionary point of view, putting their needs ahead of yours is just the way it is.
But…in our lives today, it’s much more complicated than that.
Because although my needs have moved down on the priority list they haven’t disappeared from the priority list entirely. And all mothers are aware, on one level or another, that there will come a day (and let’s face it, sometimes that day cannot come soon enough) when the brood will move out, move on, move up…and where does that leave us?
Moms need dreams. Personal, meaningful dreams. Whether it’s to finally learn to speak fluent Spanish, start a business, write a novel, or train for a triathlon…whatever it is, I think it’s crucial for our happiness and health to have those dreams. But more than that: those dreams shouldn’t just stay out there, floating around in the ether. Moms need to chase our dreams. We need to get to work and make those dreams come true.
Which sounds straightforward enough. But Oh. Dear. God. Is it ever difficult.
Obstacles abound. Anyone familiar with the struggle over finding the time to pursue your own interests? Self-doubt? Child care issues? Sleep? Fitting in exercise? Finding the time? Juggling competing demands? Mommy guilt? And did I mention…finding the goddamn time?
Fortunately we have the internet. We can find much inspiration online: there are countless stories about moms chasing dreams and making stuff happen for themselves. There are so many creative solutions to timeless problems out there, and ideas about how to overcome the obstacles that stand in our way.
This is a very personal topic for me, being in the midst of some major dream-chasing myself. Perhaps I’ve mentioned I’m on the road to having my first novel published!? (Which is chocolate-covered awesome, to be sure, but also comes with a whole lot of sacrifice and struggle). I also suspect, however, that chasing dreams (plus all the related logistic and existential issues) is a topic many moms can relate to.
So I think I’m going to start gathering those stories here. I’ve already got some in mind…but if you have any, send them my way!
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