The Dangerous False Belief
Once upon a time, I held this ridiculous notion that to be a good mother, you had to sacrifice your passions and desires for your kids.
That somehow, I would be a bad mother if I pursued fulfilling work, or hobbies I was passionate about. Because I was supposed to devote 110% of my time, energy and spirit into raising my children, and feel great about doing so.
But the truth was, I did not want to spend every second of every day with them. I longed for the days end when they would fall asleep, so I could get a few moments alone with my thoughts.
The guilt I felt every single day for enjoying time away from them was soul crushing.
Because, I love children. I worked exclusively with at risk children during my social work career. As a child, whenever people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I would always say “a mom.”
Without realizing it, I had painted this dangerously rosy picture of motherhood.
So, when I suddenly wasn’t enjoying my children anymore, I had no idea what I was doing wrong. Fantasies of evenings and weekends alone filled my mind 24/7. I was guilt-ridden and felt like a failure of a mother. I felt like I didn’t deserve my children.
In retrospect, I had lost enjoyment in everything, not just my children.
I had lost myself. My identity. And it was my fault, not my children’s.
I had let my children define who I was. I love my boys, and I will die for them, but we are separate beings. I am not my children.
I had given up who I was. I am a big dreamer who used to have so many aspirations that I flushed down the toilet. In doing that I lost a huge part of me.
Learning to Dream Again
Almost a decade later, I started to rekindle those aspirations, but only as a place to mentally escape my crazy hectic life.
Almost like therapy. I would imagine all the things I wished I could do.
I created a secret place in my mind to visit when I just couldn’t take the demands of modern day, adult life anymore.
It literally saved my sanity more times than I like to think!
Upon casually discussing one of my ideas (to start a blog!) with family one day, they decided it was a great idea. I started soon after and have been able to slowly begin bringing some of my dreams to life.
And guess what? Lo and behold, I became a better mother.
Spending time with my boys felt awesome and fun again. We were laughing together, and I was enjoying the warmth, silliness and light-heartedness only an innocent child’s heart can bring.
Now Go Dream Dear Mother!
Dream as big as your mind and heart will allow you. Even if you think it’s ridiculous and unrealistic. But don’t only dream, do something.
Pursuing your dreams does not have to be impractical. Go ahead and start researching your business idea. Check out different schools to continue your education. Talk to people who have similar visions as you. Working toward something you are passionate about, will transform you in ways you could never imagine. Even baby steps.
My children are often my greatest source of love, happiness, fulfillment and inspiration. They bring colour and meaning to my life, and I would do anything for them. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have other sources of happiness and fulfillment.
One day our kids grow will up and have lives of their own. If we don’t nurture our own gifts and passions now, we will be left with nothing when they are gone. Not even a dream.
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