Dear Mother Who Once Dreamed,
When baby girl arrived, life changed forever, and in the best way! Yet, I’m seven weeks into motherhood, and already find myself asking, “Who the heck am I anymore?” I feed the baby, I change the baby, and I repeat… over and over and over again. Don’t get me wrong. “Mom” is a new part of my identity—and a badge of honor that I beam with pride to wear…
–Heck ya, I’m a mom—
But… that’s not all I am.
Before becoming a mother, I was a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. I was a woman endowed with fierce passions and unique abilities. I had hobbies. (I remember them, kind of).
On top of that, I was a dreamer.
But once child rearing was added to my repertoire, that thing I used to know called “free time” dwindled—and so did its companion, “rest.” And before I knew it, my dreams felt like they came with an expiration date.
Are they still God’s plan for me? Are they even attainable anymore? Are my children my prime purpose in life now?
… Yes? No? Maybe? …
So I had a little talk with God and was reminded that I didn’t have to choose between the legacy of motherhood and accomplishing my individual birthright. Because while parenting is indisputably one of our most important jobs in life, it’s not our only job. We aren’t just made for motherhood—we are made to say “yes and amen” to all the sparks of life God has placed within us.
As much as in anything, it’s easy to lose one’s identity in motherhood. It’s a strange phenomenon, really. On one hand, it feels as if we’ve gained the whole world in our tiny human, yet at the same time, it can sort of feel like we’ve lost a part of ourselves. And while our children keep us tremendously busy, they also require us to slow down. The responsibilities and phases of a mother are ever changing, but one thing is certain— they all involve great love, sacrifice and selflessness: whether it’s mom the taxi-driver, the cook, or the caregiver, mom the counselor, the cheerleader, or the prayer warrior— You wear lots of hats, mom.
And though it may feel at times like your purpose resides in all you do and are as a mother, never forget that it’s ok to be mom the dreamer.
If God made you a mother and put additional dreams in your heart, then why not go after them? If you can’t shake an idea or a vision, then why not fearlessly pursue it? Allow God to fulfill those desires, which He created.
Pursuing your dream doesn’t mean your family isn’t your priority, and it doesn’t make you any less of a mom. Pursuing the dream means modeling to your munchkins the dignity of going after a goal. It means being brave and obedient to the stir inside of you. It means contributing to the world the things you do well. (That alone is a beautiful gift to your children.)
And while you chase the dream, include your little loves on the journey. In many ways, our children can be a true catalyst in realizing our calling. So if it’s starting a business, encourage them to contribute in their own small way. If it’s travel, take them with you! Get that degree, sell that product, write that book, go those places.
It doesn’t have to happen all at once, in fact, it rarely ever does. If it’s ten years from now, then it’s ten years from now. Embrace every season while you’re in it, but don’t be afraid to take your own baby steps, while helping your small fry with theirs.
Moms everywhere of all ages and stages— your dreams are still valid. They’re not something you have to leave behind whenever you start a family. Are there sacrifices to be made in raising children? Absolutely. Are they worth it? Unquestionably. (I mean, Wow, wow, WOW… There is nothing better in the world than becoming a parent)! But does the demand of motherhood also demand that we surrender our dreams? No. Way.
Let me be clear—it is an utter privilege to serve my daughter. Young ones are worth every sacrifice. Give your life for your children every day, and do it joyfully; but if God has asked you to do something in the midst of your mothering, then give yourself permission to do it.
Without a doubt, motherhood is a high calling, but remember it doesn’t have to be your only calling. You can embrace the mission God has given you as a mom, without forfeiting your ambitions to do it. You can support your child’s dreams, and your husband’s dreams, without forgoing your own in the process.
Dear mother who once dreamed—
Pursue the dream. In order to best give your life to others, you must first have life to give. Run hard after whatever’s in your heart to achieve, and do it with joy flowing from your bones!
Dream big. Start small. But most of all… start.