Thursday, November 09, 2006

Don't Give Up on Your Dreams Just Because You're a Parent

We give up a lot of ourselves when we become mothers. Did you have a lot of dreams and interests when you were younger that you put on hold to raise your children? Nowadays, mothers can’t even daydream in the bathroom without one of the kids yelling through the door, “Mommy, Justin hit me!” or “The dog just ate the meat loaf!” For the time being, our identities revolve almost exclusively around being our little ones’ mom.

When I was growing up, I dreamed of traveling to exotic foreign countries. I wanted to visit as many places and cultures as possible. But I also had another dream: to be a mother. I even determined that four kids would be the perfect number. I’m thrilled that I’m now fulfilling this dream—even down to the desired four children!—but there’s also a longing in me to achieve the other desires of my life, such as the urge to travel. I know that—for now—my other dreams must be put on hold as I spend most of my time raising my young children. But I also realize that it’s still important to hang on to my other dreams and not lose that part of myself.

As the kids get older and more independent, mothers can work on smaller steps to achieve their dreams. For instance, I plan to take a foreign language class to prepare for my future travels, and I keep a file with pamphlets and articles about places that I want to visit. I may not have a lot of time yet to pursue all of my life’s dreams, but I’m happy knowing that I don’t have to let go of them while I devote myself to caring for my children.

Write down the dreams you have for your life and rediscover your passion for them. Figure out what small steps you can take to keep your dreams alive. Continue to nurture your God-given dreams as you raise the children you’ve been blessed with. When your children are older, you’ll be ready to continue making your dreams come true!


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