I’m getting excited for Hearts at Home this year! As I was digging around on their site the other night, I discovered the Third Thursday Thoughts Blog Hop. It’s a great opportunity for moms to find some refreshment and community. This year’s conference theme is Love Your Life!, so today’s topic on the blog hop is Love Your Goals and Dreams. This is one of my favorite topics, so I jumped on board. Feels like I’m going to do a little series on this topic, so follow me on FB, Twitter, or Email to get a little update when I post the next one!
Each session she sat on that couch in that office, she held her breath a little the entire time. It was about expectation. It was about hope.
“What were you like before you were married? Can you tell me about that person?”
The therapist’s words were a surprise to her. They had been talking about the here and now. About her kids and her husband and the piles of baggage that seemed to be muffling out her voice.
Who I was before?
I was so young then.
It was so hard to unearth that girl. What did she love? What was her drive? Am I anything like her now?
The fact is, I’m not the same person I was before marriage and kids, and you aren’t either. Regardless of how you feel about the young girl you once were, the therapist’s question drives at the heart of an issue that moms can really struggle with: Identity.
STEP 1: Give Yourself Permission to DREAM
Identity is what makes you You. It’s what inspires you, what sends you over the edge, what you want and what you think about 50 times a day and what makes you tick. It can have everything to do with being a mom. But sometimes it doesn’t.
There seems to be a battle between those who suggest “Being a Mom is Enough” vs. the “I’ve lost ME” moms who feel adrift in a sea of the demands of their children . I have friends who have embraced motherhood like a lost puppy. Women who understood after only a few months of monotonous housework and hourly breastfeeding, that this was the nature of the beast. And they were ok with that. I also have friends (myself included) who fought it tooth and nail, struggling to accept this new career with something other than disdain. It takes us years to finally realize that God’s job for us as moms often doesn’t come with the recognition and peer respect that we seek; but it’s still super-important.
But let’s get something straight right now: Every mom has a passion for something.
Baking. Organizing. Teaching young children. Nutrition. Gardening.
Being the mom whose house is the hub of the neighborhood. Volunteering at school. Coaching a team. Soothing baby cries. Finding creative solutions. Budgeting. Saving money. Selling and buying at thrift shops or garage sales.
And then some of us have a passion for something that is not so incorporated into the daily duties of motherhood.
Writing. Painting. Paper piecing. Running. Designing.
Technology. Photography. Traveling. Bookkeeping.
Sewing. Governing. Health care. Consulting. Fixing things. Hiring. Managing.
All of us have an ache in our belly – stronger some days than others – that sends us searching for something. Something that’s mostly about ME. Something I created or thought of. Something I led or inspired. Something I do that brings me joy.
Maybe it’s organizing all the legos or coming up with a better bedtime routine. It might be training for a marathon or making a year-long meal plan. Starting your own business or writing the book you’ve been planning for years. Enrolling in a class here or there to get the training you need to help provide for your family when your little ones are not so little anymore.
There’s something about that ache, that passion, that needs to be listened to. It’s a part of who you are and that means something. It’s ok to embrace that part of you and even find ways to nurture it.
God designs each of us with talents and desires, personality and strengths. The parts of you that make you who you are – they make you the right mom for these kids and the best wife for this husband, too. They are not to be forgotten because you are so busy doing laundry and trying to figure out why your child is hungry ALL THE TIME.
Give yourself permission to dream. Recognize that this season of life is not forever. That your children will benefit from seeing a mom who finds time to reenergize with something that brings her joy (outside of successful potty training).
Admit that you are more than a housekeeper. You bring your unique personality and approach to this job and you don’t need to compare yourself to anyone else or how they do things.
If you love every second of your Mommy job, celebrate it.
If you don’t, drop the guilt and give yourself permission to dream.
The big ideas might have to wait a little while until the diapers have disappeared and the Candy Land games have been passed on. The place you are at is exactly where God needs you at this moment. But don’t forget about what was at the core of the girl you once were.
Mama, give yourself permission to dream.
“..Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:15,16
Go back to Jill’s blog
and click on the next blogger for more inspiration and community! And come back soon to consider more about this dreaming stuff. What have you given yourself permission to dream?