Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Balancing Being a Mom and a Girl with Dreams


As I wrote about yesterday, it is a beautiful thing to pursue a dream; to be passionate about living. But, balancing that with the dailyness of a home and motherhood can be stressful and guilt inducing. 

How do we live without guilt as moms who - 

work a normal job?
forget to put the picture order form in the backpack?
forget to pack a lunch?
leave our child with someone else every day?
leave our baby in childcare for a couple hours at the gym?
work on our computers while our toddlers rip everything out of drawers?
place our child in front of a TV screen so we can finish what we've started?
you fill in the blank?

Guilt is part of motherhood and it goes hand in hand with stress when we are trying to fulfill a dozen or more roles at once and sometimes end up doing a halfway job at all of them rather than an excellent job at a few. 

I am here to tell you to stop feeling guilty. Or to help you try.

A few weeks ago, I was watching our family ski. I was in the back, as usual. Hottie Husband skied up the side of the mountain toward a sharp drop and do you know what all three of the boys did? They followed and fearlessly skied, jumping down the cliff and landed it. All three. I thought- they really are like little ducks, they follow so much more of what we do than what we say.

So, in those moments when you forget to do something and your child is disappointed, remember that your response is what counts. I am so sorry. I made a mistake. What can I do to fix this? In our mistakes we teach them how to respond when they inevitably make their own. Let go of the guilt here and teach instead. They will be better off for having a parent who is human. 

And what about all the time spent away from them pursuing our dreams- the things we are passionate about? When I first got my laptop, my 11 year old was annoyed by it, by the time he saw me working on it. So, I made a choice not to be on it too much when the kids are home. But, then he started reading some of what I've written and they he started to look at me with new eyes. Proud eyes. Just like he looks at his dad when he skis down some insanely steep run or completes a triathlon or goes off to fight a fire. 

When we pursue our dreams, even at the expense of time with our kids, aren't we teaching them to pursue theirs? Aren't we showing them that it is worth it to try, to do your best to get what your aiming for? 

So, don't feel guilty for being passionate or creative or for time spent pursing your dreams. Your children watch you and they are learning by example. Learning to be passionate about life, to create, to pursue their dreams. And they are learning to believe that it's okay to believe everything is possible. 


partialemptynester said...

I think this is one of my fav posts of yours ever!!! So true!! We aren't truly whole and real to our kids if we are only there for them in the ways that they need us. As they see other parts that make up our whole being, we become more real and therefore more respected.
Btw, I've come to appreciate and even enjoy the view from behind...while skiing, that is! My kids are older than yours and I still remember the first time they sped off the side of the mountain after their dad...I stood there looking over the edge praying and praying that I would make it down the steep slope to those three little dots down below...I could barely hear them chanting, "You can do it, Mom"! There will come a day in your not so distant future that it will be ok when the boys take off with their dad and you choose to go a separate route...

Angelica Bays, TygrLilies.blogspot.com said...

Brilliant! All truth!
Keep up the good work, Mama!

a new beginning said...

great post! love those last 3 paragraphs in particular, especially since i'm currently busy chasing my dream and may be a bit busier with it in the upcoming months/years as it comes to fruition. a great word given at the perfect time! love you! :)

Toyin O. said...

So true, passion is contagious, kids do learn by example. And God bless you if you can raise great children, have a great career, and be a great wife/mum. Kudos to all superwomen out there:)

Angie said...

I love this and really needed to read it today.....Thank you so much!!

donahugh43 said...

I just want to say again how blessed we are to have you as a daughter,perfect partner for our son and mother of the four most wonderful boys.Thank you

Joybird said...

Wise post B. And that picture, dude, it looks like you are on top of the world. Gorgeous!

Robin said...

Love this!