Things got a little wonky up in here this week.
That, to me, is just so symbolic of the American way — that we can’t feel free to be creative and imaginative as mothers to go after our own dreams without having to debate about it first. It seems we can only lump ourselves as an either/or — working or not working.
For the record, I wasn’t talking about working. I wasn’t talking about not working. I wasn’t trying to start any kind of mommy war.
I was talking about DREAMING.
And dreaming is different than a job. Dreaming is different than caring for children 24/7.
It’s about finding your authentic self and creating the life you want.
What I was writing about, truly, but clearly didn’t articulate well is about so much more than a J-O-B.
When I said forgetting your dreams is the motherhood of yesterday … I meant you can be a stay-at-home mother and still follow a dream.
Dreams are for everyone, even stay-at-home moms, working moms, work-at-home moms and part-time working moms.
If you have something you want to do in your life that’s bigger than your everyday routine, I’ve given you some tools to do it — all with ways that will not take one minute of time away from your mothering ways. Of course, a job is different. A job does, indeed, take time away from a family. It’s not perfect but for many it is the only way and, as a working mother currently, I can assure you the only big thing I missed out on was when my daughter lost a tooth while she was at school, in Kindergarten. She read her first book to me, at home. There isn’t any other milestone that I’ve missed.
Not that I even want to go into the so-called mommy wars, but some people took us there anyway … so let’s go there for a minute. I’ve done it all — the work at home during the naps, the work full-time until you feel like the clock spins and spins all day and you seriously don’t have a minute to breathe and the stay-at-home mom where the routine is so monotonous you feel like you’re living in the Groundhog’s Day movie and yet the world goes on without you.
None of that matters. They all had their advantages. They all have their disadvantages. They all worked for my family at the time when they needed to — such as recently when I was working full-time and my husband’s position was eliminated. Such as when the price of daycare costs for infant twins was more than our mortgage payment so we sold a car and I stayed home. And then, in the most perfect scenario for me, when I began working at home as a freelance writer — yes when my girls’ napped. The latter allowed me to not miss a single moment of my girls’ life but also set my Thinking Mama persona into high gear but it was also a ton of work with no breaks.
The perfect working mother situation allows us to be there for the big and the small moments of raising children while also earning an income and feeling like a productive, smart and important part of society. But, the world still spins when that’s not possible or ideal.
I wasn’t any more stressed as a mother during any of these situations, by the way. I wasn’t anymore happy, either.
What I do know is that I”m a happier Mama when I have a dream to chase.
Having a dream to focus on for part of my day counters all of the worrying I do about the fact that the kids are squabbling again or getting too much sugar or not putting enough bug spray on and so they might get West Nile disease or that the organic apples weren’t available or the bathing suits aren’t dry enough to take to summer camp … or, or, or …
Please. Mothers have enough to worry about … the challenges of raising children are deep and painful at times.
Can’t a girl have a dream?
Can’t we support mothers in whatever situation they are trying to survive through?
As Awesomely Awake mothers, we know what is best for our families. We live every moment with intention, giving each aspect of our life full attention. When you do that, you can do anything. But you can only do one thing at a time.
So, when you’re Mama, you’re Mama. When you’re chasing a dream, you’re chasing the dream.
That’s about as Awake as you can get.
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