“If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun.” – Katharine Hepburn
I became pregnant when I was 24. To many people, I was at the prime of my life — young, talented and full of potential:
“You’re too young to have a baby.”
“Have you thought about adoption?”
“How are you going to do this AND accomplish your goals?”
“Say goodbye to your dreams.”
Did having a baby mean I would suddenly have to sacrifice my youth and potential in exchange for the title of mama?
To many people, that answer is yes. To me that answer is no.
Here are 5 reasons why every mother needs to chase her dreams:
1.) Motherhood isn’t Your Only Role
In the midst of my pregnancy, as I watched my growing son dance around inside of me, I asked myself:
“Does my son deserve a mother who surrenders herself so entirely to motherhood that she gives up her dreams and aspirations, or does he deserve a mother who continues to push herself no matter what challenges and life circumstances she’s up against?”
The answer was obvious. My son needed a mother who would embrace all of her roles — not just that of mother. I knew if I neglected the other parts of myself, I would wrestle with internal discord, resentment and potentially become lost and depressed. Those negative thoughts, feelings and emotions would surface and possibly damage my ability to mother my son.
As mothers, we hold many titles — all of which demand time, attention, dedication and love. Rather than trying to severe other parts of yourself, figure out a new way for all of your roles to fit into your life. This might mean giving up leisure time (TV, social media etc.) or going to sleep later/waking up earlier. Whatever the case may be, make sure you are still owning and allowing every part of you to thrive.
2.) Living with Regret Sucks
My mom is a ridiculously talented artist who spent her 20’s, 30’s and 40’s raising children and working non-stop rather than honing her talent. When I look back at my childhood, and everything my mom sacrificed, I feel sad.
I know my mom wishes she’d made different choices. I know she wishes she would have pursued art, and sometimes I know she thinks it’s too late now (for the record it’s not!).
Living with regret sucks, and time flies by. So whatever that dream you have is, go for it. Hone your talents. Live your truth. Do what you need to do to accomplish your dreams and don’t delay. You’re never going to look back and regret being a mom AND achieving your dreams, but you might look back and regret not trying to achieve your dreams.
3.) You’re Still a Priority
When I first had my son, I spent all of my time trying to figure out how to be a mother. The tasks were endless and in-between breastfeeding, changing diapers, giving him baths and catering to his needs, I could barely find time to take a shower let alone do anything else.
As a new mother, this is to be expected, but as time goes on and you’re into the swing of things, you need to start serving yourself again.
Why? Because you’re important too! Acknowledging this and acting on it is good for your mental health and wellbeing, as well as your child’s. When you take time to prioritize yourself and your dreams, you’ll be a happier, healthier mama!
4.) It’s Your Job to Lead by Example
When my son grows up, I want him to know without a doubt that the only limits he has are the ones he sets for himself. But, if I allow myself to live in a limited world, how can I expect my son to believe he can achieve his dreams when he’s older?
If you want your children to believe in themselves and fearlessly pursue their dreams, then you must lead by example. Don’t just tell them they are capable — show them.
Allow your children to watch you overcome challenges, accomplish goals and achieve the things you set out to do so they know it’s possible for them too. When they get older they’ll approach their obstacles and challenges from the lens of, “if my mama can do it, I can do it too.”
5.) Your Dreams Will Give You Purpose
One day my son will be an adult, and he will venture into this world alone. When that happens, I know I’ll be as prepared as possible because although I’ve added motherhood to my incredible list of roles, I still haven’t forgotten about the other parts of myself.
Your life doesn’t begin with motherhood, and it doesn’t end with motherhood. When your children grow up and create their own lives, who will you be? What will you do?
By continuously going after your dreams, you won’t have an identity crisis when they leave home and not know what to do with yourself. Instead, your life will still have direction and purpose.
So mama, I leave you with this — what can you do today to ensure you’re still chasing your dreams?
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer, life-long student of the universe, and psychic tarot card reader. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to casualizing the spiritual experience and making it attainable for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living.