5 Ways to be a Mom and Pursue Your Dreams
Weall know the fairy tale story of the stay-at-home mom.
Once upon a time, she was a bachelorette with a college degree, studio apartment and wild dreams of grandeur. She was going to write a book, run for president, cure cancer, be something great and be a great mom. She fell in love, had a baby, and tried to juggle it all.
Slowly, the workload and cost of pursuing her dreams and taking care of her kids became more than her family could bear. It was decided she would stay home until the kids were in school. It would just be a “pause” on her dreams and quickly she would be back in the rat race. She was excited, breathless and thrilled to be home with her munchkins seeing their faces each day.
Fast-forward to the day her last child goes to school.
Somewhere along the way she gained 20 (or 40?) pounds, she only wears sweatpants and is off to work at the local car dealership answering phones all day for some slimy guy named Ron.
How do we avoid letting the rearing of our children suck the life force right out of us? How do we enjoy our precious few years at home with our kids and still come out the other side as anything but a used up old tissue?
Here’s how you can avoid being physically and emotionally used up by the time your youngest is in kindergarten:
- Keep dreaming. I know it’s hard when you are in a whirlwind of diapers, play dates, grocery store runs and doctor’s appointments. However, there has to be time. Skip the Netflix this week and research self-publishing your novel. Hire a sitter (gasp!) and see a powerful woman speak. Get out of the hamster wheel for an hour and think about nothing. You’ll remember someone you forgot about that day…you.
- Have a plan. You know how you stayed up all night painstakingly researching Waldorf schools? What about the time you spent an entire summer interviewing other mothers about the pros and cons of private versus public schools? How about the time you dug up your entire backyard in an attempt to plant organic tomatoes for your kids’ spaghetti (even if you just ended up with weeds and a back ache)? We know you have the drive in you. Drive for yourself for a hot second.
- Stand up for yourself. Believe me, you’re going to have the old biddies who ask you passive aggressive questions like, “But, how do you have time? When I was a mom, I was too busy loving my kids to worry about such nonsense.” To that, you have my permission to say, “Go fuck yourself.”
- Get your partner on board. Make it abundantly clear to your significant other that when these little hatchlings leave the nest, you have shit to do. You’re not going to float aimlessly from part-time job to part-time job until you have a french twist and only leave home for your monthly bridge games.
- Use this time. Think about it this way, how many people have five years of time out of the workforce that don’t need an income? This is the time to build that empire. Become the next Pioneer Woman. Make that company you always dreamed of but couldn’t juggle that and work. You don’t need the income, so you do you. Make it exactly the way you want it. You have five years to get it off the ground. Not ready in five years? Have another kid.