Let’s be honest.
We’ve all been guilty of putting our children first and completely neglecting ourselves most of the time.
Even saying that sounds wrong.
You’re probably thinking..
“Guilty? Isn’t putting ourselves last what we’re supposed to be doing?”
How many times have you stared out of the kitchen window while washing endless piles of dishes wondering ‘what if?’
- What if I’d learned how to play that instrument?
- Went back for that degree?
- Started that support group?
- Traveled to that country?
- Wrote that book?
Even now, you might be thinking, “How could my life be different? Is it too late to go for it now? How can I justify taking the time and energy to do the thing I’ve always dreamed of doing when I have so much responsibility on my plate? Won’t my kids suffer if I take precious time away from them to do what I want to do?”
Those are all valid questions.
The truth is that your life could be different.
It’s not too late to chase your dreams.
Taking time and energy to pursue what lights up your world is perfectly ok.
Your kids will not suffer.
In fact, they will be much better off when they see their mom CHASE HER DREAMS!
I’m going to give you five reasons to chase your dreams while your kids watch. Let’s jump right in!
1. You Get to Be a Role Model for Your Kids!
Think about it –
You spend more time with your kids than anyone else does. What they see you do and hear you say will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
You can be a major source of inspiration to them. When you chase your dreams while your kids watch, you are leading by example and providing an up close and personal account of what it takes to be successful.
You are teaching them valuable life lessons as you pursue what sets your soul on fire. Double whammy!
Let’s dive a bit deeper.
Your children will learn far more than I am able to list here. Here are just 3 lessons that will stick with them as a result of your decision to Chase Your Dreams:
1. Setting Goals
Dream chasing is built upon setting goals.
It is impossible to accomplish anything without having a solid plan to do so. As you plot your course, take time out to explain your game plan to your kids in an age-appropriate manner.
This is a wonderful opportunity to teach them about the difference between long-term and short-term goals and to bond with them as they learn more about what their mom is into.
Explain what your end goal is and give them an overview of the smaller goals you will need to reach in order to get you there.
2. Perseverance & Problem Solving Through Setbacks
When you run into roadblocks, snags, or situations that cause your progress to come to a halt, use it to your advantage. Your kids may hear you struggling to get a chord right on the guitar or smacking your keyboard out of frustration when you accidentally delete 10 hours of work.
Take a break.
Invite them into the room and share your struggles with them. Explain the importance of not giving up and they will remember your words forever.
Later, let them know how you bought a better guitar pick or started saving your files to a flash drive for back up, so they can see the steps you took to correct the problem.
3. A Positive Mindset
I don’t know about you, but when I’m in pursuit of something that I am passionate about I tend to radiate positivity! You won’t get far without good vibes and a lot of hard work and determination.
This positivity is sure to rub off on your little ones!
2. You Get to Live Without Regret
Regret can be described as experiencing a sense of loss over a missed opportunity.
Nurses have long reported that the #1 regret patients share on their deathbeds is not living a life that was true to themselves.
Living with regret can take a toll on your mental and emotional health.
Licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Melanie Greenberg states in an article in Psychology Today that “regret can have damaging effects on mind and body” and even result in depression if not dealt with properly.
She advises the reader to take their feelings of regret and use it for a catalyst to explore other choices.
Try to let go of regret and revisit the dreams you once had.
Here are a few suggestions of small steps you can take to steer you towards the direction of your dreams:
- watch a YouTube video that focuses on your goal
- read an article about the thing you want to get into
- purchase a book or check one out from your local library
- take an online course that will help you reach your goal
- talk to someone who is doing the thing you want to do
- join social media groups related to your interest
- create a support group of your own to connect with like-minded people
You attract more of what you surround yourself with. Don’t wallow in self-pity. Flip regret on its head!
3. There is More to You Than Motherhood
There, I said it. We love being mothers and we love our kids more than life itself. That goes without saying. What ISN’T being said enough, is that we are MORE THAN JUST MOTHERS.
We are lovers, creators, writers, scholars, friends, leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, gurus, spiritual beings, musicians, athletes, and so much more.
As mothers we tend to slip on our “Mommy shoes” every day and forget that we have so many other pairs of shoes in the closet collecting dust. We wear those “Mommy shoes” so much because they’re comfortable and practical.
They begin to show signs of wear and tear when we NEVER take them off. They may even begin to fall apart. Sometimes we just need to give them a break and opt for a cute pair of flats or sexy heels instead. (I mean this both literally AND metaphorically.)
It is important to stay in tune with who you are as an individual.
It is equally as important that your children see you as a unique individual with hobbies, interests, beliefs, hopes, dreams, and accomplishments outside of being a mom. While being a mom IS a full-time job, it doesn’t mean you must give up everything or sacrifice yourself completely.
When the kids leave the nest, you’ve got to be able to BE YOU, without them.
Also, remember, our daughters are watching us and will mimic our every move. Show them what it means to live a well-balanced life.
4. Your Contentment Affects the Whole Family
When you are dissatisfied and depressed, face it; your attitude can really suck. If you have feelings of resentment or regret because you’re not working towards anything that brings you fulfillment, it can be debilitating.
Your mood sets the tone for your home.
I know this from firsthand experience.
When I’m working at a job that I hate, or daydreaming of the life I want to have, but not doing anything to reach my goals, I can be a real drag. I tend to take out my frustrations on the ones I love the most.
I tell myself that I can’t chase my dreams because of my familial obligations, knowing I won’t be happy until I do. The truth is: if I don’t chase my dreams I won’t be fulfilled, which can impact my family negatively.
You can find contentment in knowing that you are taking even the smallest steps towards doing that thing that you’ve always wanted to do.
“But I don’t have TIME!”
I have an exercise for you, Mama.
I think you can squeeze 15 minutes out of each day, and I want you to start today.
Take 5 minutes to jot down everything that comes to mind when you hear the phrase “Chase Your Dreams.”
After that, take 5 more minutes to make a list of small tasks you can complete in order to jumpstart your dream chasing journey.
For the last 5 minutes, read over both lists you wrote and choose just ONE small task to commit to. When tomorrow comes, I want you to take 15 minutes out of your day to start or complete the task you chose.
Notice how content you feel after focusing on your dreams for just a few short minutes. Continue to do this, daily. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you gain momentum and how your mood improves!
I’d love to hear what you come up with after you try this exercise!
5. Your Family Will Reap The Benefits That Come When You Accomplish Your Goal
Chances are, that once you succeed at doing what is tied to your purpose, there will be benefits. These could include:
- increased free time
- financial freedom
- leaving a legacy through creating a family business
- exposure to new things and ideas
- networking that leads to more resources being made available to your family
The crafty business you’ve always dreamed of could become profitable. The book you write could lead to more opportunities to work from home. The catering company you start could continue to serve satisfied customers for decades. The possibilities are endless and should be explored.
It’s time you start thinking about how you will make time to do what it is you want to do.
And DO IT!
Chasing your dreams is not just a cliché.
It can be life altering and is a part of the purpose of your existence.
Don’t put your dreams on hold for another minute! Chase your dreams while your kids watch, TODAY!