It’s easy to martyr yourself for the greater good. It’s even easier to resent the greater good because of your own choice to pursue martyrdom.
While I wholeheartedly believe in godly submission to your husband and service to your family, there is still room for a mom to be the woman God made her to be.
Until all of the Hopemade Village knows what we mean when we refer to Dreams, I’ll remind you that they are not lusty fantasies for wealth and power, you can start here. Basically, Dreams are our patterns of behavior that reveal the life we deeply care about. With that, moms have cares of their own inside. You know, those things you’re guilty about because anything that is about you else is worthy of condemnation.
No, I’m not encouraging moms to selfishly pursue status and fame, but rather to pursue the wholesome interests inside of her heart. Like, to learn a new skill or to volunteer or to educate children at home even if you live in a big city.
These are the “small” dreams that we so easily abandon for the sake of any reason. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons that cause a mother to leave behind her hopes but sometimes, she uses legitimizes her excuses through repetition and inaction.
“I was going to pursue , but then I had kids.”
Mom will affirm that her children are a blessing, yet, there is an underlying feeling of disappointment.
There are some positives to this like the mom actually took her job as a mother seriously and prioritized it over inner passion. Or, the kids were a “divine interruption” to a plan that wasn’t going anywhere good.
On the other hand, the statement often reeks of regret. Be careful about having these type of conversations in front of your children because it may make them feel like they are culpable for your shortcomings. Saying this, in front of your child(ren) or not, is unfair to them because they didn’t actually stop you from pursuing anything. You stopped yourself in order to re-prioritize! Which is a good thing, you should definitely bump children up on that priority list.
At the same time, if that thing you were pursuing was such a high priority then it’s your responsibility to pick it back up or let it go. It is not your children’s responsibility to determine your heart-things. You don’t have to abandon your dream for your kids or abandon your kids for your dream.
Yes, moms are allowed to have personal aspirations alongside motherhood.
Personal aspirations, not selfish aspirations. Do not let the spirit of condemnation in. Your most devout personal aspiration should be to know God and your heart tugs could be leading you on a path to pursue righteousness. Pursuing righteousness will not look the same for every mother, that’s why this is a personal aspiration. It may be pottery to supplement your household income or building an online community to support a specific group.
I’m not telling you to pursue xyz in addition to motherhood, I’m just telling you that it’s okay if you can do it responsibly. If you’re reading this then you’ve probably got a knack for healthy, wholesome activity so I’m sure that you aren’t conjuring up a plan to start a cartel.
It is challenging being a mother, but I’ll remind you that you didn’t lose your identity as wife, daughter, sister or friend because you had kids. Momma, you’re allowed to have visionary desires especially if they honor God in your marriage, parenting, or community involvement. You already take time for yourself (social media scrolling, Netflix binges, reading this blog). Not only am I telling you that it’s okay to have a venture of your own, but I’m telling you that you also have the time and space to make it happen alongside motherhood.
Your life is not over when you become a mother.
Your life is just beginning.
Entrance into motherhood is one of the BEST times to tap into that beautiful heart desire. Why? Well, because a funny thing happens when a woman becomes a mother. Mama Bear comes out. Your child’s wellbeing takes precedence over any distraction or threat. Today, some of the biggest distractions and threats are other people’s opinions.
What will they think of me if I start a business? Or, use social media to earn an income? They’ll think that I’m a bad mom!
Unleash Mama Bear. Your family’s wellbeing takes precedence. Opinions are only threatening to the extent you accept and believe them.
Your life is just beginning when you become a mother. Hello, role model! This is your chance to trust that God knit you tightly in the womb and show your children how to be themselves because mom is allowed to be herself. (Being who God made us to be is very different from doing things that sin tempts us to do). Show your children that honesty and integrity matter by the way you live out your life. It starts with the actions you walk. Not the words you talk.
Having (and actively working toward) a personal goal can help reduce regret and stress. This will positively impact your family. Increase faith and joy through action. You have to work at it. You can’t fake joy. Most people, including children, are better at reading emotions than you’d think.
A recreational class once a week can be just the thing to de-stress! It is okay if the laundry gets pushed back, I promise. Strong mother is not doormat mother, she is not dictator mother, neither is she regretful mother. A strong mother perseveres joyfully. Becoming invisible is counterproductive. Your kids are watching you, don’t let sacrifice become neglect. Perseverance in an area of your own will teach your children to persevere in their lives, to value healthy mothership and to respect boundaries.