I remember feeling like a bad mom. Not like I made a mistake and feeling remorse, but I remember feeling like I was completely failing as a mom, and that made me a terrible mother. 7 years ago I was in the throws of toddler hood with an 18 – month old and a 3 year old. I stayed at home full time with my babies (still do – only now they are in school), which had always been a dream of mine, ever since I was a little girl.
However, nobody really ever talked about what it was like to stay home with their kids, so I only had my own childhood experiences to go off of, with my own mother who stayed at home. I should tell you I had done my fair share of babysitting as a teenager. And being the oldest of five girls, I had definitely put in my time babysitting at home too! I embraced motherhood with everything I had. We waited a long time for our family to start, so when the time finally came, I was head over heels with my new found role as a mom. However, by the time baby #2 came along, and was mobil, I found myself in what seemed like the never ending road of diapers and graham cracker crumbs smooshed on my living room floor. (yes “smooshed” is the only word that truly described that situation, lol)
I loved my babies, and being able to stay home with them, but I found myself longing for something more. Feeling like there was something more for me, and feeling equally as guilty for thinking that way when there were plenty of people who longed to be a mom. It took us over a year to conceive our son, after having two devastating miscarriages, and I had longed for the day when I would have children of my own. But in the mundane of motherhood, I found myself wondering if this was it?
Becoming a mom wasn’t the only thing I dreamed of as a little girl. Yes it was the first answer I would give people, but I had other dreams too. I wanted to be a gymnast, then a professional figure skater, a singer, and finally at the age of 13 something stuck – I wanted to be an interior designer. I wanted to decorate, and dreamed of being a successful designer who wore a blazer, and drove a flashy car, and owned her own business someday.
Fast forward, fourteen years later I found myself with two beautiful babies, and a mountain full of dishes in the sink I could never seem to finish, because my fifteen-month old constantly begged to be held. Sure there were good days, and some more tiring than the others, but I found myself in the midst of playing Thomas the train and nap times dreaming of something more.
I felt like a failure as a mom. I thought that because I was wanting more it meant I didn’t love my kids enough, because if I truly loved my kids they would be enough. But I felt like I was drowning. Not in the chores, or the mountains of laundry, but slowly I felt like I, me, was fading away.
I thought that because I was a mom it meant that was the only thing I could do, the only dream I could have. That wishing for something else was being greedy, or even worse – selfish. OH, I thought I was totally being selfish for wanting something to do on top of being a mom, because it wasn’t centered around my kids. I wish I could go back and tell my young mommy self that you are not being selfish for wanting to be a mom AND chase your dreams.
And then it happened. When our second child was 9 months old I started blogging. And I started to find myself again. I had found the creative outlet that I needed, that could totally fit within my mommy schedule, and finally started doing something for “me” again. I wasn’t always consistent at it in the beginning, because well it was just a hobby, and my kids were still little. So I would take time off, heck my first year I took the whole summer off, because I just wanted to be present for my kids when they needed me.
So many times I would think to myself “Well it’s just a blog”, but it was my blog that gave me the courage to start my own Design Business, and it was my blog that helped me mold the dreams I had as a little girl into the styled interiors that I love to photograph today.
What I’ve learned is that your dreams don’t have to die just because you become a mom. Yes, they might get put on the back burner for a little bit, but trust me they are still there. And I found that in doing something that lit my soul on fire made me a better mom. That my kids don’t feel “less” loved by me, and if anything I am showing them in real time how to chase the dream that God puts on your heart.
I believe we all have our own special dreams inside of us. Many of us might have similar ones, and many of us might have completely different ones. It doesn’t matter what size your dream is, because it’s yours. If today’s post resonated with you be sure to check out my “Dreams & Goals” section, under the Inspiration tab in the menu above to find more encouragement 🙂