Dream

I can be a mother and a wife. I can be a dreamer.~ Kristy from Breath of Sunshine

When my husband trained to run his first marathon, he was never asked: Do the kids miss you?  Who watches the kids for you while you train?  He never heard comments like: Your wife and kids must have sacrificed a lot for you to go for your marathon dream. It seemed a given for Chris to reach for his dreams–to go after his goals.  It was accepted.  But for me, the mother of 4, wife and stay-at-home-mom, those questions and comments were the norm.  Whether it was their intention or not, these questions and comments were designed by nature to be dripping with the undertone: don’t you feel guilty?

I often feel like I have had to put my defenses up, to justify my actions to explain away why I dream big and chase after those dreams. And I shouldn’t.    I hope to raise my children to believe they can dream big.  And I pray my daughters will have the confidence to do so guilt free, without having to worry about the judgments of others, especially, especially other mothers.

I recently heard Kathi Lipp speak and her message was loud and clear: It’s OK to chase your dreams, it’s OK to have goals, even if you are– just a mom.  It’s  OK to be a mom and a dreamer.

And yet I want to be careful with what I’m trying to say.  Because so often I read things or hear from other moms–where in order to feel better about their choices, they have to put down others who make choices different from their own.   I don’t ever want to make someone else feel bad for their choices, even if they are different from mine.

I know for some, placing their dreams on hold is what works best for them, for their souls.  And that is best for their families. Others don’t want to wait, and what’s good for their souls is chasing those dreams in the here and now, and that is what is best for their families.  So I want to be careful, and say with love;  if you choose to wait, it’s because you know what is best for you, it doesn’t make you less of a woman.  If you choose to act, it doesn’t make you selfish or less of a mother.

I’m just a mom.  I spend my day cooking meals, cleaning, driving children to and from school, hosting playdates, kissing and bandaging owies, reading books with a lap full of children, helping with homework, doing laundry, grocery shopping, squeezing in my runs and workouts, taking Baby for walks, worrying: am I doing enough? am I raising them right and good?, combing hair, building legos and building up their spirits, cuddling a child of mine who just needs extra love for no other reason than wanting to be in my arms.  Just a mom who spends her days loving her children, just like any other mom.

And I’m a dreamer.  I have running dreams:  to some day run a 100 mile race (but not now, not even soon…even I place dreams on hold), to cross the finish lines of my first two ultra marathons this year, to get faster.  And other dreams: to raise as much money as I can for lung cancer, to build up MyFitFamily to something worthy of being proud of, to write a book, to one day have my dream job once my children are all in school, to start my own charity.  So many dreams and so many more.  Some I’m chasing now and some have to wait.

50

                           And a dream became a reality! Crossing the first of my two ultra marathon finishes in 2014.

And now, I can confidently say: No. I don’t feel guilty. Not at all. Because I don’t want to just tell my children to chase their dreams–I want them to see me doing it.  So they really know how important it is to go after what the heart longs for.  How else will they know that it’s OK to dream big unless I stop apologizing and feeling guilty about chasing my own dreams?  I want them to see that a mommy can set goals and achieve them, just like a daddy can.    I want them to feel confident about their choices–whether they choose to act or choose to wait.

vincenta

Photo credit: Rubigirl Photography
Little Dreamer

I’m a mother.  And a dreamer.

Never Give Up,
Nicole

In memory of my friend, Stephanie. I know you are in heaven, dreaming big dreams for your children.

Comments

  1. says

    Love this article, I have to push through my guilt and remind myslef that my kids are OK. The only thing is I never consider myself”just” a mom. That just seems to demean all that we do. Being a mom was also one of my big dreams! Adding a “just” to anything we do makes it seem less important when in reality as women we should celebrate all our accomplishments. I hear women do this to themselves all the time. It’s “just” a 5k, it’s “just” a small raise,, it’s “just” an old recipe.. let’s drop the “just” and raise our heads high and be proud of ourselves with every accomplishment!
    Just my two cents!

    • says

      Thank you! The ‘just a mom’ term is something the speaker mentioned–that many of us use that term but we are anything but–kinda like the ultimate oxy-moron which is why I listed just a few of the things that make up my ‘mom-ness’. SO yes, totally agree! Many moms think because they are ‘just a mom’ that they can’t dream, wish and chase after their goals—my hope is to show them otherwise <3

  2. says

    I love this. I am a stay at home mama myself. I homeschool our 10, 8, 6, and 16 month old who I swear is the happiest on the planet so maybe they need to have a happy dance-off or something. :) I will be training for my first marathon this year and this really resonates with me. It’s been on my dream list for a few years, but then I tore my ACL and then I had a happy, but very much surprising fourth pregnancy resulting in said gloriously joyous baby boy. But, it’s my time now. And I’m really excited. And really nervous. So thank you for this. We have a lot in common so I’m off to bloggy-stalk you now.

    • says

      Hi, DaNae! So excited you’ll be running your first marathon! Be sure to let me know how it goes! Hope you find some good stuff in your bloggy-stalking (I just did that to another blogger yesterday–felt like such a creeper ;))

  3. Deb says

    Love your post. I am a.mom of 2 about to sign up for my first full marathon. Already worried about the time commitment away from gome5, from my sons. I already see them.very little during the week bc of my work and soon training starts so there goes Saturdays too. .still I have their support. I wish I felt less guilt

  4. Deb says

    Love this post. I am a mother, I work full time out of the house and I am about to start training for my first full marathon. I struggle justifying the time away from home, form the boys as I already do not get to see them much during the week. (they are in daycare about 10 hrs a day). My husband is very supportive and I am thankful but I am so filled with guilt… the spring and summer weekends that I will miss while I train. But they know how big of a dream it is for me to finish this race and they will be there in the finish line to share the moment with me.

    • says

      You’ll find that it’s just a new normal. Marathon training doesn’t have to be all time consuming–and the time your boys will spend with your husband will benefit all. Best wishes and I hope you come back to tell me how your first marathon went–so exciting!

  5. Lynne says

    Thanks for a great post. When Olympian Dara Torres decided to train for another Olympics as a mom of a 2 year old daughter, she was quoted as saying ” your dreams don’t stop just because you become a mom”. Who better to be role model for our kids when it it comes teaching the valuable lesson of setting goals and working to achieve them?

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *