September 4, 2011

Does Becoming a Mom Mean Giving Up Your Dreams?

Is it possible to pursue dreams and motherhood at the same time?

I just finished reading the book Quitter by Jon Acuff, blogger of Why is a stay-at-home mom doing reading a book about quitting your day job to pursue your dream job? After all, I don't technically have a day job . . .well, not a paid one at least, and motherhood certainly is not a job that I could/would quit. So, why was I attracted to this book?

Plain and simple: I'm a dreamer.

The moment I took on the title "mom" the "Sarah" part of me didn't disappear. I still have a unique set of God-given gifts and abilities, and I believe they're there for a purpose. They exist to help me fulfill my dream. Acuff doesn't word it quite in this way, but I personally believe that each individual was created by God to fulfill a purpose. If you breathe on this earth, then you have a reason for living. I believe that our "dream" and our "calling" can be synonymous. Why would God give us talents and desires if he didn't intend for us to use them for His purposes? Our task is to unite our unique selves to the work we were created to do. Does that responsibility end when we become mothers? I think not.

Don't misunderstand me. Motherhood in itself is a noble and important calling, and for some people it may be their sole calling, and there is not a thing in the world wrong with that. I know that these children have been entrusted to me for a reason and God has equipped me with everything I need to be the best mother to these particular kids. However, I also believe that it's OK to pursue our dreams, our destinies (insert dramatic music here). To cultivate our skills and abilities- to set goals and have godly ambitions.

I don't claim to have it all together, but I have observed from my own personal experience that if I don't set attainable goals I will accomplish very little. I will remain in survival mode - accomplishing only what needs to be done to make it through to the next day. I think pursuing dreams and having a plan will actually enable me to become a better mother.

Kids grow up. They leave home (hopefully not to come back and live on your sofa). Then what? Although your children are yours forever, the amount of time that they remain under your direct influence is limited in the grand scheme of your lifetime. Who will you be when your children are grown and the days of 24/7 mom duty are behind you?

As a child, I always dreamed of becoming a published author. I spent summers scribbling in notebooks and reading every book I could get my hands on. This blog is, in part, a manifestation of that dream, but I still have so much to learn. There are writing workshops that I could attend, books I could read, lectures I could listen to. Am I progressing toward my dream of writing or am I putting it on hold until it's more feasible?

I may not have the time to sit down and write a 50,000 word novel at this stage in my life, BUT I can move toward that goal. I can learn. I can hone my skills and I can take steps in that direction. Motherhood may alter the course, but I'm still capable of taking that journey. If we wait until we "have the time" we'll be waiting for decades and we'll miss opportunities along the way.

We should never offer our children on the altar of our own dreams, but if you have the desire and the ability, don't be afraid to take that next step to put your dreams into action.

Pursuing our dreams makes us better mothers. It enables our sons and daughters to see that not only are we unique individuals, but that we can make a difference. So, whether your dream is to open a bakery on Main Street or to feed starving orphans in Africa, don't be afraid to take that first small step.

So, what's my point? Don't give up on your dreams. They are there for a reason.  God has big plans for you.

Question: What are your dreams? Have they altered since becoming a parent or entering the "real world"r?



  1. I totally agree! Just because you are a mother doesn't mean you should give up on your dreams. I have many and am definitely working towards them.

  2. Yeah, I think the temptation is to just wait until the kids are out of the house, but I've learned that there are definitely things I can start doing right now. I think it's good for our kids to see in practical ways how to pursue our passions and make a difference.


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