Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Following Dreams with Kids in Tow

About eighteen months ago my world fell apart. In truth it had been falling apart since I was a little girl, but I finally reached a place in my life where I felt able to deal with the abuse in my past. The journey wasn't pretty and in many ways I am still on it. But an interesting 'little' phenomenon occurred. I discovered that there was a person inside who needed things and wanted things. She had dreams, passions and unspoken desires. 

Ever since I can remember I have been writing. But I didn't think writing would pay bills or help me move out of my dysfunctional home. So I went to university and studied education. I became a primary (elementary) teacher, travelled the world and met lots of beautiful children. Teaching challenged me, made me search inside and grow as a person. I don't regret this career decision or the years I spent investing in the lives of children. Indeed I would not have been ready to embark on the kind of writing I now embrace. I would not have had the depth of character behind me to give myself to the words I now craft. But now, in my early thirties, I am finally acknowledging one of my greatest passions. No doubt the timing is perfect. 

The other day someone asked me if I was still teaching.  I could have said I am just a mother. But that would only be part of the truth. I have two amazing sons who rock my world, but there is more to the woman I am. So I proudly owned the fact that I now write.

At the moment I have only seen my work in magazines, but I have dreams of seeing my book in print one day. I'll post another day on that book and the story behind it, but today I wanted to muse about pursuing dreams with kids in tow and acknowledging the desires within us. I understand that there are seasons in life and that we mothers have limited time and resources. My children's needs come before my writing and editor deadlines are fitted around my family commitments. But life is shorter than we comprehend. 
How do we go about following our passions while raising our families? Do we simply put everything that matters to us on hold until our children are grown? Or do some things wait while others blossom? What is the balance between pursuing goals and motherhood? 
I am guessing that the answers will be as varied as our individual mothering styles, goals and desires. 

Personally one of my greatest fears is ignoring my inner dreams, under the banner of raising children, only to wake up one day and wonder who I am and what I want. But I also believe that God has all my days in His hands and that the right time for dreams to blossom will be His time. 
So, whether you are a writer or not, what to do you think about raising children and pursuing goals and dreams? What is the balance that works for you? And if you write, how do you make that happen? Does anyone else out there walk around with bags under their eyes some days because they were loving the latest chapter they were working on last night just a little too much? Hmmm... Let me know.

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