Can I be truly honest and vulnerable with you, today, in this moment? I battle every day. I battle with my selfishness, guilt, how I spend my time, my focus and I battle with my desires and dreams. It's a struggle.
I have dreams, I do. And I have personal goals but I'm also a mother. Some days I feel like there's just no way I can have/do both. Trying to find the right balance between the two can be emotionally draining.
As a wedding photographer in a new area, it's tough. I want to put myself out there, get connected, grow in my craft and pursue my photography dreams. There's no doubt that's what I would love to happen. But then I take a step back. I think about my family. I start to feel overwhelmed and a little bit guilty at the prospect. With a husband who works full time, a busy toddler and another baby on the way, who can blame me? I mean, can I really juggle it all? Is this what's best for my children, marriage, life in general? Am I being selfish? So many questions, doubts, uncertainties.
But I read something the other day that a dear friend posted about raising children. And it hit me hard.
"With gravity, I understand the importance of my place in their lives and for what seems like an eternity, I have worked really hard to be the best mother I can be.
But over the passed few years I’ve noticed something.
I’ve noticed that I’ve slowly slipped from the joy of raising my children to the job of raising my children.
I have shifted my focus unintentionally from sharing my life with them to shuttling them around, getting things done, and checking their lives off of my lists made on their behalf.
And I’m grieved by that reality.
Maybe it’s because I’m a Type A person that covets a sense of achievement and want my kids to measure up to my need for perfection.
I am realizing that the most important thing that I can give my children is love.
Not the hard, cold, duty-driven kind of love but the kind that let’s them know unconditionally, without reservation, and without hesitation… I’m glad they are mine."
- Chrystal Evans Hurst from I Take Joy
Wow. My weary heart needed to hear that. The most important thing I can give my children is love. Unconditional, unreserved love. I need to open up and share my life with them. I need to count it a joy to raise them (because it is) - I don't want to miss out on that.
Do we need to feel guilty about pursuing our dreams as mothers? Not really. Our dreams may change over time, look a little different and might need to be put on hold for a season but we can still dream and go for it. It's just that when those dreams or goals cause us to start looking at our children as a chore or a bother, it's time to remind ourselves what's most important. We need to make the moments that we have with them count for something and give them the assurance that mommy loves them no matter what. That they are special and worth so much more than our dreams.