Is Your Child The Reason For Your Unfulfilled Dreams?
My husband and I promised never to use our kids as an excuse not to do something. However, since becoming a mom, I’ve been finding it convenient to use my son as an excuse for my shortcomings and why I’m not able to get something done.
And people would understand because they wouldn’t dare (openly) question our parenting style and vice versa.
Having children is like the holy grail of excuses. It allows us an out for pretty much everything including our decision to stop pursuing our dreams.
The sheer magnitude of parenthood can’t be described or felt until you’ve actually gone through it yourself, and even then, every child is different and every parent is different.
When we become a parent, everything we do is for our kid. However, having kids doesn’t and shouldn’t mean an end to our dreams. Having kids shouldn’t be seen as something that holds us back, as a sacrifice of our dreams and identity; they should be seen as our catalyst to move forward, as the reason to go after our dreams, not an excuse to give up on them.
We put less thought into bringing a human being into this world than we do in pursuing our dreams, whatever they may be. And if we planned to have children, we already believe we’re going to have to give up those dreams even before we attempt them.
Yes, being a parent is scary but not going after our dreams is even scarier. Not going after them because of your child can slowly manifest into a very dangerous and unexpected emotion.
We may see our self sacrifice as a noble endeavour, one that our family should appreciate and recognize. We create an entrance into martyrdom for ourselves when we have kids. The problem with expecting the shoulds in life is that it often manifests into resentment.
We may feel selfish for going after our dreams when we have a family to take care of but worse than feeling selfish is harbouring resentment against those we love. Resentment can and will eat us away and trickle down to how we treat our family and children. Children aren’t oblivious. They can feel the anger, negativity and resentment; they can feel it in their bones, especially when it comes from their parents.
Our children are not the reason we’re not pursuing our dreams, we actively made that decision ourselves when we had children and then used them as our excuse to avoid the scariness of that pursuit.
I believe our kids will either be our best fans or our worst critics because they’re always watching and they will either want to be just like you or the complete opposite.
Babies are born pretty perfect. They have no bad habits, they don’t know right from wrong, they’re a blank slate ready for us to teach them and for them to learn from us. They’ll make up their own minds about our life lessons soon enough.
Our kids are our responsibility. Our responsibility to teach them right from wrong, our responsibility to physically, mentally, and emotionally care for them, and our responsibility to set an example for them through our own actions.
Our kids are watching our every move, listening to our every word. If we’re not the ones to show them that their dreams are worth pursuing, then who will?
I had my doubts about having a kid. I don’t know if I was meant for motherhood but I chose to have one and start a family anyway.
And through the toughest of days, I can choose to regret having a child or embrace it as an opportunity.
I choose the latter.
Because any human that’s ready and willing to learn from me is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for me to grow and better myself for the benefit of another and it’s an opportunity to (hopefully) raise a great human being.
There are many women who regret becoming a mother after they’ve had kids. I read an article where this woman says,
I think it’s a sad way to view your children — that they’re your limitations; that they’ve closed the doors on you rather than opening opportunities.
I used to think like these women above before I became a mom. I used to believe that children would limit me rather than help me grow. A child is hard work and there’s no denying they take up time. But my son has given me new experiences, lessons, and inspiration in his short time here. He’s giving me a new perspective, one I never thought I’d have. I choose to use parenthood as an opportunity to grow, not to limit myself.
We may think that after having a kid, we have no time or, more accurately, this isn’t the right time.
Definitely not the right time.
But I’d argue that this is actually the best time to start pursuing your dreams.
Yes, I’m tired. I’m currently running on 3–4 hour spurts of sleep (I don’t know when I’m going to have that luxurious 6 hours people keep telling me about), changing what seems like an endless amount of diapers, and feeding for about 6–8 hours a day, give or take. Oh, and I’m battling carpal tunnel in both hands.
But I’m still writing.
Becoming a mom is one of the most challenging life events a woman goes through. It’s a time where you learn the most about yourself and it’s a time for self-growth.
Being a parent means we learn patience, creativity, discipline, and resilience. We develop every character building quality we need to withstand the emotions that come with raising a kid…and pursuing our dreams.
We don’t have to decide which is more important to us, raising our child or pursuing our dreams. They are, I would argue, equally important. We don’t have to give up one in order to accomplish the other.
Being there for our kids doesn’t mean having to give up our dreams to do so. We are actually better parents if we don’t.
Is Your Child The Reason For Your Unfulfilled Dreams?
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