Living your dreams now

Maybe I just follow too many fans of the Catholic Register (or just Jen at Conversion Diary), but I’ve heard such good things about Simcha Fisher (Sigh.) I’m a big fan of Jennifer Fulwiler, author of Conversion Diary and a column at the Catholic Register, but it took my dad sending me this link to read her article “The Time to Thrive Is Now“:

Certainly the “trenches” of motherhood are a time of sacrifice, and a woman in that phase of life can drive both herself and her family crazy by trying to have the same lifestyle as her neighbor whose youngest child is 12. It would be hard for, say, a mom with a baby and a toddler to do everything on the list above. But I think we’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak, and in many cases the message has morphed from “you shouldn’t try to do too much when you have young children,” to “you shouldn’t try to do anything when you have young children.” And I think that that’s a problem.

It’s definitely true that raising children is a bit time consuming ;) . But I think Simcha is right—there perception in popular culture has shifted from “time consuming” to “all consuming.”

I am a mother. 24/7, always on call, never get a vacation mom.

But while my children are so much of my life—figurative and literally—I am still a person. I have three small kids, but I can do more than just change diapers, ready preschool books and sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” (It’s a fave.)

I have dreams—the big one of writing, of course. In the last four and a half years, I’ve written seven novels (hoping to make that eight soon). While having one two three kids at home full time or nearly so. Some of my dreams will have to wait until my children are older—but my whole life doesn’t have to wait.

What are you doing to capture your dreams today?

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3 responses to “Living your dreams now”

  1. Shannon says:

    I really struggle with this concept because I feel that I don’t have any hobbies that are easily developed at home. Perhaps I need to work on that, but over the years I have been a stay at home mom I have thought and thought about things that interest me that I can do at home and I just come up blank. I’m not crafty and every time I try crafty things it’s just not enjoyable for me. I also don’t feel fulfilled by doing those things.

    The things I want to pursue take time away from my children and my home, such as re-learning/becoming more fluent in Spanish, swimming more regularly (I do actually do this I just have to do it early in the morning before my kids are even awake), etc. I keep thinking the time will come for those hobbies/skills but in the meantime I stay plenty busy with my family, home, and my very busy calling of YW president. And yet I have that nagging feeling that I’m not who I really want to be as a person. It’s unsettling and crops up when I am feeling my lowest. I wish I was one of those people who had something that was easily done at home during nap time. Sigh.

  2. Elisa says:

    my heart goes out to you, Shannon. I totally admire you for swimming before the kids get up… does your gym have affordable childcare and would you be willing to let them play for an hour or so while you work out? I know that a lot of people, myself included, view gyms as a luxury. They certainly are. But as far as luxury goes, it is definitely the best investment because of the positive returns that benefit the whole family.

    I have to have goals. It is working towards goals that helps me feel fulfilled. some goals are fun (like a project of any kind) others are practical (like my weightloss goal) while others are hard (like working on my masters). The fun ones are the kind that you might consider a true ‘hobby’ but I find that often I don’t even have time for those fun ones because the practical or hard ones are so time-consuming. That’s when I just remind myself that a goal is a goal and as long as I’m accomplishing something I should be fulfilled. Fun or not. And the real blessing is that my goal-oriented competitive personality believes it, so usually I’m very content even if not engaging in ‘hobby’ type dreams. :)

  3. Jordan says:

    It’s hard. Even when you do have something you love to do, the struggle can be with your priorities, you know? Ignoring my children to do what I’d rather do—being a poor mother doesn’t make me feel very good (not to mention the effect on the kids & household!).

    But there are a few things you can do: you can work on your Spanish over the Internet. My library offers online language courses for FREE so you could brush up (check out your library’s online resources—I picked up a little Irish that way. Dia duit!), and I know there are places where you can get together online to chat/video chat with people to learn languages. There are places where you could find someone who’s a native Spanish speaker trying to learn English, and you get together for an hour or two and speak one language half the time, and then switch. (I’m not sure if they have this here or not because I haven’t done a ton of digging, but I really like Fluentin3months.com and they just added a forum.)

    (I’m also contemplating sticking Hayden in a Spanish immersion school soon, so even that little way might help.)

    There are so many things that you can do at home, though—an electronic keyboard and headphones (I do that), reading, online courses, etc.

    I think it’s important to figure out what you want out of your activities. I have to remind myself over and over again that the #1 reason I write is because I enjoy it, because I write books that are fun. When I forget that, it becomes more of a chore. When I remember it, it becomes renewing.

    You’re right that time for other things comes in other seasons, and it can be really hard to wait—but in the mean time, I think you can find something to do now, too. We don’t want to push ourselves too hard (esp. when we’re expecting—I always felt like all my “creative” energy went into creating this new person, LOL.). Good luck.

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