Today I am sharing about how I came to be a Momma Dreamer. If you’re just joining us click over to the Momma Dreamer Manifesto. Don’t forget to stop by every Friday through March to hear stories from our other Momma Dreamers.
– My Current Reality –
I am a stay-at-home wife and mom who does freelance layout and design work on the side (a fringe skill I picked up at my last day-job). I also blog here in my spare time – but you already knew that. 🙂
– My Story –
I landed my first ministry job during my junior year of college and graduated shortly thereafter with a degree in Ministerial Studies. I wrote dramas, led the worship team, and ran lots of creatively bent meetings. I managed, administrated, and even got to preach on occasion. I thought I was on track to becoming the next Nancy Beach. It was beyond exciting and everything I had ever dreamed of.
I got married. Mike and I got job offers at our denomination’s state headquarters. We moved. I started planning state-wide events, networking with youth pastors and their wives, and on most days I got to work four feet away from my husband. I couldn’t have planned a better career path for myself if I’d tried.
Then I became a mom and everything I thought I wanted changed. I didn’t want to go back to work after my maternity leave. I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Fortunately for me hubby agreed with the change of plans and together we committed to doing whatever it took to make that possible.
In the middle of my dream switch from career woman to SAH mom something really weird happened. It was like I didn’t know who I was or where I fit in the world anymore. I felt like I lost my former identity (writer, singer, planner, pastor) and had no idea what to do with the new one (SAH mom). I was confused and sometimes frustrated . . . even though I was living the life I wanted, loving on my boys.
It took me a little over two years to really discover what it looked like for me to balance being a dreamer and being a mom. I started pursuing some things I love but had forgotten. Slowly, I regained perspective on who I was and who I was becoming, and how being a mom didn’t take away from my dreams but gave rise to new ones.
– My Dream –
I did a lot of script writing at my first job and loved it. Before we moved, I started sending manuscripts to publishers and had a few monologues published. When we moved I got busy with my new job and didn’t have an opportunity to consistently write anymore. It wasn’t until Elijah was nearing his first birthday and my friend Agatha suggested I start a blog that I began writing again.
Through these experiences I’ve come to realize that one of my dreams is to write professionally. I am trying to figure out exactly what that looks like, but for me for now, that admission is a huge step in the right direction.
– The Plan –
In my current reality writing professionally is probably in the future – maybe the distant future – and that’s ok. What is tangible for me today is writing this blog. When I really came to grips with the fact that I wanted to write, I got serious about being consistent. Then I got serious about being creative and consistent. I’m planning on taking things one step at a time and being faithful with the small assignments I’m given (here and other writing projects) in anticipation of larger ones (writing for publication).
Practically, in order to pursue this dream I’ve had to give up some peripheral things in my life. I don’t have a lot of time to myself as a SAH mom (frankly I don’t know ANY mom who has a lot of time to herself), so I’ve come to learn how to maximize (and not complain about) the time I do have. For me that means turning off the TV. I’m also learning to say no to things that may line up with a lesser dream, for the sake of pursuing this big dream.
– What I’ve Learned –
I think the single most important thing I’ve learned over the last three years is that it’s ok when dreams change. In Shauna Niequist’s book Bittersweet she talks about the concept of giving yourself ten years (after college graduation) to really know what it is that you’re doing with your life. It seems silly to think you’d have your whole life figured out by the time you graduate college (or for the sake of this conversation – before you become a mom) and then just live life on autopilot. It seems silly and maybe a little boring.
The desire to be a SAH mom came out of nowhere for me. I didn’t understand what having kids would do to my career dreams and at first I felt inconsistent and disloyal to the promptings of a younger self. So what? People change. I change – and change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. When I came to grips with the fact that the only person who cared about my change of heart was me, I allowed myself to pursue new dreams unencumbered and free.
Through every experience, every job, every dream I have learned something that contributes to the things I dream for today. I want to write professionally . . . maybe I’ll write a book someday. Maybe after I write said book I’ll write another and another and another . . . but maybe I won’t. Maybe something will change inside of me and I’ll go on to explore new dreams with new passion and new determination.
I don’t know, but it will certainly be something exciting to discover.
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