Society tells you to have big dreams.
Nature says, “Have kids fast.”
Dream big AND have kids?
My first pregnancy came somewhat unplanned. I was just 20, newly wed and barely scratching the surface of what “success” meant. Yet, I pulled out of the workforce and school, damning my scholarship and the dreams that had come to define me for years, because suddenly there was this little guy who mattered more than the world to me, more than success. And, I wanted to be there for him, and with him.
What happened next was disastrous. I turned my ambition onto my child and felt like a failure when he “misbehaved.” I became the sad mom whose self-worth rested wholly on whether or not her 2 year old threw a tantrum in public. The mom whose son always excelled, the brightest, the best. Can you even imagine what growing up with a mother like that would feel like?
You don’t get happiness by suppressing you, you get it by discovering you.
I needed so badly to have it all, I spent the next year or so starting a blog, surveying for cents, working terrible $5 per hour gigs and sleeping only two hours per night, doing virtually any online task that was said to make money until I finally began, “Making it.” My first big break? A $1,000 contract for 1,200 words. I guess it’s pretty easy to make money freelancing when you know where to look. But, all the money in the world wouldn’t be enough. It didn’t take very long for me to realize, my own definition of success
wasn’t money in itself, it was FREEDOM and I wasn’t free. Instead, I had lost the close family relationship I wanted to be home for in the first place, developed a host of health conditions including RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) from working on my phone while nursing in bed…and to add insult to injury, I now worked twice as hard for the same results.
It was no longer “Shsh! Mommy’s working,” all the time. Maybe you’ve been told that you can have it all, if only you’d try a bit harder. But, how long have you been trying already? Do you have “it” yet? Problem is, “ALL” has been defined for you by others. I guess, we’ve all lived under that misconception at one time or another. Truth is, you can have it all. YOU just have to define “YOUR ALL.”
Here are some helpful tips in the discovery process:
Choose what’s important, sacrifice what’s not. Kids don’t have to have the best toys or go to the top school in the district, what they do need, is a balanced home filled with love, and that starts with a balanced mom. Knowing that it’s okay to choose, and to choose an option that works best for everyone will take an enormous amount of pressure off you. Stop measuring your success against others and only strive to be better than yourself. Frankly, it’s a race you’ll never win anyway. There will always be someone seemingly better than you are.
Begin to listen to yourself, your body and the people who matter most. The world won’t end if you don’t finish that project today, will it? Then there’s no point in battering your relationships or raising your stress levels just to finish it.
Live in the moment and be grateful. Gratitude for me has been powerful. I never acknowledged how good things became until I unlocked the healing power of gratitude in my life. Melody Beattie said it best, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” And lastly, have fun and let your heart lead you. Because having what your heart truly desires, is having it all.
Lily is the ambitious mama of two behind FindingBalance.com, where she shares shortcuts to creating a beautiful and balance mom life without sacrificing ambition. For tips on blogging or building an online business, find her at http://www.findingbalance.mom