Not so long ago, my mother found a report card that I received in the first grade. There in the comments, written in beautiful cursive, “We may have a future budding authoress.”. These words floored me. I am sure my mother brought it to my attention at the time. I am sure that my first-grade teacher, Ms. Rankin encouraged me in my talents, but now, a 37-year old mother with two kids, I never knew these words were spoken. When those words jumped up from the faded yellow paper, I immediately thought, “What happened?!”
I used to love to write. During my middle school years I wrote pages and pages of stories. I remember filling up 1-subject notebooks at home, on the bus, and even when I was probably supposed to be listening to the teacher. I used to write romance novels, of all things, which looking back now I remember they had a naivete about them; (thank God). I recall a memory where I was in deep trouble with my mother. I don’t know why I was in trouble, but I remember darkness looming over my bedroom, while I pondered my fate. I remember I attempted to break the tension by creating a survey for her. I listed three story ideas and asked her to check a box of which story she would most like to read.
When I wrote all these stories, not once was I motivated by a dream to be rich and famous. I did so, because it was something that I enjoyed. My classes in middle school and high school are a blur. I can’t really think of a specific grade school teacher that encouraged my writing habits. So, why did this desire to write get continually shelved? Life, I suppose. Even when I was in college earning my English Lit degree, I very rarely wrote for pleasure. Work load and essays aside, I was involved in so many other things, I suppose it never occurred to me to keep up with my long-lost hobby.
I mentioned before that I entitled this blog “a Mom of Sorts”, because of all of my different areas of interest. In college I acted in plays, sang in the choir, played flute in the marching band, and had a spot on the ballroom dancing team. All of these things were called “my passion” at one time or another. All of it was fun and I love reminiscing. After all is said and done, writing is what I miss the most.
In addition to this blog, I hope to become a published writer in some form, but it isn’t something that I am so desperate to achieve that I would trade anything that motherhood has given me. I love being a mom. I submitted a children’s book to a few publishers this year. The story is an idea I’ve had for a very long time since before I even became a mom. I’m still learning how the process works, but I am optimistic.
The thing is, when you are a mom, a question just creeps in, “What about my dreams? Is it too late?” Identity is a funny thing. At a young age we struggle with who we are. Am I a good student or a bad student? Will people like me if I wear my hair that way? Then, after we graduate, we form a new identity. College or trade-school? Travel abroad or save money staying with my parents? Then you get married, and you have a new identity as a wife. Then you have kids and your identity changes AGAIN. Really! We go straight from a date-night every night, just the two of us life, and then BOOM! Congratulations! You’re responsible for keeping a tiny human, fed, clean and entertained. Doesn’t matter who you were before! Have fun with the hormonal melodrama and incessant responsibilities! Sayonara all you beautiful childhood rainbow and glitter dreams.
When I became a new mother I struggled with who I was turning into. Things like lifestyle and my tastes in entertainment changed, and all of my “passions” were distant memories. Lately, I find myself measuring my failure (like many mothers do), by how I interact daily with my kids. My children find joy in some things that really test my patience and skills. I mean, I couldn’t figure out some fancy block kit my son received for his birthday [(in Bones’ voice) “Darnit! I’m a homemaker not an engineer!”] And then it hit me, I have been less than creative all these years. I realized that I hadn’t exposed my kids to any of the things I was passionate about. Sure, I sing and dance with them, and they know that mommy and daddy met in the marching band, but they don’t really know that these were integral parts of my life. I think this family unit is due for a revamp. I’m thinking more dance parties and less feeling like I’ve lost my identity.
Has motherhood distracted you so much that you have forgotten your dreams? True, I don’t know your individual circumstances, but you don’t have to put your goals on the back-burner forever. God has given you talents and abilities to enhance your lives. Never does He want you to abandon your dreams that He himself put in your heart. Your true identity is how God sees you, and that is someone who is beautifully and wonderfully made.
“By your endurance, you will gain your lives.”
Luke 21:19 (ESV)
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:4 (ESV)