A friend asked me a few years ago, “What do you want to achieve in your life?” My instant answer was, “My goal in life is to ensure my children grow up to be healthy and happy!”. My friend was considerably shocked, “That’s it!?! Isn’t there anything that you wish you could achieve for yourself?” I debated that being a mother was the most important thing for me. If I could do it well, that is all that I ever could want in life.
I am sure there are a lot of mothers who feel the same way. No matter whether we are house wives or successful career women, children are the end goal of our life. We are ready to compromise career, financial security, and even our spouse for the well being of our children. Somewhere in our minds, there is a very powerful doctrine that says that a good mother does not think about her own dreams. A good mother always puts the dreams of her family before her. The doctrine further states that being a mother is the most important role a woman can play. We should therefore play the role with complete pride and discipline. So what if we din’t get a chance to learn the piano, or run our own business, we will always get the opportunity to live our lives through our children. We can put our daughters in piano classes and we can have our son setup his business. We are sure we will get even more satisfaction seeing our children successful.
I am not sure when I changed, but somewhere between juggling work, children and my own sanity, I started building dreams of my own over and above the dreams that I had fostered for my children. I sinned to create dreams for me, just me; not my spouse, not my children, not my parents, but just ME. I had never thought anyone in my family would appreciate my dreams but for some odd reason, my complete family supported me. Years later I now dream of publishing my books, travelling across boundaries signing books for my readers, becoming an accomplished dancer and being able to make a difference to a larger community.
Initially I used to feel guilty taking time out for building my dreams. After all, in the same time, I could spend an extra hour on the next school project. Or I could work harder on potty training. Or I could cook something special for my husband. I could always choose to work harder on building/supporting dreams for my family than working on my own dreams. Isn’t that what mothers do best? It took me some time to realize that it was not my job to create dreams for my children. It was my job to enable them to create their own dreams. As a mother, it was my job to give them the confidence and courage to follow their dream no matter where it lead them. I then realized an extremely important game changing lesson of my life – How could I ever teach my children to follow their dreams, when I myself had never had the courage to do so??
Since that day on, I now take out time for building my dream each day at a time. I sincerely believe that having my own dreams does not make me less of a mother. In fact it makes me a better mother. It is because I have dreams of my own that I can teach my kids the importance of dreaming. As my daughter sees me blogging late into the nights after finishing her homework and story routine, she understands the importance of midnight oil in accomplishing the dreams. I respect myself and my time much more and therefore everyone else in the family tends to do the same. I can proudly say that my husband, my children, my in-laws, my mother, my sisters, my friends are all proud of me. I now realize that all along, all of them wanted me to be successful. They are all extremely happy when they see me becoming famous and respected in the world out there. I was never doing any one of them a favor by ignoring my dreams. I was just too scared of waking up and trying to make my dream into a reality. It was not that the family never believed I could make it big someday. It was me who never believed in myself.