Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bringing Pre-Child Passions Back to Life



I spent all of my 20's living on my own, getting to know myself and what I needed to be fulfilled.  I felt balanced and secure knowing that I could retreat to a long bath or an engrossing book if my life got really crazy.  Now I am 33 with a three year old, an 8 month old and a wonderful husband and my life is a big ball of craziness.  Mornings start with a string of "mamamamama's," "MOMMY!!  Guess what!?" And whines from our dog to be taken out.  All in the first 30 seconds of waking up.  Once I get to my cup of coffee, I have usually completed more tasks and tended to more needs than I ever did in an entire day as a single girl.

I remember crying to my husband when my youngest was about 6 weeks old that I hadn't been able to find time to pee in 5 hours because someone needed fed, walked, put to bed, played with, etc.  He gave me an incredulous look and said, "why don't you just let them know they need to wait a minute so that you can pee?"  How could this have escaped me?  It always seemed like their needs were much more important.  I had made the decision to put my needs last.  It was up to me to change it.

Mommy guilt is a powerful force and it takes a lot of support to kick it to the curb.  No matter how many magazines, friends and family members said, "you will be a better mother if you take time for yourself," I still felt like I was bailing out on my responsibilities.   But I really missed those good books.  And adult conversation.  And shopping without navigating a stroller and two kids who would rather be anywhere but in said stroller.


I love to sing.  Ever since Ariel in the Little Mermaid, I have been a sucker for powerful and heartfelt songs.  I love to perform.  I love the feeling of spotlights on my face, a microphone in my hand and the smell of a stage.   And yet, I had not even tried to perform since college.  I thought I should focus on serious things like my career and then my family.  Performing was simply too indulgent with my long list of responsibilities.  Then something amazing happened.  I was volunteering with my church to produce an event that included a prayer walk and a Christian concert.  Two days into the venture, the head of the committee said to me, " I have this feeling that you should MC and sing in this event.  Can you sing?"

YES!!  Said my heart.  But then the questions started to creep into my head.  Wo will watch the boys when I do this?  Can I still do this?  Will my husband support me in this venture?  Will my boys be ok if i spend less time with them?  Mommy guilt is a powerful force and it takes a lot of support to kick it to the curb.  No matter how many magazines, friends and family members said, "you will be a better mother if you take time for yourself," I still felt like I was bailing out on my responsibilities.  So I did what I always do when I need someone to push me.  I called my mom.

She asked me all kinds of questions to lead me back to my heart.  She did what moms do best - put the focus in me.  By the end of the conversation I realized that I wouldn't be taking something away from my family by performing.  I would be giving them a gift.  I would be teaching them that you should always follow your passions and do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone.

Singing at the show - I'm on the left!


I practiced with my boys and they started singing along with me.  They came to some rehearsals and learned about all the sounds of the instruments and how microphones work.  They clapped for me now matter how many times I missed a high note.  On the day of the show, I was singing the finale and my three year old climbed up on stage and started singing the song with me.  He got everybody on their feet and owned the stage.  Afterward, he hugged me and said, "Mommy, you did a really good job singing today.". My heart melted and I saw that my mom was right.  My boys learned as much as I did and they couldn't help but get caught up in my joy.  I have recaptured a part of myself tht I absolutely want them to know.  I can't think of a better gift to give them.

Question: what passions from your pre-child days do you want to bring back into your life?

Challenge:  do something for you and involve your children in your passion

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