Can you pursue motherhood and dreams?

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I don’t have it figured out. I’m not even close. But this morning I woke up and accepted the challenge: try to be a mother and something else.

In my case, I am a teacher and an aspiring writer. But before my work begins and the sun rises, I am preparing my two children for preschool.

Today was supposed to be ambitious. An entire morning locked in my office with blog goals in mind.

But preschool drop-off came first. And, with it, a new revelation: “Now remember we have the Thanksgiving party today. You’re coming, right?”

I had missed the posted sign-up sheet.

I had missed the announcements.

I had missed the holiday boat entirely.

Immediately, conviction fell upon me. You must go, Lauren. You must go.

So I smiled and quickly departed to my office, where I knew any dream beyond motherhood would fall short, unfulfilled. Ninety minutes slipped through my hands.

But I arrived on time for the big event and a little turkey’s arms greeted me, outstretched with gladness.

In that moment, I remembered what the early years require: marginalization of self. The tasks I had been so desperate to complete were to wait another day – perhaps another week. And the ornate cupcakes were this messy reminder that if I fall short as a teacher/writer, there is no hope for me as a Pinterest mom.

So I drew up a tiny pink chair, cut my daughter’s chicken nuggets, and wiped her mouth at least a dozen times.

Today I showed up. There is no “job well done” for this kind of thing.

But the true reward is this: When my daughter was watching, she saw me appear.

And she didn’t even notice my empty hands.

*For more adventures, follow Lauren on Facebook and Twitter.

One Year Ago: Descending the Ivory Tower

Two Years Ago: Deep Waters

6 thoughts on “Can you pursue motherhood and dreams?

  1. This is my favorite part “In that moment, I remembered what the early years require: marginalization of self. The tasks I had been so desperate to complete were to wait another day – perhaps another week.” It’s right to the core of what motherhood is. Everyday deciding will there be a small bit for me today or no? And as the kids get older the answer is yes. You will have that time to pursue those other things gradually more and more. I really loved this read.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing this wonderful encouragement! It is at the core, and this conflict is ever present in this season of my life. It gives me such peace to hear that gradually the demands will lessen, which means I get to savor and slowly let go 🙂

      Like

  2. Thanks for sharing your story 🙂 Funny, we were writing about the same theme this week, though we came at it from different angles!
    Just ‘showing up’ means so much to the little ones- and those are the moments we can’t get back. Balancing things well enough to get the dreams in too…well, that’s the trick, isn’t it? On we go, one day at a time!!!
    (Do you mind if I ask, what kind of writing you are working on?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just read your piece – spoke to my heart! Yes, same theme. I’m wondering how many years this madness will persist…forever?! The theft of time and energy is my struggle right now with writing. Even with our full-time careers in academia, my husband and I have chosen not to have our kids in full-time care, so when they are not in preschool the pull is three-fold: career, family, and hobby-hopefully-turned career (writing).

      Thanks for asking about the writing! I am in the early, early stages of my first memoir. I still haven’t figured out how to maintain a blog and work toward writing a book. Any ideas to share? I’m always impressed by what you take on 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! I don’t know if an end to the madness is in sight…but then I think of NOT having it, and what a loss that would be :).
        Uf- the blogging and querying have taken up ALL of my ‘free time’ that I’ve scraped together- the second book is going soooo sloooowly. I managed the first one by staying up far too late for too many nights- sentences get interesting when you are dozing/writing 😉 One thing that I found helpful was writing my first draft on paper. I could take my notebook along when the kids were playing outside or whip it out quickly during naptime without the other distractions on my computer.
        You have a knack for sharing your experiences in a relatable and moving way- I think your memoir will turn out beautifully 🙂

        Like

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