I think I've said this a bazillion times already, so I guess this will make it a bazillion-and-one: having kids changes everything. Or does it?
The other day my future sister-in-law "Facebooked" me telling me that a woman she knows was giving a talk about her book Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers. With my blog and all, she thought it would be right up my alley (what a sweetheart - unfortunately, we won't be there that weekend, but check out Kate Hopper's website if you want more info. on her or her book). I thought, "Now here's a lady who's doing it all! Writer, teacher, editor, mother? Go Kate!"
That got me thinking . . . How have my dreams for myself changed since becoming a mom? This is totally aside from anything kid-related (i.e. I'm not talking about dreams of sleeping uninterrupted for 3 straight days). So what did my dreams used to be?
1) I always wanted to be the voice of a Disney character (Belle, Ariel, Jasmine . . . Something along those lines. Silly, I know.)
2) I wanted to play Eponine or Fantine in the musical Les Miserables
3) I wanted to write a fiction/fantasy series, probably Young Adult, or edit fiction novels
4) I wanted to work at, or possibly own, a bakery
5) I wanted to be a mom
I think I can safely cross off the first two as "never-going-to-happen" dreams. First of all, they seem more and more frequently to be casting well-known celebrities as voices for animated characters. Secondly, I don't see a production of Les Miserables being put on in the area any time soon. On top of that, I have little to no experience other than a love of singing. Those were long-shots to begin with.
How am I coming on writing a fantasy series? Um . . . I haven't gotten anywhere. That's still on the "I'll-come-back-to-you-I-promise" dream shelf. I definitely haven't put it out of my mind, so if I'm ever a famous author, you can say that you once read my blog. Haha :)
I don't work at, or own a bakery. However, I've been asked to make cake/cupcakes for three weddings total, and also cookie/goodie holiday trays. I still love baking as much as I always have, and for now that's plenty for me. Other than that last dream, this is the closest I've come to reaching a dream. Not too shabby, but definitely room for improvement.
The last dream? I guess that one gets a double checkmark! I have always wanted to be a mom. Always. I don't ever remember a time when I didn't want kids. I used to worry pretty incessantly that I wouldn't be able to have a baby for one reason or another. In that case, we probably would have adopted, but it was a pretty common concern for me until I got pregnant with Asher. Which is weird because it's a baseless worry. Motherhood isn't always a dream (sometimes it's closer to a nightmare), but I love it.
So what does this tell me? I'm 1 for 5 on accomplishing my dreams. And, I also discovered that my dreams haven't changed since becoming a mom. I'll still dream of Disney and Les Miserables, but I've always known those wouldn't happen. Writing a novel? The bakery? Sure, I can still do those things, but, I need to be proactive about both of them. Those are things that are within reach . . . I just have to keep climbing. And it'll be a long, hard climb for either of them.
Becoming a parent does change everything about your life. There is no aspect of your life that won't be affected by kids. But, it doesn't change who you are. Under all that stickiness and crusty food that got wiped on your shirt, under the tiredness, stress, and maybe even poop (yikes), you'll still be you. And I'm still me.