Your Dreams Count

Posted by Mary Marvella | 5:32 PM | 10 comments »

Now that fall is here, are you looking back at your summer with regrets? Did you decide to spend your summer catching up on your writing, or art, or hobby?
Were you involved taking your children around, doing more driving than usual to keep your little darlings entertained instead? With more hours of daylight adults and children spend more time outside enjoying the sun. We need to do some of that. We have fewer daylight hours now but just as much actual time.

One upon a time children played outside and mothers stayed inside doing housework or catching up.

If you write as much as you want to and attend conferences or workshops and spend money on the things you feel you need to feed your soul, you can skim this or even skip it. Parents and wives, or even grown children whose families support your chasing your dreams, I probably have nothing for you here. You are blessed and the rest of us envy you a little and want to know your secrets.

or

Are you a frustrated writer, artist, or (insert the thing you love to do) who is too busy taking care of your family instead of pursuing your dream? You are not unique and or even unusual. Since time began women have been programmed to be caregivers and nurturers. Wives and mothers who keep perfect houses and give their children all their time are great mothers, right? Good wives and mothers find a way to keep children and husbands happy, often by giving up their own dreams. Familiar?

Competition

Many of us hear comparisons when we say no to our children or when our kids discover the more perfect mom of a friend. Do you try to match that mom with better cookies or a more perfect costume for the school play or a party? Maybe you feel your kids need the best or most expensive shoes or you take your kids' friends to a movie or have a party at a popular spot that costs the big bucks.

Hey, the kid who does everything and has everything will grow to be a well-adjusted adult, right? I'll bet these children appreciate their mom's hard work and sacrifices and it's all worthwhile. Men whose mothers gave them everything are generous and caring toward their wives and don't expect them to take over for their moms. Daughters who see their mothers do all the giving learn to marry men who are giving and they don't expect to perpetuate the myth that women shouldn't pursue their dreams.

Generalities don't equal truth but they can help us think things through.

If you deny yourself a hobby or the chance to work toward a dream, will your family thank you a year from now? Six months from now? Tomorrow? If so, I'd love to have your family.

Women often set themselves up for a fall by trying to do too much. If you have a full-time job outside the home and you try to do all the housework and cart your children to as many activities as they think they want and do all the perfect wife things, and head committees, etc., you might just neglect your own needs.

You deserve to work toward your dream, attend workshops, take classes, and take time for yourself, unless you are truly neglecting your children's needs for food and parental guidance.

When you hear comments about wasting money and time on a "hobby", translate that to a past-time that doesn't make money, trash the guilt. Don't waste effort feeling guilty or defensive.

Does every men who plays golf or a sport, or races cars, or builds model planes or cars do these things to prepare to make a living at these activities? When you take your son or daughter to dance classes or piano lessons, do you expect that child to make a living dancing or playing piano? Most of us will say no. We justify the expenses because our children will be better rounded adults if they know how to play and how to feed their souls. Adults will be better parents and employees if we have outlets for our artistic energy or our need to exert physical energy.

If writing is your passion and your family and friends consider it a hobby, who cares? Our children are encouraged to have hobbies, but they shouldn't be so all-consuming that parents have no time for hobbies or passions of their own.

You wouldn't buy your son football equipment and deny him food or shelter. You wouldn't buy a piano and let your family go hungry. You wouldn't buy a nice new laptop for your writing and make your children go without shoes they need or make your spouse work without transportation.

If you let your family take every minute of your time and deny yourself time to pursue your passions, you may one day resent your sacrifice. Resentment can kill relationships and leave you a hollow person.

Have you let your dreams go by the wayside for your family?

10 comments

  1. Beth Trissel // October 9, 2008 at 7:53 PM  

    Very thoughtful and apt post, Mary.
    It's a balancing act some of us are still trying to master. :)
    I appreciated your thoughts.

  2. Mary Marvella // October 9, 2008 at 8:42 PM  

    Thanks, Beth. My needs always came after everyone else's until my daughter was grown and then after the divorce.

  3. Anonymous // October 10, 2008 at 10:17 PM  

    MM, you've been watching me too closely!

    The Scarlet Pumpernickel

  4. Donnell // October 11, 2008 at 12:32 AM  

    Dear Scarlet Pumpernickel, no Mary's been watching me. Wow, Mary, great insights. Something my DH and I talked about when we were in Utah and he was fulfilling his passion with his marathon running. I stressed, now you know how I feel about writing... Thank you!

  5. Barbara White Daille // October 11, 2008 at 9:02 AM  

    Beautiful post, Mary. I kept reading it and thinking, Yes. Yes. Yes.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Best,

    Barbara
    www.barbarawhitedaille.com

  6. Mary Marvella // October 11, 2008 at 11:19 AM  

    I thought my experience might resonate with a lot of writers and other women who put their dreams aside for family.

  7. Edie // October 11, 2008 at 8:08 PM  

    Mary, for the most part my answer is no. Although I'm glad right now that duck hunting season started and I write more on weekends. :)

  8. Mary Marvella // October 11, 2008 at 10:20 PM  

    Ducks, huh. Do you actually eat duck? Mama used to dress and cook the ducks Daddy shot many years ago. He brought home more colds and hangovers than game, until he realized how dumb that was.

  9. Anonymous // October 12, 2008 at 1:02 PM  

    Football! When my family was young I absolutely loved football season, couldn't wait for it to begin every year! No, I didn't watch the silly stuff, it occupied my DH for hours on end giving me free time to do my own thing! Writing, shopping, writing! Wow, free time to do my own thing, what a novel idea. (pun intended) When we discovered football, I was in heaven! Never thought about ducks, but I guess that would work too! LOL

    Donnell, MM watches us all! Trust me, I know!

    The Scarlet Pumpernickel

  10. Mary Ricksen // October 12, 2008 at 8:50 PM  

    The answer to the last question is yes. And I'm gonna try not to do that any more.