My guest today is fellow Dorchester author Marie-Claude Bourque, whose debut paranormal romance Ancient Whispers comes out next week. I saw bits of this story when it finaled -- and won! -- the American Title V contest. I can't wait to read the whole thing. In fact, I'm counting the days....

Take it away, Marie-Claude!


We all start in life with big dreams. We leave home for work or college, our head filled with the great things we will accomplish, the great life we’ll lead.

Then one day we have children and slowly but surely, we set aside our dreams and instead, daydream about what our children will do (I know my own crazy thoughts involved scholarships to Yale or Harvard once my boys started kindergarten).

It’s not that we don’t want things for ourselves, but face it, as mothers, as soon as we hold that infant in our arms, we just get so busy.

We put out the fires, cater to every little thing our children need, one after another, and set our dreams aside, for now. Then they go to school and even if we do have a daytime job, we tend to be less hungry for more. Day by day, we just slowly go through the routine and focus on our family needs.

If a small dream we had crosses our mind, say write that novel, visit Ireland, learn to play the piano, we just set it aside. It’s foolish really to think we should take time for that. We had our chance, and now it’s their chance. Our kids need to fulfill their dreams and sometimes at the expense of ours.

But why is that? Who took our permission to dream away? Don’t we also have the right to be happy? As mothers we sometimes take that permission away ourselves. Our kids didn’t ask us to disappear as a person to make them happy. In fact, won’t seeing their mother work hard to achieve something she really cares about be a lesson in itself?

If mom never takes care of herself, what kind of lesson is she teaching her children? That once you are a parent, you cease to exist?

There are many ways to balance the needs our kids have of us while refueling that well to do things just for us. Let us teach our children that it is okay to still have dreams, that it is okay to work hard for something that matters to us.

My own grandmother tirelessly took care of her family but always took time to do things she enjoyed until her death at 91. Yoga, travelling abroad, gardening, collecting recipes and herbal remedies of all kind, she never stopped. And although she was very devoted to her family, she was always stubborn about the things she wanted to do for herself. She was a true role model to me and I know she would be proud that her granddaughter carved some time in her life to follow her dream of becoming an author.

Let’s stop the guilt and go for it. Let the kids find their own socks, let them play in the backyard on their own for a change instead of driving them everywhere, let the house get a little messy and give yourself that permission: do an activity that means something special to you, something aligned with that dream in the back in your mind that you keep pushing away….

That’s okay, just do it!

And if you have a chance, tell me one thing you have always dreamed of doing, but haven’t had a chance yet. I’d like to send a signed copy of ANCIENT WHISPERS to one lucky commenter!


 
Marie-Claude Bourque is the American Title V winner and author of ANCIENT WHISPERS, a sensual gothic paranormal romance filled with sorcerers and Celtic priestesses in search for eternal love in modern time. She worked as a climate research scientist, a scientific translator and a fitness expert until she turned to fiction writing. She draws her inspiration from the French legends of her childhood and a fascination for dark fantasy. ANCIENT WHISPERS will be released by Dorchester-Love Spell on May 25. Find more at www.mcbourque.com

24 comments

  1. Velda // May 19, 2010 at 9:47 AM  

    Bonjour Marie-Claude. I am the mother of 4 children. I married right out of high school as I was swept off my feet. We celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary yesterday. Recently I went horseback riding for the first time in 30 years. Why? Because I was recently diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and felt I had to make a bucket list. I actually have 2 dreams that I'm afraid I've now left too late. Going to University and visiting Egypt. BUT, I have 4 beautiful children and in retrospect I probably wouldn't change anything.
    Instead, I help my children with their school work and pride myself on giving them my great love of education and I've decorated my entire living/dining room in an ancient Egyptian theme..it'll have to do. But I still have that bucket list, and the next thing I want to do is put my toes in the Atlantic Ocean.

    Regardless of whether I win or not, you are so right about mom's putting their lives on hold for everyone else. I'm teaching my 2 daughter's very different things that I've learned in my 44 years.

    -Velda
    Ontario Canada

  2. Mona Risk // May 19, 2010 at 10:16 AM  

    Hi Marie-Claude, I had the pleasure of meeting you at RT 2009 when you won the American Title and we spoke in French. LOL good reference.

    I agree with you. A mom should take time to realize her dreams once the kids are settled. I realized several dreams, traveling, writing, publishing, losing weight,.. Everytime I achieve a goal, I come up with a new one. My goals keep me alive and going as much as my writing soothes my heart if I am sad or depressed.

    For Velda, I visited Egypt a month ago and posted pictures of the temples and monuments on my blog for a whole week. If you want some armchair traveling, before booking your Nile Cruise ticket, visit: www.monariak.blogspot.com
    I will pray for you.

  3. Marie-Claude Bourque // May 19, 2010 at 10:17 AM  

    Oh Velda,
    I am so sorry to hear that. What an inspiration you are, living to the fullest. Raising children is the most amazing thing someoine can do. And I bet your living room is beautiful.
    Wishing you a trip to the Ocean very soon. So glad we met and found common family roots!
    ((hugs))

  4. Marie-Claude Bourque // May 19, 2010 at 10:19 AM  

    Hi Mona :)
    Glad to have met you "for real"
    That so great you did so many things. I am still learning to take time just for me, but it is not easy :)

  5. Judy // May 19, 2010 at 10:43 AM  

    Loved your blog Marie-Claude! You're so right! As women and mothers we tend to take care of everyone else first. My dream has been writing and for years I've given myself permission to do that. Though I've published short stories, I'm waiting for the day when I can announce that my first full-length novel has sold. That will give me validation I seek... Until then I continue learning more and more about writing and the business of publishing, which is not for the weak!LOL

  6. Judy // May 19, 2010 at 10:46 AM  

    Velda, I just read your comment. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

  7. Barbara Monajem // May 19, 2010 at 11:20 AM  

    Velda, thank you so much for posting here. You are strong and brave! Definitely take that trip to Egypt! (Your living/dining room sounds fabulous, though.) Hugs and prayers to you.

  8. Marie-Claude // May 19, 2010 at 2:27 PM  

    Hi Judy :)
    No publishing is not for the week and you are there with your short stories! Keep it up :)

  9. Erin // May 19, 2010 at 3:00 PM  

    I'm the mother of three children, two grown, and a twelve year old with the schedule of the entire Brady Bunch clan. Once they arrived, still being somewhat a child myself, I thought they were my dream and that was enough.

    As the older ones grew, and I put my husband through College, I realized that although caring for them was an amazing life, I wanted something for myself as well.

    I didn't understand how bad I needed that until I carved out that time and sat down to finally write the book I'd dreamt of writing since High School. I've never been happier. Well, I will be happier when I see it on a shelf, but.. :)

    The day that I wrote 'The End' on my first completed manuscript, I sat down to toast my success with my family and all the pieces slid into place. The pride my children wore on their faces made it more than just okay to dream, it made it imperative that I did.

    Each day they ask if some lucky agent has finally discovered my talents (yes, there has been a little brainwashing, but it's a mother's right, is it not?) They cheer me on, help with the vacuuming when the dust bunnies are bigger than they are, and hold me accountable for my page goals in the same way I would for them in regards to homework.

    It's amazing to know that your kids no longer look at you like the chauffer, the maid, and the cook, but as an example, and a mother who not only encourages them to reach for the stars, but is doing it for herself as well.

  10. Mary Ricksen // May 19, 2010 at 6:13 PM  

    Loved your blog Marie-Claude. Women do tend to put themselves off to always take care of others.
    Stand and take care of yourself!!

  11. Mary Marvella // May 19, 2010 at 7:02 PM  

    Barbara, thanks for bringing Marie Claude to us!

    I have indeed delayed dreams while tending to my daughter and helping my Ex build a business he thinks he built by himself.

    Now, I'm pretty much doing what I want to do, writing. I still don't know how I taught school and helped in a photo studio and all that entails, including assisting with weddings and selling them and handling the negatives and creating wedding albums.

    Thanks for visiting!

  12. Autumn Jordon // May 19, 2010 at 7:18 PM  

    Great post, lady. (raising hand) I'm the woman you were talking about. I admit it. I did all and everything for my family, until one day I said enough is enough. I need to breath and be me. I signed up for a creative writing class and years later my stories are coming to out.

    Doing for ourselves while taking care of family, sets a positive example to our children and teaches them valuable lessons. One, if you dream it, you can make it come true. My four children now cheer me on and they're reaching for their own dreams.

    What haven't I done yet for myself which I wish I would? Road trip across country. My DH & I are making plans for next year, though.

  13. Mary Marvella // May 19, 2010 at 9:51 PM  

    Hey, trying again to comment.

    Thanks to Barbara for bring Marie- Claude here.

    For years I looked after my daughter and taught school and helped the EX in his photo studio. That included selling weddings, working at those weddings and creating a fabulous album for out brides.

    Now I write, which is my dream, Selling would make it better, though. Good post!

  14. Beth Trissel // May 19, 2010 at 10:06 PM  

    Great post Marie! I voted for you all along the way! Congrats and blessings on you.

  15. stacey // May 20, 2010 at 2:11 AM  

    Congrats on your book coming out.I dreamed of reading every book that i could and i'm still trying.realy i hope to have a book store some day. still hoping.

    sasluvbooks(at)yahoo.com

  16. stacey // May 20, 2010 at 2:11 AM  

    Congrats on your book coming out.I dreamed of reading every book that i could and i'm still trying.realy i hope to have a book store some day. still hoping.

    sasluvbooks(at)yahoo.com

  17. stacey // May 20, 2010 at 2:12 AM  

    Congrats on your book coming out.I dreamed of reading every book that i could and i'm still trying.realy i hope to have a book store some day. still hoping.

    sasluvbooks(at)yahoo.com

  18. Jen Hilt // May 20, 2010 at 1:38 PM  

    Hi Marie-Claude,

    Being a Mom is not for the weak hearted! My boys say things like "aren't you published yet?", "did you finish that book?" or my favorite "where are my clean socks?" I find it difficult to have a part of my life that is my own but I am so happy when I can carve out that writing niche. I agree with the other Moms, we are so much better off for teaching this to our daughters. Never stop dreaming or believing. And CONGRATULATIONS on "Ancient Whispers"!!!! Jen Hilt

  19. Marie-Claude // May 20, 2010 at 1:50 PM  

    Erin,
    That is such an inspiring story. It looks like you did well both your job of rasing wonderful people and pursuing your dream. You will see your book on the shelves soon!

  20. Marie-Claude // May 20, 2010 at 1:51 PM  

    Thank you Mary :) Yes we have to!

  21. Marie-Claude // May 20, 2010 at 1:52 PM  

    Thanks Mary (Marvelle)
    I am so glad to be here.
    Wow, I'm tired just reading all you did. Glad you are now thinking of yourself now!

  22. marie-claude@mcbourque.com // May 20, 2010 at 9:19 PM  

    Thanks for all your support Beth!
    You rock :)

  23. Joanne // May 20, 2010 at 11:04 PM  

    Hooray for you, Marie-Claude. You held onto your dreams and accomplished so much. Looking forward to your novel, and belated congrats on the American Title win.

  24. Scarlet Pumpernickel // May 20, 2010 at 11:36 PM  

    Barbara thanks for introducing this wonderful author to the Pink Fuzzies! What an interesting read, can't wait to get my copy.