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Mama Go For Your Dream

It was the day before the party, and I was just barely beginning to decorate the cake. As I was frosting it, I thought of how we were going to have to have a scrounge night again, because I did not have the time to make dinner. I thought of all the dishes I was leaving in the sink. I thought of all the million little tasks around the house that I was intentionally leaving undone in order for me to make this cake. This cake that I was not getting paid for. This cake that was a true labor of love, crafted out of my need to create and love for making beauty out of sugar. I thought of the extra TV my kids would be watching, a necessary compromise if I was to finish my creation on time.

And I thought, ‘I must be some kind of fool to be doing this. Why am I doing this? I don’t have time for this; I should not have offered to make this cake.’

Then guilt crept in, as sure and silent and all-consuming as a gas leak inside of a closed house. My job right now is my kids, but I’m abandoning them to the TV in pursuit of a far-fledged dream that I don’t even have time for. There I was, letting my kids have cereal and chips for dinner again so that I could throw myself into my passion.

Was I being selfish?

Was I misdirecting my energy?

Should I focus on getting myself and my family on a better routine before I pursue this?

Should I wait until I can keep my house clean on a regular basis before I even think about a side hustle run out of aforementioned disaster of a house?

My 6 year old was sitting at the kitchen counter passively watching me work while playing with a toy. I looked up at her and asked her, “Do you think I’m crazy for doing these cakes when I don’t have the time and I have all of you kids to take care of?”

She looked up at me with her brows knitted together in confusion. She didn’t understand why I would ever ask such a thing. The answer was plain to her:

“Well, it’s your dream, Mom. You have to go for it.”

This is why God gives us children–so that when we get lost in the suffocating trenches of Mirkwood Forest, where we lose all hope and are sure that we are really screwing up our lives, our kids can pull us back up into clean air through their innocent and naive faith in the unseen. When we are drowning in the confusion of losing our sense of purpose, a child’s simple, black and white way of thinking is the only thing that can redirect us. My daughter’s mind can’t yet balance the complexity of my position of trying to be a mom to 4 kids while also pursuing my dreams of baking and blogging. She doesn’t see the stress and guilt of trying to do it all but failing miserably. She sees that cakes are my dream. Therefore, I should go for it. Duh. Whatever has to happen in order for me to do that will have to happen. Because my dream takes priority over dishes and chores and yes, even giving all my time to my kids.

I think the problem is not in moms pursuing their dreams and passions too early on in motherhood, but it is in us trying to do it all. We can’t give all of our attention to our kids and all of our energy to housework and all of our drive to our passion, because that would be the equivalent of 1 person having 3 full time jobs. Which would be impossible for anyone to do.

We can not do it all, and that’s ok.

If we can let go of this impossible standard of doing it all, we would be free to redefine what success looks like. We would be free to finally stop participating in the comparison game, and just be our own unique selves. We would be free to be our own kind of amazing.

Mind, I’m not advocating neglecting your children or allowing your house to become something off of the show Hoarders. Obviously, there needs to be a balance. There will be days that are devoted to your family, and some that are devoted to scrubbing the sticky spots around your house that come with living with messy children. But there will also be days when the dishes wait and the kids are left to their own devices so that mama can chase her dream.

It will be hard and you will have to go without sleep some nights (but let’s be real–you haven’t slept in years anyways). You will have to make sacrifices in order to pursue your dream. But it’s ok to make those sacrifices. So stop with the self inflicting guilt trips, and go for it. After all, you only live once. Also–your kids are watching you. I don’t know about you, but I want my kids to know that their dreams are more important than a stack of laundry.

So even though I am a stay at home mom to 4 kids 6 and under and have absolutely no business doing anything other than surviving, I will continue to balance my laptop on my legs as I nurse, so that I can write in bits and pieces. I will continue to bake cakes in between cycles of dishes and in lieu of cooking dinner certain nights. Because I was made for more than just surviving–I was made to thrive.

And so were you.

Mama Go For Your Dream

Join the discussion 26 Comments

  • Yes, yes, yes to all of this! This post so hits home with me. I don’t want to just survive my life, I always want to be doing more, and I don’t want to feel guilty for doing so! And like you said, our kids learn from us, and they will learn that there’s more to life than laundry!

    • Amanda says:

      I’m so glad it brought you encouragement, mama! We were made to more than just survive–we were made to THRIVE!

  • Yes!!!!! Absolutely true. Its all about Balance. I planned to do no housework on Mothers Day(bad idea I know) I woke up yesterday early and was like oh man dishes galore… Floor needs vacuumed then was kicking myself all day because i should have just done them yesterday. My 12yr old came home from school and goes mom u look tired why dont you rest ill put dishes away and take recycling out. Made my day.

    • Amanda says:

      Aw, what a sweetheart! Kids are so awesome. And never kick yourself for taking a day off–especially on Mother’s Day! I’m so glad that this post encouraged you <3

  • Erin Nicole says:

    I’m with you! It’s so hard to balance everything you love and feel like you’re doing just an ok job still raising kids. Some days my house is a disaster trying to finish up what I need to do.

    • Amanda says:

      Finding the perfect balance is so hard. It’s OK that your house was a disaster, because you are doing the best that you can. These years of having young kids is just a season; it won’t always be so hard. <3

  • This sounds exactly like my own story. I make cakes from home too, and I’ve had those exact same thoughts and moments when it’s 12 am and you’re trying to finish an order that you couldn’t get done before everyone else went to bed because of all the snacks that had to be made and boo-boos that had to be kissed and fights that had to be moderated. I always feel better about it the next morning when a cute cake goes to a satisfied customer and they hand you a check in return : ) Keep baking, Mama!

    • Amanda says:

      You’re right–it’s always worth it in the end! I will definitely continue baking. You do too ; ) Thanks for reading!

  • Yes absolutely! Love this!

  • Casey says:

    Absolutely love this! Don’t you hate when that mom guilt creeps up? I definitely need to remind myself that it’s ok to not always give them my undivided attention. Keep up the great work!

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you, Casey! You are doing a wonderful job; don’t feel bad about doing stuff for YOU. Thanks for reading!

  • Arushi Garg says:

    This is right from the heart ! yes often guilt comes over all moms and you end up thinking a lot . i am a working mom and i always have mu guilty moments when I leave my son for business travel

    • Amanda says:

      Mom guilt plagues us all. But we are all doing the best we can. I’m glad that this resonated with you. You are doing a great job, mama <3

  • Meg says:

    Your 6-year-old’s sweet words made me cry. How wonderful it is to have children to remind us of the important, both to spend time with them and to spend time pursuing our dreams. Thanks for the reminder.

  • I can very much relate to this post! It’s so hard to balance and figure out how to live our lives while ensuring we are taking care of all our “jobs”. Thanks for sharinf

  • Lisa Grooms says:

    You are a beautiful writer!! So inspirational!! I loved reading this so much!!

  • Yesss!! And your daughter is a wise little lady!

  • Tabitha Blue says:

    So so good, and I love the response of your 6 year old… it’s your dream! Yes!

  • rachel says:

    I really agree. I feel like it’s hard for moms to take any time for themselves, regardless of what it’s for. I was JUST having this conversation with a friend tonight. We were making plans for after the kids bedtimes and I STILL find myself feeling guilty about leaving the house. UGH

    • Amanda says:

      Mom guilt is so tough to combat, and we all feel it. But YOU matter too! So I hope you feel encouraged to not feel bad about doing stuff that’s just for you <3 You are doing a wonderful job, mama.

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