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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Follow Your Dreams After You Have Kids


Today is Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day! I'm blogging over at Chronicles of a Babywise Mom about being "the friend" vs being "the parent." 

Claire, from My Devising, is the guest blogger here today...be sure to read the whole post...there might be a special giveaway!!!! :) And I wish I could enter to win!!!

I'll go ahead and put out a disclaimer that I only have one child right now (with one on the way).  So I do understand that the whole "following your dreams" thing will most likely be more difficult as my family grows.  But for now, I'll speak from what I know.



My husband and I are huge dreamers, and we're always thinking up big ideas.  The majority of the time, we are each working toward at least one creative goal whether it's together or separately.  

Naturally, we had just started recording a new album with our band a couple of months before our son, Duke, arrived in 2011.  (Because why wouldn't you start a project like that right before your first child was born?  Totally reasonable.)  But with our own will power, the help of friends and family, and God's grace, we were able to get all of the recording done.  
(And just so you know, there's nothing cooler than breastfeeding your baby while tracking for an indie rock album.)

Here's the deal:  It wasn't easy.  Even though there were plenty of enjoyable moments during the process, there were also some very hard and frustrating moments.  I was a new mom who figuring out what the heck that whole breastfeeding thing was, dealing with being completely exhausted, and coping with PPD.  Packing up and heading to the studio after a long day at home was not exactly what I wanted to do, but I pushed through (sometimes on my own, but many times with encouragement from my husband). 

(P.S.  This album will most likely be released sometime this March/April.  I didn't say having kids necessarily allows your dreams to be done on your original timeline. ;)) 

This past summer of 2013, I started getting that creative itch again.  I was really wanting to record a lullaby album with my mom and sister.  It's an idea we had tossed around for awhile and I was ready to get it going.  Everyone was on board and we began making plans this past September.  

There were tears, there were stressful moments, there were tiring days ... but we finished it and released it in January.  It was such a blessing to not only accomplish this dream, but to do it with my family.  



As a mom, I've had to find a new normal for the dreamer in me.  I have to be really intentional if I want to follow through with things.  I have to block out time to make progress on my dreams or they just won't happen.  I have to plan, plan, plan.  I also have to enlist the help of other people.  I can't do any of this on my own.  Not only do I need encouragement and support from friends and family, but I also need practical help.  I need people to watch Duke so I can get things done.  The phrase "it takes a village" totally applies here!
So, why should you follow your dreams after having kids?  Here's what I think:

1.  It's important for you to run with the things that been put inside of you.  You have been given talents, gifts, and abilities that are unique to only you.  This is how you were created!

2.  It feels good to meet your goals.  We're all different, so I'm just speaking from my experience.  As a stay-at-home mom, it's very important for me to set goals that have an end result.  Being a mom is a beautiful gift, but it's a gift that doesn't ever end.  Sometimes, it's nice to have a hobby that I know has a finished product with a tangible end.  

3.  Your children are watching you.  For me, I want my children to grow up watching us follow our dreams.  I want them to know that even when life gets busy and things get chaotic, it's still possible.  No dream is too big or too hard.  I desire for my children to have big imaginations with dreams pouring out of them.  What better way to foster and encourage that than to try and do it myself?

I don't have all the answers and I know it's only going to get harder.  But even if it's on a smaller scale, I do hope to continue dreaming as I continue adding more little people into our family. :)  

How do you work on your dreams after having children?  Or maybe you're not a mom and have some ideas on how you think it will look for you.  I'd love to hear from you all!

A little bonus prize may be coming your way if you comment on this post.  I'm giving away a hard copy of one of our lullaby albums to one lucky commenter!  So, to be clear, you must comment on this post to be eligible.  If you want to increase your chances of winning, you may also do one or both of the following:

1.  Like The Journey of Parenthood on Facebook
2.  Like My Devising on Facebook

Giveaway will end on Sunday, February 16th at 11:59 CST.  Winner will be announced on my blog sometime on Monday, February 17th.  Good luck!

Claire is a stay-at-home mom to her 2-year-old son, Duke, and is excited to meet their newest addition in May!  She enjoys teaching piano lessons, songwriting, and blogging at My Devising.


15 comments:

  1. I definitely agree with you! I own my own little "hobby" business and I work full time outside the home wtih three girls! Everyone asks me how I do it all, but running my business provides me with me time and it makes me feel so normal! I think it's so important to keep part of your identity when you're a mom! But, also, learn where to let go!

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  2. What a great post! I totally agree that you should continue to pursue your dreams/hobbies after having kids. Even though I love being a stay-at-home-mom I also love helping others and have been thankful for the help from my husband, family, and friends that allows me to do this. Thank-you for the encouraging words!!

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  3. Love it! My first was born while living abroad in Brazil and learning Portuguese. When we moved back to the US, she was 8 months old and while I loved staying home with her, I needed to pursue a passion outside of motherhood too. I became a certified birth doula and now also teach HypnoBirthing childbirth education classes, teach families about cloth diapering, and encapsulate placentas. I love motherhood and feel so blessed to be able to stay home with my 3 daughters (4, 3, and 11 months), but my work/hobby gives me an outlet for my passions of babies, birth, and teaching. Some days are exhausting (like when I've been awake 44 hours straight with a birthing mama), but I have an amazing hubby (and some great friends) who picks up the slack on those occasions to support me in following my dreams.

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  4. Wow, that's wonderful! That's so great that you can help educate women and families on all of those important things. Good for you for chasing after it- even with a house full of kids! :)

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  5. We're lucky to have such great support systems! Thanks for reading!

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  6. I love that you said it makes you feel "normal!" You're so right about keeping your identity. I think that was one of the scariest things for me when I first became a mom - I was unsure how I would still be myself. Thankfully, I think I've found a good balance. (And yes, it's very important to know when it's time to let go!)

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  7. Kristen KliethermesFebruary 13, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    Such a great post! I feel like when some moms have children, it is like okay I'm a mom now so my life is over. Which should be the complete opposite! Your children watching you succeed only helps them in the long run. It shows them to follow their dreams!

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  8. Great post. So important to follow your dreams so that you can teach your children to follow theirs.

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  9. Great topic! Children may make it harder to follow your dreams but usually they make it so much more rewarding! And sometimes children make us change our dreams (and that is not always a bad thing!)

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  10. I already own this album, so don't count this as an entry, but I just wanted to say that I loved this post. Claire, you have such a sweet heart, and I LOVE how big your dreams are and that you and your family just keep dreaming, and conquering. You're such an inspiration. <3

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  11. You are too kind, Shayla!! Really, such sweet things to say. :) Thank you for all of your encouragement and support!

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  12. Yes, great point! Duke has certainly made me prioritize my dreams and goals, that's for sure. And I definitely would've never done a lullaby album if he wouldn't have made me a mom. :)

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Reading your comments makes my day!



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