Enthusiastic thumbs up if you’re a mama who spends unfathomable hours driving your children around and supporting them at appointments and lessons and games and school.
Yeah. Me too.
It is most challenging for me to be mindfully in the moment during the hours I spend in the car alone while being taxi driver for my boys.
When they are with me, we talk and connect. We make the most of that time and it feels awesome. When I am driving to get them or waiting for them, I hear a relentless mindvoice listing all of the things I’m not doing and feel defeated.
I often hear from mamas of older offspring chastising me or gently reminding me, “They grow up so fast.” And they do. So very true.
Yet I refuse to put my own goals on hold while my boys are still at home. I honor them by showing them they are loved and supported while I simultaneously make progress on my own path.
My solution is two-fold:
- Recognize how fortunate I am to have this time with my boys.
- Make no excuses for my goals by doing whatever it takes.
Full disclosure: I love my boys. I’m there for them. And I also write in the car or I’m on the phone when they climb in. I work out in the 15 minutes I do have and pick them up late while I’m still sweating. I sign permissions slips at the last minute. I have to make them wait injured in the nurse’s office at camp while I finish a client session and reschedule the rest. I forget fundraiser deadlines. And we regularly run out of toilet paper and milk.
It took a lot of work to get here, but I am perfectly okay with that. How I share my voice and vision with the world is worth it.
Our culture of motherhood martyrdom hurts everyone. A constant barrage of self-inflicted guilt for the “just a minutes” and “I’ll be a few minutes late” steals our energy. When you are working to support your family while also chasing your dreams you are showing your children not only they are loved, but also you have the self-love to think big and act on it.
To make it more compelling, I could always say when you feed your spirit it makes you a better mama. Agreed. But isn’t it compelling enough that honoring your fulfillment makes you a better you?
Demonstrating that making a difference in the world requires focus and work ethic is a crucial life lesson. Communicating to your children the universe revolves around them does them a disservice. As a mama, neglecting your own drive to pursue what fulfills you will leave a void over time.
And don’t even get me started on mamas judging other mamas. We all do the best we can, some with more privilege than others. Supporting each other through this complex, challenging dance that is motherhood holds us all up, including the humans we are raising.
Being a mother is sacred, but remember you carry your own fire inside you. Your children and the rest of us will be better for you sharing your gift.
Every choice you make shapes the world and your world is their world. Honor yourself and your children by sharing your voice and pursuing your vision. Make it happen even if you have to drink water instead of milk with dinner. It’s worth it.