When my sister was a little girl her teacher asked the class what they wanted to be when they grew up. My sister responded without hesitation,
I want to be a Mom
Her teacher didn’t like that answer and told my Mom that my sister wasn’t dreaming big enough. She didn’t know my sister very well. We’re a family of dreamers. I mean, I. Dream. BIG. Just like my sister. I’ve always felt my possibilities are limitless. As a Child one of my first dreams was to be Queen of Ireland. Over the years my dreams have changed a thousand times. A writer, photographer, lawyer, interior designer, teacher, singer, architect, magician, herbalist, counselor and the list goes on. I had six different majors in college. I had dreams of traveling the world and living in big cities like New York.
I still dream about many of these things and know that one day I will take the time to make them happen. I know what it means to dream big. In fact I don’t think I know how to dream small, but the only dream of mine that has stood the test of time and never changed no matter my interests or age, was that of being a Mom. It’s been THE ultimate dream for me. It’s something I knew my life would feel incomplete without. It’s one of the very few things I am certain I was born to do.
I’m not sure how I knew that fulfilling this dream would bring my life more purpose and joy than anything else I could imagine up, but I knew. Maybe it was all the good women I was surrounded by. My friend’s Mothers treated me like their own and kept me safe when I was in their care. As I’ve grown up these Moms have become my friends and are women that I can turn to for advice as we now share this common experience. My sisters were like second mothers to me. They helped raise me. My sisters all have their own children and they and my sister in law have had the largest impact, outside of my own Mom, on my parenting style. Almost everything I’ve learned, I learned from them.
For the last decade I’ve taken notes on Jen’s passion, Jodi’s confidence in herself and her kids, Kaz’s dedication to education and the Gospel, Lisa’s compassion and kindness, and so much more. I’ve married into a wonderful family full of women that I’m lucky enough to parent along side of. My husband’s mother raised 2 girls and 4 wild boys. I constantly remind myself that they all made it out alive….the odds are in my favor. 🙂 I’ve looked up to my Grandmothers and Aunts with great admiration. Every time my oldest sister’s children have a birthday, I honor their birth mothers with a heart full of immense gratitude.
Many of my dearest friends are mothers, and together we’re trying to figure this whole thing out. We’re there for each other. I learn from their examples, their dedication, their love. My job is made easier by them holding my babies when we’re out, chasing one of my run aways at the park, grabbing me milk when they’re heading to Wal-Mart. They love my children and I love theirs and that has made all the difference in these early years of motherhood.
And of course my own Mother has shaped my parenting experience more than any other woman. She created magic in my childhood, read me books every day, cooked for our big family every night, wrote me letters, played games with me, and was always always always a listening ear. Even when she didn’t want to hear, she listened. She didn’t judge. Just loved. Every time I embark on a new journey in motherhood with another child, my Mom is right there, easing me in, showing me love, and comforting me when I’m scared. She loves her grandchildren with an unmatched passion and even though I’m all grown, her parenting hasn’t stopped. She’s there for me and my kids and we love her so much for it.
All my life I’ve been surrounded by Mothers. Some of the strongest women I know. This doesn’t have to be every woman’s dream and she’s certainly not less than, if her dreams look different than mine.
However, on behalf of sister, myself and all the other women that share this dream I would probably tell her teacher this,
I once dreamed of being a Queen, until I reached just a little higher, and aimed instead to be a Mom.
To those living the dream, to those sacrificing other dreams to be a Mom, to those wishing and hoping,to those supporting, to those doing it all! Here’s to you!