The hubby and I decided to visit a church that is quite a distance from where we live. We had to take a taxi and spend big bucks for that 30-minute ride (and then the ride back too). The church service was in the middle of Amy’s nap time, so we had to wake her up. And hell has no fury than a child awakened prematurely from her nap. And a hungry one at that.
We had to strap an infant on me, drag a tantruming preschooler, carry a thousand things (seriously though, it was only a diaper bag and a couple of jackets but it felt like a million things), brave the cold and jump into the taxi, and cross our fingers hoping that the kids will behave.
We were so tempted to give up and cancel our plan. It was too much hassle. The kids were being difficult. We were already late. It would have been easier on everyone if we had just stayed home.
It would be easy for us to just “wait for the kids to be bigger”, and “wait for them to be easier”. I mean, why stress ourselves out right?
But then again, how many times would we have to cancel our plans?
I am reminded of the pre-natal classes I went to when I was pregnant with Alexa. In one of the sessions, the midwife told us parents to not let our baby be the centre of our universe. She, in all her wisdom, said it is important for us to teach the baby to adapt to our universe instead.
The hubby and I agreed wholeheartedly with that piece of advice and set out to practice that in our lives.
But somehow, along the way, we must have forgotten that because most times it seems as though our kids are now running our lives and dictating our plans and schedules instead.
Sometimes I find myself saying, “I’ll just wait for them to be older first” or “It’s ok, once they’re bigger, then I can do such-and-such.”
But suddenly I realised:
When they are older, so am I!
I would no longer be like how I am now, and I might not have the ability to do what I want to do anymore!
Then what? Am I going to blame the kids? Am I going to sulk and lament about how motherhood has robbed me of my life and my identity? That my life only revolves around my kids? That motherhood has taken away my dreams? That I am now nothing but “a mother”?
What I should do, is to go ahead and achieve my goals. Pursue my dreams. Go where I want to go and do what I want to do.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying you should YOLO and go “whatevs” with your kids. Of course not. We are good moms here. #ahem
But a good mom doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice your total self, thinking that it’s the best for your kids. In fact, it might not be.
How will you raise someone to love who they are, if you become resentful of who you become? How will you raise someone to go pursue their dreams, if you never go for yours? How will you raise someone to be happy with their life, if you’re not happy with yours?
Of course it will not be easy. Just the thought of bringing an (unpredictable) infant and a preschooler (who might have a meltdown anytime) out by myself is enough to send me into a panic attack. What more traveling or going for a musical or checking out museums? What about going for classes or writing books or serving in ministries?
But I have to do it. If I want to show Amy and Alistair that life is what they make it to be, then I have to show them by example. I cannot let other factors (especially them kiddos) rule my life. I have to take control.
Granted, some of my goals and dreams have changed or evolved due to them coming into my world. But they are still there. And I have to go for it.
I cannot be easily deterred. I have to be determined. #wevegotthis #fistbump
(Having said that, let me also add that it sometimes does take a village to help raise a child and also to live your life and reach your goals. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help.)