When you’re a mom, finding time for the basics — sleeping, eating, pooping — is hard.
Sure, at one point in your life you had other aspirations than being “just a mom,” but let’s face it, most days any dreams you had fall LOW on the totem pole of priority.
But finding time to pursue your dream doesn’t have to be impossible.
I also homeschool, play with my kids and find time to go on dates with my husband.
But this balanced life didn’t happen overnight. In fact, for the most part of my early parenting life I did not write one single line. I stopped performing poetry. Life was pretty much centered on family. For a season that was exactly what I needed. I think without that season of my life I would have been overly-focused on accomplishing my goals.
And honestly, sometimes when the scales tip one way or another, I have to re-calibrate my life.
My heart’s cry to make sure that I’m not forsaking my dream of being an excellent wife and mother for my other dream of being a writer!
Since becoming a mom in 2004, this is what I’ve learned about pursuing your dreams even when you’re a mom.
10 Ways to Pursue Your Dream Even When You’re a Mom
1. Write it Down
What do you want to accomplish?
Do you want to write a book? Go back to college? Open a boutique?
Whatever your dream is: Write. It. Down.
When Habakkuk questioned the Lord, the Lord told him to write down what he saw so that something could be done with it.
Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2
Writing it on paper is the first step to making your dream real.
2. Set Expectations
Do you have a bunch of little ones at home? Or are all your children almost out of the house?
Answering this question is vital to figuring out what you can and cannot accomplish at your current season of life.
Setting your expectations to include your everyday demands will lead to less frustration…which can lead to disappointment that can make you feel like giving up.
Seasons of life also change! So set your expectations for that too!
3. Tell Your Family
You may think your family already knows what your heart’s desires are, but it’s always good to remind them.
And remind them again and again.
I think it’s important for children and husbands to see that mom has other goals too.
Your family knowing about your goals and visions can also set the stage for them understanding when you need to spend time pursuing them instead of focusing on them.
4. Invest in Yourself
Have you ever heard the saying, “Put your money where your mouth is?”
It’s a good one to live by when trying to pursue your dream…especially when you’re a mom. Moms tend to put EVERYONE else first and themselves dead last.
By investing actual money in your dreams means you are serious about this goal. It’s not just a fantasy any more, but it’s a real live breathing thing that needs feeding. Feeding a dream requires money, even if it’s only a little here and there.
5. Make Space
Making space for your dream, both physically and mentally, is a giant step toward achieving it!
It’s important to have a space for your work. If you dream of starting a blog, make sure you have an inviting work area. If your dream includes learning how to play guitar, set up a space that’s dedicated to your practice sessions.
It’s equally important to make space in your schedule to pursue your dream. Even if it’s only an hour a week, make a date with yourself to follow your dream.
Moms are busy people. They chauffeur kids to soccer and put scriptures in their lunchboxes to encourage them during their schoolday.
But even if your dream includes only you, it’s necessary to surround yourself with other women that are also finding time and energy to go after what they want.
You might find there are people that you can collaborate with to make your dream better or find people who can spur you on when you need it.
If you find that your schedule or location doesn’t allow for networking, Facebook groups provide a great way to get connected to people with dreams similar to yours!
7. Extend Grace
I don’t know about your, but pursuing my dreams have lead to a LOT of mom guilt. I’m always thinking about what I “should” be doing instead of writing, but I have to give myself the grace and permission to work toward something I want.
I wish I could say that once you’ve extended grace to yourself you won’t have to do it again, but that’s not true. Guilt for investing time and money in myself seems to go hand in hand with pursuing my dream as a mom.
Also remember to extend grace to your children and family…especially when they interrupt “your time.” I’ve found that dealing with whatever request, even in the middle of my time to work, trumps getting flustered and frustrated.
8. Seize Downtime
Whether your children are napping, doing schoolwork or watching TV, seize downtime.
Yes, I know that there are 100 others things around the house that need doing, but you usually can do those later (and with the children’s help).
Obviously we don’t want to live in a dump, so things need get done eventually, but if quiet downtime comes your way: Go Get It Girl!
9. Be Patient
As a mom, dreams might not come to pass as quickly as we would like.
That’s normal. And it’s okay.
Be patient with your dreams coming to fruition. It might take two years to launch your online business instead of six months, but I promise if you keep plugging away at your goals, that dream will happen.
10. Keep Priorities
Above all remember that your family only has ONE WIFE and ONE MOM. You’re it. No one else can take your place. So remembering that your first priority isn’t to your dream, but rather God, husband and kids, will keep everything running smoothly.
Keeping your family at the top of the list doesn’t mean that you have to cater to their every whim or never take a weekend off to go to a conference, it just means that your heart has to be in the right place.
The Ultimate Tip to Pursue Your Dream Even When You’re a Mom
The tips listed above are practical tips, for sure. But there is one tip that will make all the other tips work better. And that’s prayer.
Praying to the Lord for guidance and balance places everything back into our Creator’s hands. He made us and He alone knows our future. Without Him and His direction in our lives, we have achieved nothing.
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it.
But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Co 3:9-15
The Lord of Heaven knows your heart. He built you to have dreams outside of motherhood. By putting Him first in our lives, we allow Him to bless our dreams beyond anything we can think or dream.