Last day of Writer’s Week! And since I’m too lazy to link to the other five posts again, just scroll on down if you missed any of them!
What do you do in the event that you’d like to be a Mom and a Writer–at the same time? (and I realize you’re 50 other things too–just focusing on these 2 today) Is this okay? Can you do both well, or is one going to suffer? Are you a better mom if you wait until your kids are older to pursue your dreams?
Gail and Jody both brought up really good points in their comments this week. Gail referenced an interview she did with author Deborah Raney where Deborah says that each family is different, “but my ‘stock’ advice to ‘aspiring writers who have small children at home is: WAIT. At the very least, wait until they’re all in school (or school age, if you home school). They’ll grow up before you know it, and then you’ll have all the time in the world to pursue your writing dream. …”
Jody says, “Balancing writing and family responsibilities is incredibly challenging! But at the recent conference I attended, the key note speaker said that through our writing we can inspire our children to follow their dreams. I’m beginning to accept that my writing will make my family life less than perfect, but it wasn’t perfect before either! And in fact, perhaps my writing can enrich my family life in a new way!”
This is one of those issues when I think you HAVE to spend time in prayer and ask God what is best for YOUR family. And you CAN’T give into peer pressure or let yourself feel false guilt over your choice or JUDGE other moms who choose a different path than you.
My mom and I chose similar career paths. We both taught school for awhile, then left teaching for good when we started having babies. Then I veered off the path when I started freelance writing for McGraw-Hill when Livi was a baby. Then I moved on to writing books and speaking.
So, who made the best choice? We both did.
My favorite chapter in this book is Chapter 10–Changing the World. I talk about how I didn’t know this until recently, but my mom always dreamed of having some type of ministry with my dad. As it turned out, she served (in many ways) at church and blessed people left and right, but her main ministry was taking care of her hubby and four kids.
But those four kids? They became a youth pastor’s wife, another youth pastor’s wife, a youth pastor, and an author/speaker. Without Mom’s full-time dedication to her family, who knows what career paths they would have chosen? Mom made a huge sacrifice to give up her dream so her children could spend their adult lives serving the Lord. And looking back, she wouldn’t have it any other way. (p. 198)
Then there are those of us who choose a different path (or it chooses us). Join me in the middle of p. 193…
Yes, our dreams get put on hold sometimes. No, God never promises to grant us our every fantasy.
And no, your dreams can’t be all about you. Especially if you’re a wife and mom. Leaving your family members to fend for themselves whild you go find yourself and pursue your life calling is not an option.
But on the other hand, I think we tend to underestimate God. Many times we just suck it up and unselfishly put our dreams and passions aside because we think that’s best for the kingdom.
Have we considered the possibility that God just might let us have our cake and eat it too? That maybe He has a place for us right inside His kingdom that has room for us to be wives and moms while doing something we’re passionate about? Something we can do that will matter for eternity?
Our dreams don’t have to be all about us, but they don’t have to be exclusively about our kids either. I actually think our kids are better off if we have dreams and passions outside of them. They feel less pressure when they see that Mommy and Daddy (and the rest of the world) don’t orbit around them. And a child respects a mother who uses her talents in some way or pursues a dream outside of motherhood.
So, tell me: which way do you feel God leading you? Putting your dreams on hold for now? Pursuing them in tandem with motherhood? A happy medium? Are you feeling overwhelmed and conflicted at the moment? I’d love to know how this plays out in your daily life.
One more thing–I’ll be talking about this more in a later post, but just wanted to let you know I’ve joined NaNoWriMo. In a word, I’ve committed to writing a 50,000-word novel (from scratch!) in the month of November. Along with thousands of other crazy people.
I would LOVE it if you jumped in and joined us.
This is way out of my comfort zone, but writing fiction is a someday dream of mine that I’m going to go ahead and get started on (28 days from now).
Have an awesome weekend, friends! Remember–next week is YOU Week!