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SALT LAKE CITY — Dreams are funny things. Not the kind of dreams that come to us in our sleep, but real dreams — goals and desires that rest in our souls.
We all have dreams. In fact, for many of us our dreams have been living inside us for as long as we can remember — dormant. Some of them were placed within us before we even came to be. Dreams are what we’ve always hoped to do, what we’ve always loved to do, what we were born to do.
We can try to stifle them or re-prioritize them, but they will — at the most inconvenient times — resurface and pound on our heart.
At MOMentity, we have developed a system for nurturing both your family and your dreams. We call it “dreaming in motion.”
It’s a simple, three-step process to help you balance your family while you work toward your personal dreams:
- Believe the dream and write it down.First, we must believe the dream is ours and give it life by writing it down. Once we can actually “see” the dream in words or affirmations, we can begin to work to accomplish it. One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from one of my all-time favorite people, Walt Disney: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
- Start small and immediately.Dreams build. They crescendo just like in music, starting start small and quickly getting bigger and bigger. So survey your current situation and identify something small that you can do now that will point you in the direction of your dream. Do you want to be an author? You could practice by writing in a journal every day. Do you hope to run a marathon? Start by jogging around the block.
- Seek out more opportunities.After you have started small, begin looking for other, bigger things you can do. Networking and identifying a mentor are great starts. Join groups with other people who have similar goals and interests. Tell people about what you are doing and ask if they know anyone who could help. Find a mentor. Study books. Pace yourself with the needs of your family — remember they come first. But keep your eye on your dream and watch as it crescendos.
For many women, becoming a wife and mother is one of their dreams. A study published in the International Journal of Aging and Human Development back in 1995 focused on “The Dream in Midlife Women.” Researchers discovered that women’s dreams are multifaceted: women dream about marriage, then family, then career. Because of this complexity, often women are still working to attain their dreams well into their midlife.
So you’ve always dreamed about being a mother, you have a family that you adore, but now what? Is that enough?
For some women, it is totally enough — and for them that is wonderful. But for others, it is not enough to only be a wife and mother. They need more. They have other goals and desires that they aim to accomplish. This is normal, and you are not a bad mother for feeling this way.
In fact, accomplishing your dreams is pertinent to your happiness, and in turn the happiness of your family. (What’s the saying? “If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.”)
Dreams can be as big as helping refugees in a foreign country or as little as learning to garden. A dream’s importance is not predicted by its size. Even accomplishing small dreams is relevant to your happiness.
So we take a leap of faith and acknowledge the dream that is burning a hole through our hearts. How do we balance motherhood with these other goals and dreams? Is it possible to do both? Is it possible to raise your family and revisit your dreams? I believe the answer is yes!
Nicole Carpenter is the founder of www.MOMentity.com and the creator of The MOMentity Process. She is a communications consultant, writer and speaker. She and her husband are raising four children, 7 years and younger, including twin toddlers.*