One of my favorite things to talk about with my kids, is what they want to be when they “grow up”. I love dreaming with them, and planning out their future. The one thing that amazes me about my children, is they all know exactly what they want to be, without any influence from me or my husband.
I had the neatest evening with my kids yesterday, when I flat-out begged (jokingly) for my 7-year-old to become an astronaut. “Please, please, pleeeeease be an astronaut when you grow up!” I begged as we skimmed through Chris Hadfield’s book of space photos. My 7-year-old turned me down hard, or “hard pass” is what my teens call it. My 7-year-old wants to be a pastor when he grows up.
As we argued (jokingly), we finally compromised with becoming a space engineer and building the space ships, I reluctantly accepted, and yelled to the 5-year-old (jokingly) if he would be an astronaut, because his brother wouldn’t. He flatly declined and said “No MOM! I’m going to be a money-maker for the poor” (isn’t that adorable?!!!! and a whole new blog post on prosperity?!) anyway, after he declined, he paused for a moment, and yelled back. “okay, sure mom! Cause I can do both, right?” I yelled back, “yes son! You can do both!”
That same night, I tucked my over tired, therefore over emotional 9-year-old daughter into bed. I asked her the same question about her future, her dreams etc… She wants to be a singer, and a famous one at that, but as she told me this, tears began to well up. I asked her why she was crying, and she blurted in full honest emotion, that she really wanted to be married and have kids too, so she would have to choose between being a music star and a mom. I stroked her hair, trying not to let my laughter make her feel embarrassed, and said “honey, you can do both!”
“I can?” she cried.
“Yes! Absolutely!” I answered…She seemed relieved for a moment, but then the over-tired tears took over again.
“But how will I balance it all?” She cried. I thought, man has this girl been reading my blog?! How could she be thinking so deeply about motherhood and the needs of her kids at 9?!
I explained to her that God calls people to many things, and being a mom is really important, but that’ s not the only thing, and that she can do both! God would give her the wisdom, and we discussed strategies like homeschooling on the tour bus, or being firm with your manager that you only tour during summer break, and everyone gets free iPhones! We giggled.
I think I eased her anxieties for now.
When I was a little girl I thought of nothing else but becoming a mom, so when I did, I was all in. However, after a few years, God began to plant dreams in my heart, dreams that would require me to be more than just a mom, and I have to be honest and say it has been such an internal struggle to accept that call. It seemed like anything that kept me from my kids was me being a selfish mom and the mom guilt kicked in hard.
Yet, I keep hearing God say, “Honey, don’t worry about it, you can be both!”
Right now I’m both mom, wife, writer, leader, employee, friend and a lot more. Some days it’s really, really hard to juggle, just like my 9-year-old dreaded it might be. Some seasons I have to let it all go and focus on motherhood, and then I pick it up again and balance to my best ability. There is a lot of give and a lot of take.
However, I may not have a tutor on a tour bus, but I figure it out day-to-day, some days I win, some days I don’t.
This post may not be relevant to all, some of you may have your heart set on one thing, one path, one well-defined role, and I applaud you for going all in! But, as I write this, I felt like there are a few of you reading, who have been internally struggling with the balance between your dreams and your responsibilities, and I felt like I needed to encourage you that YOU CAN DO BOTH!
It’s not easy, but God will show you how to juggle it all!
As for my kiddos, I am in awe that my youngest, on his own will, with zero prompting, piped up in Kindergarten one day, that he wanted to be a money-maker for the poor! He’s sticking to it, and no super hero job opening will distract him. So, I know as a mom that I need to start teaching him money, and generosity.
My middle son, with his brains, I have persuaded him over and over to be a rocket scientist or a doctor, he’s that smart! But, instead of reading star-wars books, or comics, he reads his bible every night, and in just 4 months he’s almost in the New Testament. – his hockey ticket is his book mark. He has said since he was 5, that he wants to be a pastor, and I’m starting to believe him.
My daughter, the rock star and future mamma, is picking up guitar lessons from dad, and has already mastered a wicked guacamole recipe, her kids are going to love it!
My teens, they are just on the cusp now of stepping into that reality of responsibility and dreams. The crossroads, where money dictates decisions, and grades determine paths, and attitude gets your grounded! Ha. They have cool dreams, and it’s getting closer to launch!
Me? Being a mom is still my number one job and calling, my hardest job, but my most rewarding one. I don’t plan on becoming an astronaut, as I am yet to see an ‘astronet’ drink wine in space, so when they approve that I’m all in!