9 Lessons Being A Mom Is Teaching Me About Dreamchasing
Being pregnant definitely had its ups and downs. I never experienced any morning sickness or nausea, but I retained so much fluid and experienced low iron levels. Nothing, however, would prepare me for bringing my son into this world and bringing him home for the first time. The first night was tough. I went from being able to sleep during the night minus the constant bathroom trips to getting up all night feeding & holding a child, my child.
Reality started to kick in and I had to come to the realization that I’m a mom. A full-time mom.
My week at home with the baby was exhausting. Almost every minute I had him in my arms soothing him, getting him to stop crying. I made sure he was getting changed regularly, watching for his first bowel movement. Since I'm breastfeeding his feedings are "on demand" or every 2 hours. I kept thinking to myself how was I going to blog and be a full-time mom? I wasn’t good at being consistent with my blog during my pregnancy or even before I was pregnant. But I knew I wanted to get closer to my goal of making a living from my blog and publishing books. And, if I wasn't doing this for myself, I had to definitely do it for my son and fiancé. So when it comes to this "mommy" thing I'm definitely learning a thing or two about dream-chasing.
1. Balance Isn't Real
You can't separate what you want to do for a living with what you do in your personal life because they both coexists; I didn't quite understand how my pregnancy affected so much of my blogging life until maternity leave. At first, I thought I was going to be home with enough time to blog and take care of the baby and take care of the house, but that’s not the case. Some days I can’t even sit down at the laptop to write because I’m so tired and exhausted, but other days I’m able to write and take care of the baby, but not the house. It all comes down to the fact that balance is not real. There will never be a day where I can write for hours on end, take care of my son at the same time, and even make sure that dinner is ready for my fiancé when he gets home.
“Balance isn’t real because every day looks different”.
When I finally started to understand this, I found myself in a better mood and found ways to make myself feel like I can do all:
- I prep for dinner earlier in the day, literally when I wake up
- I wait to change my son’s diaper until after he officially wakes up for the morning, so he's not too cranky and getting his full rest (As if he's the one who needs it more)
- I use my iPhone for more than social media; While I’m breastfeeding, I use my Evernote app to come up with blog posts ideas and outline my blog posts until I’m able to get to my computer.
- I try to limit my time on the laptop when my fiance comes home from work.
2. Ask For/Create The Help
Throughout my pregnancy, I was trying to operate as if I wasn't pregnant and the smallest things got to be too much to do - I was trying to prove to myself I could still do things by myself, but I knew I couldn’t. Eventually, I stopped trying to be superwoman and started reaching out for help. Thank goodness my fiancé is here with me, learning how to take care of our son because the little moments that I’m able to steal and work on my blog or simply have time to myself to take care of other things is the best.
Don't go after your dreams alone and don't feel that you can't ask someone for their help. I get it, you want your journey to success to be one where you've made it on your own, but that's not reality. Nobody has ever been successful on their own; there was always someone or something that contributed to their success.
3. Learn What Works
It's not easy trying to figure out what every cry stands for, but I'm learning that when my son is crying and biting his fingers he's hungry. Other times when he's crying he just wants to be close to me or needs his diaper change. I'm also learning that he likes to lay on my chest after eating and after 5-10 minutes then he's ready to be burped and I can't put him back down to sleep unless I rock him and pat his back. It doesn't work every time, but it's definitely figureoutable. (Learned that word from Marie Forleo)
The same goes for dream chasing; the idea you thought you had may not have worked the first time, so instead of giving up and creating a new one just learn what worked and eventually you'll have your answers and things will become clearer.
4. Take Advice Wisely
Throughout my pregnancy I heard so many stories of women and their pregnancies; most people gave me a laundry list of what to expect before, during, and after labor but not everything was true:
When it comes to advice, take away things that may or do apply to you and your situation
When it comes to dream-chasing you'll hear more "advice" from people who haven't even lifted a finger to work on themselves and their goals. Spend more time with the few people that have at least taken a step towards their goals or those in similar situations as you.
5. Create Your Boundaries
After carrying around a growing belly people constantly want to touch it (you) not understanding how uncomfortable it can be and it's annoying that people don't respect your wishes for them not to touch you.When it comes to chasing after your dreams you're going to have people who don't care to respect what you're doing - so you have to make them. Create your boundaries and be stern about them. Don't let anyone come in and persuade you to do things differently or focus on something less important.
6. Build Up Support
Being able to call on people who understand first hand what I'm experiencing gave me so much relief and made me feel more courageous about getting through labor. Your support team will be the people who either help you financially, emotionally and/or contribute to the ideas/goals you have set for yourself. Your support team doesn't have to be a lot of people either, it could literally be just 2 people as long as they give you all that you need to keep going.
7. Nothing Is Permanent
At times I thought I would never get through certain phases in my pregnancy; especially during my last trimester where it felt like my son would never be born, but miraculously he was born on his actual due date.
Dream chasing may feel exactly how it sounds, a chase, and you might even feel like you're running the same mile over and over again, but understand that nothing is permanent. Right now you might feel stuck, but eventually, something or someone will help you move along and onto the next chapter or level.
8. Keep On Pushing
One of the hardest things about being a mom is learning who your baby is and what he/she wants; every cry means something different and it's almost a guessing game to figure it out but the more I keep at it the more I'm noticing the signs.
The more you keep at your dreams the closer you become to accomplishing them but of course, that is easier said than done, especially when it feels like everyone around you is moving ahead in life and you're in quicksand. Don't stop moving, keep going; again everything is figureoutable but the moment you stop the harder it is to start again at that same pace.
9. Rest Is Okay
Caring for a baby is exhausting and sleep is almost last on my list of things to do, but whenever I am able to lay down I don't take it for granted. At times I get the best sleep I've ever had in life in only 15 minutes.
Rest is needed in order for you to keep going. The whole mentality that you have to wake up early, go to sleep late and hustle and grind harder every day is BS. Not every day that you get up early means it will be a day of hustle. It’s not healthy to constantly keep pushing yourself and your body without making time to rest. Your body and your mind need to time to rejuvenate, to get rid of toxins, and when you don’t make time for it, you end up in burnout and maybe having anxiety.