One of my favorite movies is Cheaper By the Dozen (2003). After nearly breaking his super sized family to pieces, Tom (Steve Martin) decides to ditch his crazy, hectic dream job for a more stable, practical one.
When his boss taunts him with, “So you’re giving up on your dream?”
Tom swiftly replies, “Nope. Just going with a different one.”
Recently, I found myself in Tom’s shoes.
From the moment I can remember dreaming, I wanted to be three things: a writer, a teacher, a mommy.
I’ve been a writer both privately and publicly for much of my life. Am I widely famous as I hoped at age 10? Not quite, but I’m working at it. I’m also a mommy two times over. About two years ago, I also made my dream of being a teacher a reality.
Since becoming a mother, a great deal has changed within me. I’ve struggled with working outside the home since I dropped my fresh 11 week old baby off at daycare for the first time nearly 3 years ago. My heart and my head have battled regularly since then as I’ve attempted to figure out what I want to do with my life.
Recently, it came down to a few simple things:
- Being a working mother of two small children is inexplicably hard.
- Having a husband whose work schedule is both bizarre and unpredictable makes things even harder.
- Being in an unhealthy and unsafe teaching environment where my mental stability and ability to care for my family are on an ever declining path makes things nearly impossible.
After a great deal of thinking and praying and figuring out finances, my husband and I came to a unanimous (albeit scary and gut-wrenching) decision. The time has come for me to give up my full-time, guaranteed paycheck to stay at home and raise our children.
So here I am at an exhilarating crossroads in my life. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be with my children, to have a few hours a week to fine tune my writing, and to pursue potential part time work. Above all, I’m thankful to spend some time where my heart has been all along: home.
What about you? Have you ever given up one dream for the sake of another? Or is there a small little voice inside your heart whispering to you? Maybe you’ve been too busy to listen. Maybe you are ignoring it like I did for way too long. Maybe you haven’t found the nerve to say it out loud or make it happen. I promise you, it is worth it.
Life happens when you have the courage to trade one dream for another!
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