Can You Do Both?

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Is developing your talents and being a dedicated mother mutually exclusive?

Sometimes it feels that way. We have generations of women who have nobly set a standard of sacrifice, putting everything on hold to raise a family. Is this still necessary today? Going out of that mold is often accompanied by guilt and criticism.

Two resources on this topic found their way to me in the past few weeks, leaving me much to think about.

1. Carol Tuttle’s article.
2. Shauna Neiquists speech “What My Mother Taught Me”.

I loved Shauna’s talk. I’m not a feminist, and I’m not advocating for women to pack their bags in pursuit of themselves. It’s not a matter of choosing between motherhood and your own interests. I believe it is possible to do both. It might require “some creativity in working out logistics”, as Shauna mentions, but nonetheless, the desire to maintain your own identity and pursue your individual life calling can actually make you a better mother.

This topic can be extremely emotional for many women. I battle my own residue of resistance regularly, but am ready to be done with it.

Despite my own struggles, the bigger picture of my own experience has shown me that when approached responsibly, pursuing my own calling makes me happier, I feel more confident, I don’t need to play the exhausted mother victim card, and I enjoy my kids a whole lot more. Filling my own well makes it possible to have something to give to my own family.

Being a mom is hard. But it’s a whole lot harder when that’s all you do and focus on.

We teach by example. If I want my own children to thrive with a strong sense of identity and purpose, then I need to lead the way. The scale of that pursuit will look different over time as seasons change, but it’s my inner belief that we should never put everything on hold in the name of sacrifice, or we might wake up and realize we’ve sacrificed much more than we bargained for.

What are your thoughts? Is it possible to do both? And how do you manage it?

bwselfie Brooke Snow is a photographic artist and delights in the pursuit of a meaningful life. Sign up for her FREE e course “Living A Thriving Life” to learn more about how to find true balance in your life. Brooke lives in Northern Utah with her calm husband, adventurous 4 year old son and bouncy baby girl.

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