I used to once be a brave little girl. I had very few fears in my life, except ghosts and snakes. Getting good grades? No problem, I’ll just study harder. Finding the perfect guy? No worries, it will unfold just like Sex And The City. Having a successful career? Oh that’s easy. As long as I get into a good college, study hard and give it my all, it will happen in no time. Reaching for my dream? Now THAT will be my priority. Nothing will come between me and my dream.
Life seemed simple according to books, TV, even real life stories that others told. Then motherhood happened and everything crumbled. All my plans, skill sets, talents, dreams, degrees– none of it mattered. Motherhood stuck a big fat middle finger in front of my face not in a mean way but in a taunting, you’ll-never-get-what-you-want kind of way. And it hurt.
Motherhood taught me that life never goes as planned. That I need to suck it up and happily embrace the things I don’t want for these little people called our children.
These little babies I helped to bring into the world own me, all of me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I sacrifice every fiber of my being not because anyone tells me I have to, but because I want to. I love them so much I can die for them in an instant. I’ll do anything to make their lives richer, fuller and more meaningful. I’ll do anything to keep them out of harm’s way. I’ll dedicate every day of the rest of my life to keep them safe and protected.
This is what it means to be a mother, and I’m certain many mothers out there know exactly what I’m talking about.
Now as a mother of three, I’m no longer brave like I used to be. I know too much about the world and no longer bear an armor of naiveté. I now know hard work doesn’t always pay off and that there are many hard working people out there who return home defeated because things don’t work out. And they have no control over it.
Yet this year I decided to face another fear in my life. I decided to be brave. Facing fears as a mother is a lot more complicated than one would think because we have that much more to lose. Our children are watching our every move, and it’s difficult to know when to move and when to give up.
How far do we go chasing our dreams? Do we even try? Or do we remain here, right where we’re at, because everything feels safe this way? Is this good fear or bad fear? We teach our young boys and girls to be brave, that they rule the world. Does this apply to us too? At what age does dreaming stop?
Three years ago, I was full of fear about starting this blog. Until then I kept a private blog where I purged all my thoughts and feelings but was too scared to make it public. What if people judge me? What if people view me differently? What if it’s too much work? Where do I start? What if it leads to nowhere? What if I’m just wasting my time? Questions and self-doubt got louder in my head when my confidence was at its lowest. Bad combo. Being a full time stay-at-home-mom can do that to you, especially when you’re struggling to maintain your sanity while being a homemaker and full time caretaker.
Yet I decided to be brave. I reminded myself of the fearless little girl I once was, and decided to just do it. I had major anxiety as I made my official announcement on Facebook but I did it anyway…and look at how far I came today.
Was it hard? Yes, at times. Was it worth it? Yes, wholeheartedly.
I’ve been spending a lot of time at home these days with my 6-months old son. I love him so much, my heart explodes every time he smiles at me. Even when he cries. Being a mother brings so much joy and wonder, I don’t know what I did to deserve such love. I feel safe here. I feel safe cuddling with my son and kissing him all over. I feel safe in my home, in this familiar space, in a place I grew to love despite my initial resistance.
But fear keeps calling. I’m no longer brave but fear keeps calling.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Whoever said that, I hope she is right.
Have you faced your fears recently? Why or why not?