“You never make any of the shots you never take.”
~ Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
“Score! Two Points! And the crowd goes wild!” I can hear my son announce after taking a shot with his basketball.
My son is nearly 6-years-old and recently discovered a passion for the sport of basketball. Just watching his excitement, enthusiasm and genuine joy whenever he is able to have a second to play this sport puts a smile on my face. There is an obvious difference in him when he is able to play basketball versus any of his other extracurricular activities.
And in watching him play this sport the other day, I made a significant personal discovery… if my son is noticeably happier when he is doing something he is passionate about … maybe I am too?
Guilt – Life’s Foul Play
This discovery hit me hard – like a ton of bricks actually. Because I have spent a good part of motherhood feeling guilty when I’ve occasionally taken time away from my family to do something I enjoy or am passionate about.
We’ve all met guilt. We all know how “pushy” guilt can be and how unfairly it can interfere with our day – helping you to quickly “lose control of life’s ball.” In the sport of basketball we’d call that a foul… (or maybe unsportmanlike conduct?)
Yet I’ve noticed that guilt does way more then just interfere with my life. Guilt can stop me dead in my tracks. It can block me from reaching my potential and interrupt me from making important life plays.
Come to think of it, all guilt has ever done is put me on the defensive and allowed me to fail.
And looking at it from that perspective, I realize that guilt – really just needs to be benched.
Life’s too short to let guilt have that much control over me, so consider “guilt” officially benched.
(Score two points for mom!)
Parents always talk about raising well-rounded children, but how can we teach our kids well-roundedness without also being well rounded ourselves?
Just as my son has found a passion for basketball, when I was young I discovered a love for the sport of diving. In the beginning my passion for diving trumped everything – but what I found is that my passion became an obsession that eventually burnt me out.
Focus can be a good thing, but when it isn’t balanced sometimes it causes burnout.
Looking back I now see that I began attacking motherhood in the same way in which I approached the sport of diving. Because for a while, I’ll admit, that I was feeling rather “burnt out” as a mom.
Opportunity – Life’s Cheerleader
So now I am taking a new approach to help avoid mommy “burn out” – I am getting off the bench and back into the game by diversifying my experiences and putting more focus on my passions – all of them, not just motherhood.
- A little over a year ago I began my job with the NAMC that encompassed both my passion for motherhood and my need for creativity and flexibility.
- In December, I took my first solo (a.k.a. no kids!) business trip to New York to visit with other Mothers’ Centers.
- And at the end of this month I will fly to Washington, DC after being chosen as the Ohio delegate for Parenting Magazine’s Mom Congress on Education and Learning.
Years ago, as a new mom, I might have seen these opportunities to travel and pursue my passions as impractical. I might have considered the women who got these opportunities to be fortunate and have thought – maybe someday…
It seems what I failed to notice as a new parent is that motherhood doesn’t have to be my only passion.
In fact for years, opportunity had been cheering at my court’s sidelines and I had been rudely ignoring its persistent chants. Instead, just looking ahead to someday…
So someday is now.
And the crowd goes wild!)
Leave a Comment. What are you passionate about? Do you let your guilt sometimes limit your passions and potential?
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