Every mom thinks that once she reaches motherhood, sacrifices must be made in order to tend to their children and husbands, and that includes their dreams and aspirations. Although that being said, we ladies forget one important thing:
We can be more than JUST a “mother”, and Merlee Jayme—author of Chairmom and a loving mother to four daughters—is a living proof of this. Working as a creative for 33 years, Merlee Jayme has gotten herself a multitude of achievements, such as being one of CNN’s Leading Women, being recognized with the Hall of Fame Award by the 4As Creative Guild, being awarded the CEO of the year by International Association of Business Communicators, and many more. In Merlee’s talk titled “Chairmombition” at the last book club session of The Write Side of Bookshelf, she discussed what it means to have a “mombition” and how we should never give up our dreams, even if it means having to shoulder the responsibility of being a mother and your own creative person.
What it Means to Have a “Mombition”
As mentioned prior, a lot of mothers in life often dedicate their entire lives towards tending to the house and their children, and more often than not, they give up their dreams in the process. While it is an admirable selfless move for mothers, this must not always have to be the case for our mamas. As difficult as it sounds, you can simultaneously be both a loving mother to your children and your own creative person.
It’s true, being a mother is a huge shift and responsibility in life, but that doesn’t always have to mean completely losing yourself and solely acclaiming the title as simply just a “mother”. We often forget that we, as humans, have the complexity that no other living being possesses. Unlike plants and animals, we have purposes and dreams to fulfill, and this branches out as us having multiple identities in one. We have that drive to dream, and our job is to catch them. Though some dreams are bigger than others, it is important how we can manage them and take things one step at a time.
Baby Steps Towards Bigger Success
We love to dream, and we often love to dream big. But it should be noted that if we were shouldering something as big as motherhood, then it's important to take these goals through baby steps. Taking a head dive first into one big dream would be taxing both physically and mentally, and doing this kind of thing will take months or years to complete. By the end of it all, you’d be tired and maybe not even finish said goal you’ve been wanting to achieve. That’s why it is important to start out small—create goals that are manageable at your current state. Then once you’ve completed that goal, you move onto the next.
Before you know it, you’ll be marking checks after checks on your goal list until you slowly start to reach the big dreams. Not only does this kind of goal management help in taking things slow, but it also gets things done faster and leaves you feeling satisfied and productive in the process without feeling like you’ve wasted any time.
Don’t Stop with a Cliffhanger, Give it Some Chapters
Everyone’s life is their own story, and every story deserves its own chapters. This is a call for us to continue dreaming and being ambitious, it doesn’t always have to stop at a singular goal. Being ambitious—especially for us women—is in no way a bad or arrogant thing for us to be. There exists a stigma in society that Miss Merlee mentions in her talk wherein men are often praised for their ambitiousness, but women are shamed for being arrogant and overly-confident when they’re ambitious. It’s because of this double standard that us women have become secluded into setting ourselves to small and singular goals, but society’s expectations shouldn’t hinder our yearn for creative ambitiousness.
Our life is a book waiting to be written, and with each book comes a strong potential to be successful. So by continuing to dream and create goals for yourself despite the motherly duties you carry at home, it not only serves as happiness for you, but inspiration for your children as well.
Love Your Kids but Don’t Forget to Love Yourself
The main reason mothers abandon their dreams is to dedicate their entire attention on their love and future for their kids. While this isn’t inherently a bad thing on its own, this can definitely impact the mother herself in one way or another. Her identity becomes solely that of a wife to her husband and a mother to her children, but the question is: “who is she?”. The answer to that is she is not ONLY a wife to her husband and a mother to her children, but ALSO a creative ambitious woman with her own dreams.
When her kids see the inspiration glint in her eyes, they too will also know that a mother’s “mombition” doesn’t stop at motherhood, and continues to write her story shouldering all of these different identities as one: A daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, and a creative woman.
By Keisa Limdico