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Dare to Dream
Isn’t it funny how when we ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, the answer is always anything but average? They dare to dream of being an astronaut, a world-famous musician, a popstar or a renowned sports star. The dreams of children have no limitations but, instead, endless possibilities.
After I settled into my career following university, I had endless amounts of drive. I was working in Human Resources, and I was thriving, taking strides up the corporate ladder. I have always been ambitious. If I do anything, I want it to be a success and I want to be the best. It is the very essence of who I am. However, after giving birth to my first daughter this trait became somewhat of a double-edged sword. You see now I was a mother, and in order to be ‘the best’ mum I could be, I made the decision to be a stay-at-home mum, (a choice I have never regretted).
The reason I say this character trait was bittersweet, in order to fulfil my new role as a mum to the very best of my ability, I became utterly determined to give it 100% of me. The downside of that? It becomes all-consuming.
I see it happen a lot. I write about it and speak about it. We women almost have a shift in personality traits when we become mothers. One minute we are confident in exactly who we are, the next we don’t even recognise the woman looking back at us. The role of being a parent is considerable to say the least, I should know. I have 7 children, under the age of 12. As mothers, we carry our family on our shoulders every day and, if we are not careful, whether intentionally or not, the driven, motivated, creative woman you once were with dreams and aspirations gets lost along the way.
So, my question to you mother, in the throes of your mothering journey is – do you still dare to dream?
I made a major change in my life a few years ago and decided I was going to reject the idea that motherhood was about survival. I saw it everywhere. Every Instagram post I clicked on, was a reminder that I should be congratulating myself for “surviving another day” of parenthood and offered me 100 more similar messages each time I refreshed my feed. I was literally feeding into a negative mindset by absorbing this narrative. I decided to stop, change direction and chase more uplifting and positive social media accounts. One small change had a huge impact on my mindset.
Around this time, I read a powerful book called ‘Women Who Run with Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It challenges women to reconnect with the fierce visionaries they are instinctually destined to be. The book ignited a spark in me, and everything changed.
I began to set boundaries, with my children, my friends, and with myself. I became intentional with my time and acknowledged the impact my choices were having on the dynamic of my family. I set healthy habits and held myself accountable to them. The ripple effect of these small changes began to change the trajectory of my entire life. Suddenly I had time. ‘Me time’, in particular, became a precious commodity. Even if it was limited, I began to use it effectively. I felt the spark ignite into a fire in my belly. And just like that, I dared to dream.
Suddenly I was a mum of 7 working out, feeling strong, eating right, creating space and time for me. It felt so good to thrive in a season of life that should be overwhelming me. One of the threads that runs through the aforementioned book, is a woman’s refusal to regress once she has reconnected with her true fierce self. I identified with that. Even on the challenging days, I made sure I decompressed, even for a small window in the evening. I was determined not to drift back into that depleted all-consuming role.
I would sit in bed at night and let my mind wander. What could I achieve, how could I challenge myself? Should I try and learn a new skill? I not only had more physical energy, but I had a creative energy that I had never made room for.
What is my passion in life now, I hear you ask?
Of course, my 7 children are by far my greatest achievement. That aside, it is connecting with women, namely mothers, that I truly love. I am now a motivational speaker, published writer and blogger. I aim to inspire women to create, to invest in themselves, to conquer, to thrive. I can attest to the fact some are doing all of this, in the throes of motherhood, surrounded by the demands of family life with little to no support. This is called showing up for yourself!
Six months ago, I had a dream, piece by piece coming together in my mind. It was to create a planner for busy mums. And not just one to house the endless appointments and navigate rigorous schedules, but a space to organise life, thus, enabling us to create space and time to set goals and accomplish them. The pages are brimming with self-help for mum, encouraging her to consider self-accountability, her general wellbeing, and her use of time. It is both motivating and challenging in equal measure, with one purpose; Mum like a Boss and Thrive on the Journey.
A few years ago, I was a mum of 7, barely surviving. Then, I dared to dream. Thriving as a mother, speaking, writing, creating my planner, and inspiring other mums is now my business. The challenge – I dared to dream.
Now I challenge you – dare to dream!
About the Author
Name: Emma Lewis
Professional Title: Founder of Seven Little Lewis Kids
Bio: Emma Lewis, BA Hons HRM, published writer, motivational speaker, and businesswoman is a busy mum to seven young children. Her business Seven Little Lewis Kids: Mum Like a Boss, is inspiring women every day to live their best life while in the throes of motherhood. She is an advocate of self-care, intentional living, self-accountability for both time and choices, getting out of survival mode and thriving in motherhood, and is challenging other women to do the same.
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