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The Cost of Following Your Dreams

The vast majority of moms I speak with want to have meaningful experiences that aren’t connected with being a wife and a mother. We all watched "Frozen" and related to Elsa’s struggle to hide who she really was in order to care for those who depended on her. We all saw how she blossomed when she recognized her own needs, stopped hiding and lived for herself. Kids’ movie be damned; the message was universal for women, calling them to wake up and reclaim themselves from those they’ve been playing small to protect.

RELATED: The Co-Parenting Tether

I’ve been pursuing my dreams of being a writer and TV host for nearly seven years, but it has been a struggle. How do I pursue my passion and keep the lights on? In the midst of my anxiety about making ends meet, how do I continue to be patient with my son’s one millionth Spider-Man question?

It seems the real world is staring me down, forcing me to pay attention. The stress has caused me to realize that it’s time to rethink my dreams. I need to organize them to better fit my reality. To facilitate this major shift, my son’s father and I have been discussing moving our son in with him. Not only do I need a chance to straighten out my career goals, but my son needs his father more than he used to, and his dad needs him too.

While I know that I’m fortunate to have a co-parent who is able and willing to step up so completely, I never imagined this possibility would be so painful. I can hardly breathe at the thought of not seeing my son daily. I also realize how much my life revolves around him, as I consider being home without needing to fix dinner, run bath water and read stories.

How do moms live their dreams and feed their children?

All of this brings me back to my dreams and my desire to do what I love, and I’m so grateful that I was able to give both my child and my dreams my all for the past seven years. I’m also clear that a new season is upon me, and I’m preparing to take my mortgage broker exam in order to be a licensed mortgage broker. My dreams have changed from wanting to host a TV show to wanting to pay for speech therapy and private school. I want my son to have a real shot at meeting his potential and that costs dollars and, it seems, costs dreams too.

I’m not saying that my path is right for everyone. But after years of living on a financial roller coaster, I’m ready to pursue a dream that perhaps excites me less than hosting a TV show, but that doesn’t awaken me at night in a cold sweat.

RELATED: I Can Be a Mom AND a Career Woman

How do moms live their dreams and feed their children? We live in a culture that is financially demanding upon parents. There are tons of things demanding our attention and our financial resources as parents. Where do our dreams fit into this equation — or do they? No dream is fulfilled without great dedication and much sacrifice, but what gets sacrificed when you become a parent?

As women we know what it’s like to want happiness and fulfillment in our personal and professional lives, but something shifts when we become mothers because we also have a profound need to protect our children and nurture their dreams. Can both things exist? Is that even realistic?

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