How To Chase Your Passions While Being a Mom

Today, I was really missing dancing and performing. I’ve spent a good part over the last 16 years dancing on various teams and in shows. It’s definitely slowed down since I had my first kid. I have had a few opportunities to dance in between being pregnant and having baby #1 and baby #2 but it’s not as frequently as I would like.

I posted on Facebook about this longing I had for dance and a few opportunities popped up. I’m really excited to get started and do this.

But I can’t just jump into things the way I used to.

I have to remember that my first responsibility is my family. My kids’ lives and needs come first. They have their schedules that are more important that anything else.

So how does it work if my needs come second?

Somehow, I have to manage balancing my responsibilities with chasing my passions. I know I could just ignore my own needs and concentrate on my kids but if I did that, then I wouldn’t be giving them my best self. The only answer to this is to find a way to do both.

I find sections of my day to focus on the things I do for me. I wake up early to write (or write during a movie that I’m watching with my kid like I’m doing now). I work out during nap times. In order to be able to dance, I need the support of my husband.

He’s a great guy and we both believe in allowing space so that the other is able to do the things that will make us happy. We believe that if we are happy, our kids will be happy. So I have the ability to dance while my husband handles our responsibilities.

It isn’t easy to be able to chase your passions while being a mom. But if I want it bad enough, I’ll find a way to do it.

The Other Part of Me

It’s been 2.5 years since we had our first child. It’s been 1 month since we had our second. We have started doing the normal, everyday domestic things like managing our own house, cooking, and cleaning. We have to have a regular schedule throughout the week now since our first child does go to school and classes on a weekly basis. Even when I have a break, I just want to sit and binge watch some laid-back Netflix show. The only other things I think about doing during a break is catching up on sleep.

Let’s put it this way: it’s been a long time since I’ve thought about me. And I don’t mean in the way that I want to do something and haven’t had a chance. I mean in the way where I think about where I am in life.

Suddenly, my days were just about getting things done and taking care of my family. Everything started to become a routine. I was just trying to get somewhere on time, cook dinner, get laundry done, and get the kids to sleep so I could spend some time with my husband (that is, if one of us hadn’t already passed out from pure exhaustion). My entire goal for the day is to just get through it.

What about me though? I danced, I read, I wrote, I analyzed my life and tried to be grateful for everything that I’ve been fortunate to have. I stopped doing all of that. When I had a spare moment, I went on Facebook and just read the articles that popped up there. I occasionally danced for a friend’s wedding. I completely stopped writing. And I haven’t even thought about keeping a positive mindset or about what I am grateful for.

With all of the things going on in this world, I decided I needed to take a break and read something else rather than the articles on Facebook. I picked up the Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive from my bookshelf and am currently trying to read a couple of stories of it when I have a few spare moments.

It has made me realize that I haven’t thought about myself. My passions have taken a backseat currently. It’s not that I’m not enjoying the things I am doing now. It’s just that there is so much more to me than just being a mom and wife. There are things that make me feel alive in a different kind of way. I don’t want to resent not nurturing my passions. I want to feel more. I want to be aware of more.

Writing this post is a promise that I am making to myself to bring this part of me back to life.

Where Did My Passion Go?

I used to have passions. A weekend wouldn’t go by where I wasn’t dancing. Even now, the thrill of performing is like nothing else to me. When I started this blog, there would be a new post every day. The feeling I got from putting my thoughts together and out into the world was amazing.

But, somewhere along the way, my passions seem to have disappeared. It’s not that I don’t love dancing or writing anymore. It’s that making time for them has become more and more difficult. Taking the time to do so requires a lot of careful planning and effort. And,sometimes, it feels easier to just do nothing than to use your down time to do any kind of work.

I know that having a kid changes certain things. Your priorities change. Your child comes before anything and everything else. But should we let everything change? Or should we still find time to pursue our passions?

How do we balance the things that make us happy? How do we keep up the motivation to do everything that really defines who we are? Do we owe it to ourselves to make the time and put in the effort to do the things that give us a sense of fulfillment?

How do we keep our passions from disappearing when our life changes?

Passion or Validation?

Have you ever heard someone who talks about something they’re into and it is the most amazing thing they have ever experienced? And then they talk about something else and it’s just as amazing? Does it ever seem like some people are just really overly passionate about a few things?

I was wondering this the other day when I had heard a few people discussing different restaurants they had been to. Was it a real passion? If so, is it necessary to really emphasize what you feel or think about it?

I had always thought that if someone had a passion for something, it’d just show. You would notice by what they did or how they spoke about it. When people really get that over-excited about something, is it real or is it a show?

Maybe these people are really that enthusiastic about the things they talk about. Maybe passion about something just runs over and there’s no other words to describe it.

But maybe, sometimes, people are just a little too passionate because they want to sound like they really care about something. They want to validate that their opinions are important. Maybe if they sound passionate about something, other people will respect them more. It’s kind of like the whole idea of posting everything we think or do on a social media site just so we can count the likes and comments we receive.

When did we become so needy for others’ approval? Why do we have to be something we aren’t? Why can’t we just be satisfied in knowing we enjoy what we enjoy and not have to get validation for everything we do or say?

What Indian People Think

Sometimes, I read what other people write about being an Indian raised in another country. It’s scary to see what they think. I read a couple of articles written by these Indian people about how we are losing our culture if we are born and raised in America. We defy our parents, we ignore our traditions, we don’t want to participate in anything even remotely Indian.

I’ve written a few articles about this in various forms already. Just because I’m American does not mean I’m not Indian. Yes, there are things that have changed since the good old days where the daughter or daughter-in-law would just blindly do what her elders asked but that’s called progress. It’s called knowledge.

In exchange for me not being the world’s best cook or the Indian woman that cleans all day long, I am independent. I know how to financially support myself. I never needed to get married to someone in order to survive. Instead I chose to marry someone who supports my passions and interests and we have a relationship based on friendship and love. We are here because we want to be not because we have to be.

On that note, I chose my own life partner. I really got to know myself myself and having gone through previous relationships only helped me understand who the right person was for me to take this journey with. In exchange for that, I won’t resent having missed out any part of life. I won’t feel stuck in a relationship because it was my duty to be there. I will love myself and my partner because I have gotten the chance to chase my dreams.

Yes, I don’t agree with or listen to everything my elders say. In this day and age, with all of the information out there, the ideas that we had grown up with might not be the same or even accurate anymore. I also believe in making my own mistakes. But guess what? Neither of us, my elders or I, know everything. We all have to learn. It doesn’t matter if they had done something before us and we are in the process of doing it now. Times have changed! Things have changed!

It’s frustrating that those of us who were raised in a different country still get judged for it. The truth is that our parents left India to make a better life for us. Our parents wanted better opportunities for us. So then why do we get judged when we take advantage of these opportunities? You can’t expect us to move forward in one thing and still be behind in something else. I can’t be an educated woman and then be expected to sit at home, cooking and cleaning all day (unless it’s truly what I love to do). With knowledge comes change. With knowledge comes progress.

I think it’s time that the Indian people who keep thinking we are losing our culture and traditions realize that it’s not that we’re losing them. It’s that our culture and traditions are evolving. Things will change. They always have. Even if you believe that everything has been the same for thousands of years, I can promise you that it hasn’t. Even in India, things have changed over time.

So please stop judging us. Accept change. It’s the only way that you’ll really ensure that the things that are important to you stay around (unless you expect me to wait on you hand and foot because that’s not happening).

Tired of Politics

Everything is about politics. You have to play one game to offset another game. You have to give something to get something.

Politics sucks. It sucks in our daily lives, it sucks in our careers, it sucks in our fun projects.

I’m tired of politics. I’m tired of mind games. I’m tired of having to be careful of what I say or do.

I think I’d honestly rather get taken advantage of than try to protect something from someone with political ambitions. I want to be able to do things cleanly and with a pure heart. I know. It sounds idealistic.

I have no desire to take over the world. I have no desire to put others out of business. I really just want to be able to share everything with everyone and be happy doing it.

So…politics. Why? Why are there games? Why do we have to fight and compete to be noticed?

My husband was telling me about this photographer who works on all of these famous tv shows. The man just does what he does. And because his passion and love for his work is there, he is good at what he does and well-respected.

Fighting and competing wears you out. How long can we keep doing this? How long can we fight?

I have been reading these series of books that take place in this little town where everyone is like family. Everyone takes care of one another and going the extra mile for someone that lives in that town is no big deal. I want to live in a place like this. I realize LA is a little big to know everyone. But it’s still small enough that we have the ability to really build a community. Every person that’s happy and take care of is a benefit to our community.

Helping others succeed is a unique concept. It’s hard. We are built to want to be the first person. We want to be the ones who win. We forget that we can succeed together. And the best way to move forward is together.

Don’t Let What Anyone Else Says Hold You Back

Due to a variety of experiences I had in my 20s, I got to a point where I believed I wasn’t lovable, I wasn’t good enough at choreography and dance, I wasn’t perfect looking, I wasn’t thin enough, I wasn’t the “ideal” anything. To be honest, I shouldn’t have let anyone make me feel like I wasn’t good enough. But it happened. 

It’s a hard thing to take when you feel as though the people who have seen you work hard day in and day out don’t believe in you. Being a second option or even worse, a last option makes you feel like you’re not worth anything. 

I felt like this until I decided to make my own path. I started working on projects with people that did believe in me. I walked away from situations that didn’t appreciate my hard work. I don’t know if those people ever realized how they made me feel but it was not a good place for me to be. 

I realized after I walked away that I was quite good at a few things when I had my freedom to really follow my passions. It was then I realized that I shouldn’t have let what anyone else said make me feel less than I really was. I wasn’t. I know that now. 

Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you are worth less than you are. If you believe that you are good at something and you work hard at it, then it’s worth it. You’re worth it.