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┬ámy 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.

Taking On Too Much Responsibility

Being a good Indian kid means that you’re responsible for everything, right? If the family needs something, you’re the one who will handle it. If your friends needs something, you’re the one who goes out of their way. If your work needs something, well, we’ll live at the office, right?

Hold on. This life sounds stressful and very unfulfilling. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to help others out. I think it’s a great thing. But what if it gets to the point where it’s just unrealistic? What if it gets to the point where you resent the people asking you for things and don’t even want to talk to them anymore?

What if it gets to the point where you don’t recognize yourself and you don’t know how to make yourself happy anymore?

I think there are a lot of people who take on too much responsibility. We sit there and try to do things because we feel like we should. We feel guilty putting ourselves and our health first. We need to learn to let things go and let others take care of themselves.

I used to get stressed out because a friend of mine had a lot of problems with his own family. I used to take that stress onto myself and try to find a solution to help him. The end result would be that nothing would change because he himself didn’t want to change anything. I had to learn to step away from that situation. I could be there as a friend and listen and offer my advice but that was it. It was not my responsibility to fix his relationships. It was my responsibility to be a good friend and be there when he needed me.

It’s hard to let go sometimes because we feel like we should be helping when someone needs it. But what if they don’t need it? What if they just choose not to do it and that leaves you feeling like you should be taking care of what they are responsible for? My sister just came to me and asked me to take a look at her resume so she can start looking for jobs. I accept that as something I would want to do for her. But if she needs to find a job and expects me to find it for her, then it’s a sign that I need to step away from the situation. It is clearly her responsibility and while I have no problem helping, I do not want to baby her and handle it for her.

This is just one example (and she just asked me to take a look at her resume; she wouldn’t ask me to find her a job) but I see similar occurrences in different places.

We need to learn where our responsibility and willingness to help starts and stops. Otherwise, we’ll drive ourselves crazy. Who would we be able to help then?

The Indian Kid Mentality

Have you ever really wanted to do something but have trouble doing it without feeling guilty about it? If it’s for pure fun or maybe not the most logical, practical choice, the feelings of “why am I putting myself first?” manifest themselves inside you and then there is the famous tug of war between what we want and what we should do. Is it possible to be selfish for the good of ourselves when our conscience is in constant overdrive? Or is that just the voice of the Indian culture?

This idea of duty and responsibility is something I know I’ve dealt with and put on myself throughout my entire life. I don’t know how I came to think that way instead of doing what I wanted but it definitely was my own mind that put that pressure on me. My own ideas of what I thought I was supposed to be doing caused me to make the decisions that I make.

Until I get to that point where I realize that this isn’t what is making me happy. And that gets to a point where I know I need to make a change or I’ll be miserable.

So let’s discuss the “Indian kid mentality” as my friend called it yesterday. Why do we stick to certain things even if they don’t make us happy? I understand we are raised by a generation where they risked a lot to come to America and create a stable and opportunity filled life for us. Aren’t we obligated to take the next step and really try to make it a happy life? There are those that did break out of the standard but the majority of us still stuck to stability as our main driving force. What is it about quitting or ending something or changing something that scares us half to death? I even question myself before buying something that might be a little bit more expensive than normal.

Can anyone explain how we can really start listening to ourselves instead of pushing ourselves to the point of misery?

Courage to Take Responsibility

It takes courage to stop blaming and take responsibility.

I read this quote in an article that someone had posted on Facebook. I love it. How many of us can be completely honest today and admit to being wrong about something? How many of us can take the next step and actually apologize to the person for being wrong?

We have all had our moments whether on purpose or not of screwing up and hurting someone. Then, what?

I think that the people in our lives are a great reflection of who we are. If you aren’t sure of what you look like to the outside world, take a look at the people around you. Are they good people? Or are they the types that don’t take responsibility for their own lives where everything is always someone else’s fault?

I had a friend email me last night, apologizing for not being there in the past few weeks when I was going through a really hard time. This is a friend who has been there through some of the worst times in my life. This is a friend who was apologizing to me for not being there while she was going through a really hard time herself. I admire my friend a lot. She is an amazing person. And I admire her courage to stand up for her beliefs and do what she needed to do when she thought she was wrong. I don’t think she was wrong at all for taking some time out for herself while she dealt with her stuff but that’s a whole other story.

I think people don’t realize that having beliefs is acceptable. Standing up for your beliefs is also acceptable. I have done this time and time again. And there are times when I have stood up in a way that was completely unacceptable. I have had to go back and apologize for not treating someone correctly because I was passionate about something that they didn’t understand or agree with. It doesn’t change what I stand for but I want to be proud of the way I defend my beliefs.

How do we make the world a better place when we don’t have the courage to even look internally at our who we are and what we are doing? It’s scary sometimes to see the person staring back at you. The only thing we can really ever do is our best. We are all human and we are all going to make mistakes. And sometimes, those mistakes will hurt other people. But if we can take a look at what just happened and take responsibility, then that shows that we can learn and grow. I hope that is how we change our world to be a place to be proud of.