Earlier this week, an old friend of mine from school contacted me to say that I’d featured in her dream. She now lives in the States and has a young family of her own, so we don’t get to chat too often, but it is always delightful when we do. In her dream, she said that I had three children; when she told me it struck a chord – perhaps only two days before I had asked my husband if he’d felt our family was now ‘complete’. Baby Hugh’s fourth trimester is now behind us, and although I thought I’d only ever have two children, I’d be lying if I denied recently questioning number three.
When I was little, I used to imagine my future grown up life as a parent with an elder boy and a younger girl. Quite typical I suppose, but I grew up with two younger brothers and as the ‘bossy big sister’ I had always wondered what it might be like to be the youngest with elder siblings to play the role of protector. Life has a funny way of working itself out, even if it’s not quite in the same way you planned it. Thirty years later, I am blessed to have two healthy, young boys – maybe they’ll grow up to look after their mum when time makes me old, grey and wrinkled instead.
So, we will wait to see if my friend’s dream will ever come true. Meanwhile, I have been working on my dream of writing a children’s book. I’ve been researching the process and started to correlate lists of publishers currently accepting submissions and the requirements for each. Some people would say not to aim too high, or risk disappointment; others would disagree – myself included – and would say to aim for the top to see how high you can fly. Maybe it’s the little girl within me, but I hang onto the belief that if you set your mind to achieve a goal, stay focused, work hard and have a little bit of fairy dust sprinkled onto you, then you will succeed. Just don’t ever give up trying.
An aspect of the blog that I’ve been thinking about too is my ‘Inspiration’ section. In the three years I’ve been mum, my path has crossed with numerous other women who have had curve balls thrown at their careers. Once maternity leave ends, the question on how to, or even if to return to their old job remains; many mums, whether through choice or being pushed, decide to use the break for a fresh start.
I absolutely love the hub of creative businesses that are popping up at the moment. Everything from children’s clothing, toys and entertainment to floristry, health and fitness – anything goes. We seem to be surrounded by a plethora of talented women with wonderful ideas to inspire us all. I imagine that for many, running their own business or creating a career out of an interest that they love would have been a dream to them prior to having children. Sometimes, it takes a moment quite life-changing, such as having children, to kick-start us into achieving the other dreams we might have always had.
Ok – so you may be asking how any of this fits in with what I’m doing. As you probably know by now, it is my dream to write and publish a children’s book – to see my words in print would just be magical. For me, it is a way of finding my identity aside from being ‘Mummy’. It helps me to feel empowered if I can think of myself as doing something more than laundry and other not so glamorous household chores. Alongside this little dream of mine, I am writing The Fairytale Mum blog to track my personal story and feature other mums who have aspired to overcome a challenge, achieve a specific goal or build a business since becoming a parent. You probably know women just like this – all of them are inspirational I’m sure. It’s my belief that motherhood often knocks us sideways, causing our plans to shift and our self-confidence to dive. By featuring those parents all around us who are already working hard to turn their little dreams into big realities, I hope to make other mums feel empowered as well, so that they can be who they want to be too.
Can dreams become reality? Time will tell I suppose. But if I’m sitting here in a few years, reading my picture book to my three gorgeous children, then it’s probably safe to say that they do. Now, can someone please pass me the fairy dust? Let’s see how high we can fly…