This week’s World Mama grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. She is currently living in Atlanta, Georgia. (Remember my first World Mama was also from Atlanta?) Nike (pronounced Nee-kay) always wanted to be a mom. Until one day she didn’t. Read her story about finding herself, both as a woman and as a mother. I would love for you t get to know this beautiful mama and her lovely family. She is a woman on a mission: to follow her dreams.
I always wanted to be a mom—until, one day, I didn’t want to be a mom. I remember as little girl one of my favorite pastimes was “nurturing” my dolls. I would feed them, dress them, change their diapers, and take them with me everywhere I went. Some would say my pastime was a standard practice for most little girls in the West. But not all girls were created equal. It seemed I was one of the few in my family who would rather push a doll in a stroller than play kickball in the tight streets of Providence, Rhode Island. I loved pretending to be a mommy, and often fantasized about what it’d be like to be a “real mom” one day.
So what happened? I grew older, that’s what. And with age came social conditioning. The new attitude was that women were supposed to be “progressive.” Getting married and having children was a thing of the past. As an adolescent, I was convinced that motherhood would get in the way of my aspirations—slow me down. And by the time I entered undergrad, I started to rethink this motherhood thing altogether. I went from wanting to wait until age 30 to have kids, to never wanting to have kids.
My travels across Europe sealed the deal. The idea of motherhood became less appealing as I fulfilled my wanderlust moments taking photos on the London Bridge, in front of the Eiffel Tower, and living la vida loca across the Mediterranean Sea. There was so much I wanted to accomplish, so many places I wanted to see. You could say that this was perfectly normal logic for a college student experiencing all that life had to offer. However, I knew deep down that little girl still lived in me. I tried my best to quiet her voice. But every now and then, I could hear her whispering.
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After graduating college, I married my high school sweetheart whom I’ve been courting for six years. At the time, I still didn’t think we would have any children. I just couldn’t picture myself being a mother. Even though my “living-it-up” phase had slightly quieted, I still had my fears. The idea of not reaching my fullest potential scared me—so did the idea of failing another human being who depended on me.
But then something happened. I started becoming more spiritual, and during this process I got to know myself very well. I channeled that little girl who once dreamed of being a mother one day and I welcomed her back into my life. Some say we are our truest selves when we are children. I could not agree more. The truth is, before I let the opinions of the world take residence in me, I wanted to be a mom someday. It was at this time I decided that motherhood would be in my future. I could no longer deny my inmost desires.
Two years later, me and my husband welcomed a handsome baby boy into the world. I was so in love with him that I knew instantly I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. We welcomed our second beautiful bundle three years later, and not too long afterwards did we make the life-changing decision to homeschool. I can tell you it wasn’t easy. My fears seemed to come true as I slipped further into motherhood. Losing myself. Forgetting my identity. Everything about me changed, and I felt so ashamed for not doing something “greater” with my life than cleaning pee off my bathroom walls and fighting a losing battle with my laundry.
Motherhood Is No Place To Bury My Dreams
“Motherhood is not where dreams go to die.” Those are the words of my author-friend, Jacqueline Miller. Those words may have inspired me to write this post. But it is not the first time I heard that saying. In fact, I heard a voice whisper a similar phrase to me a couple years ago when I felt like the walls in my home were closing in on me and I wanted “out” of being a stay-at-home mom. A voice that begged, “What on earth are you doing? What happened to your dreams and aspirations?
And then I had to ask myself a serious question—What else did that little girl dream of doing? Well, she especially dreamed about being a great writer! She loved to teach. She loved to dance. She loved visiting beautiful places. She loved to stand out from the crowd, march to her own beat, and create new and innovative things. There were so many things that she loved to do! But I allowed myself to lose sight of them.
It finally resonated with me that motherhood is no place to bury my dreams; but motherhood is the perfect place to sow seeds into my future. A future that also affects my children! So I gave some of my aspirations a shot. I started writing again. Dancing again. Traveling. Tapping into my creative side. But it did not come easy. I had to make time for these things. I call it self-investment—probably the best investment that one could make.
I want to end this post by reiterating that I always wanted to be a mom, but I’ll never forget that I also wanted to be other things! If you’re a mom and you’ve lost sight of yourself, go back to your childhood and recall the things you loved doing most—and start doing them again!
Nike Anderson is a mommy blogger at NikeAnderson.com where she shares her passion for faith, family, and homeschool. You can catch her on Instagram, where she shares glimpses of her life as a wife and homeschool mom to her two adorable boys (3,7). You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!