Lauren is a busy mother of two magnificent children and loves music, food, and experimenting with her hairstyle.
I thought I would be sacrificing all my personal dreams when I became a mother. In the weeks before my first child was born, I tried to finish up all my projects, curb all my ambitions, and generally prepared myself to bury all of my time and skills in consequence of the little person that would soon be arriving.
Those first couple months were indeed devoted entirely to catering to the needs of my new baby and trying to catch some blissful sleep. But as months went by and another one came, I started to notice that my previous dreams and ambitions were being realized.
Now, throughout my teenage and young adult life I went through a large range of aspirations, and while some desires were stronger than others, they’ve all stayed with me in some degree.
I Wanted to be a Singer
I have sung in awesome venues and in front of hundreds of thousands of people, but my most rewarding performances have been to an audience of one or two as I sing them to sleep. I get requests from my children to sing in the car, at mealtimes, and over and over again at bedtime (usually because they’re trying to postpone going to sleep). My favorite is when they start to make up their own songs.
I Wanted to be a Teacher
I am now an instructor of reading, writing, arithmetic, art, music, dance, health and fitness, etiquette, safety, science, geography, culture, and potty training. I’m constantly finding and developing new curriculum. I expect to add many more subjects as the years go by.
I Wanted to be a Spy
I’ve never been as stealthy as when I creep into my kids’ rooms when they’re sleeping. I conduct covert operations to make sure my children clean up their messes, stay in their beds, and eat their vegetables.
I Wanted to be a Basketball Star
When I was ten I had this dream of being the first woman in the NBA. And then the WNBA was formed and I lost the passion for it. I’m far from the pro leagues, but I dribble up and down the kitchen and shoot baskets into trash cans and laundry hampers from varying distances and positions. I even get a cheer every once in a while.
I Wanted to be an Actress
On a daily basis, I act like a cowgirl, a princess, a bad guy, a good guy, a monkey, a dog, and a plane. Sometimes the ninja and the disco star make an appearance. I have to portray a wide range of emotions and keep an assortment of props on hand to teach, inspire and motivate.
I Wanted to be a Writer
I’ve actually written more books and plays since I’ve been a mother than I ever did before. My children provide constant inspiration and I’m oddly a more effective writer in the midst of chaos.
I Wanted to be a Stand Up Comedian
Sometimes getting my kids to laugh is harder than splitting an atom, and I get heckled plenty, but when they do laugh, it’s magical.
I Wanted to be a Chef
With such picky eaters, I’ve had to develop some seriously intense cooking and baking prowess to please fickle tastebuds. Sometimes it’s just dressed up macaroni and cheese, but every once in a while I can get them to eat tofu or sushi.
And Then There Was More
I’ve even become some things I never thought I would be.
- An architect. I build towers and houses out of blocks, canned foods, and spices all day long.
- A coach. Whether it’s motivating them to put on their shoes, take their first step, or just smile, I’m always trying to find new ways to inspire without losing my mind.
- A fire fighter. I put out fires (figurative ones) all the time.
- A nurse. It stresses me out when my kids get sick, but professional nurses don’t get to cuddle with their patients.
- A counselor. Solving problems and easing tensions every day.
- A superhero. I fly, I read their minds, I save them from high chairs and shadows in the night.
I am an adventurer, an engineer, a laundress, a chauffeur, a janitor, a fashion designer, a sculptor, a massage therapist, a lawyer. The list could go on and on.
Motherhood is not a fantasy, but I have had some truly fantastic moments. Not everyone will see it this way, and I’m well aware that many of these occupations are not this simplistic, but in my opinion, I am everything I ever wanted to be (and more) because I am a mother.
© 2018 Lauren Flauding