Are you dreaming?

by

A couple of months ago, Mike went on a business trip to Scotland. He knew he’d have a lot of time to read on the plane, so he packed a handful of books.

But when he got home, there was one he couldn’t stop talking about…

The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly.

It completely energized him.

So much so that I had to read it too.

Not only did I love the book, but I felt like I wanted to tell everyone about it. It’s a true story about a company that was turned around simply by helping its employees identify and reach their dreams.

But it’s more than just a story. The book is a great reminder of what a difference having dreams and pursuing them can make in your life and the lives of others.

Especially as moms, I think it can be easy to set our dreams aside and slip into the mode of putting everyone else’s needs ahead of our own.

Being a parent means sacrifice. We have an awesome responsibility to do the best job we can to love and raise our kids. Sometimes that does mean putting our dreams on hold for a while, and that’s okay.

But it shouldn’t mean giving up on them.

Or forgetting them altogether.

Everyone needs something to shoot for, even if you don’t know right now what that might be.

Maybe your life’s dream is to be a mom. I can relate to that; ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to have kids. I knew I wanted to stay home with them, too. And when our daughter was born, even though it meant giving up a great career and changing our lifestyle a bit, quitting my job and staying home was where my heart was.

But I had other dreams too.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but making the decision to be a stay-at-home mom actually opened the door for me to rediscover what those dreams were.

Maybe you’re at a stage where things are too crazy with babies and toddlers to imagine what else you’d want to do with your life if you had an extra minute.

Enjoy those little ones while they’re little, because it goes fast.

Before you know it, the time will come when you will have a minute. Even more.

But if you’re in a place–whether you’re a parent or not–where you feel like you’ve lost touch with your dreams,

where you’ve forgotten what you’re passionate about,

where you find yourself longing to do something with your life but you’re not sure what…

Why not spend some time thinking about it?

One of the ideas in The Dream Manager that I loved is to start a dream journal and take a look at the different areas of your life–physical, emotional, spiritual, family, career, etc.–and identify how you want to grow.

Think back and remember: what did you love doing when you were a kid? What did you used to dream of becoming?

As parents, I think it’s especially important to have dreams.

Because our dreams aren’t just about us.

When our kids see us dreaming, they learn to dream too.

After we read The Dream Manager, Mike and I got our kids dream journals for Christmas. We wanted to encourage them to have dreams and support them in reaching them as much as we could.

We found the perfect journals, too. Here’s the cover of our son’s:

dream journal

And here’s our daughter’s:
dream journal
A few nights after we gave the journals to the kids, my daughter called me upstairs…
“Hey Mommy?” she asked, “When you come up, can you sit with me? Just bring my dream book and yourself. And that will be good.”
And it was…
dream journal
Sitting there with her and hearing her ten-year-old dreams (shared with her permission) was more than good. :)

19 Comments on Are you dreaming?

  1. Jo
    February 1, 2010 at 8:44 am (7 years ago)

    What a lovely idea to with your children – and I love the quotes on the front pages of their dream books. I still love to dream. I have always wanted to own a little book store (like in "You Got Mail" with Meg Ryan) – sadly in this day and age it wouldn't do very well.

    Reply
  2. sheila
    February 1, 2010 at 11:16 am (7 years ago)

    GREAT POST! Yes, we do tend to put our dreams on hold. I helped my husband start not one but two businesses while being a sahm and running the businesses. Now, finally after 19 years of this…I started MY own and it feels great! Wonderful post!

    Reply
  3. Amanda
    February 1, 2010 at 1:55 pm (7 years ago)

    This is wonderful… I LOVE that you talk about parenting as a sacrifice. SO many folks (not many in our wonderful blogging community, but in the world) DONT think they need to make sacrifices after they have kids. And the kids are the ones that suffer. I love this whole post Genny… and your devotion to family!Blessings-Amanda

    Reply
  4. Stephanie
    February 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm (7 years ago)

    This is wonderful! I think it's fantastic how you are encouraging your children to have dreams. That's really important. They are blessed to have such a supportive mama!

    Reply
  5. Dakotapam
    February 1, 2010 at 3:20 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks Genny. It was always my dream to be a great wife and mother. I think some days i feel like I want to live up to some June Cleaver ideal.At one time I thought I wanted a career as well. But, after trying to balance wrk and home, I felt the tug of home more and more. So, I guess I'm living the dream!

    Reply
  6. CalgaryDaddy
    February 1, 2010 at 6:36 pm (7 years ago)

    Great Post Genny! Shane

    Reply
  7. KellieS
    February 1, 2010 at 7:32 pm (7 years ago)

    You have written about one of my favorites topics. If we don't dream, we don't create; if we don't create, we don't move ahead – a simple philosphy really…

    Reply
  8. Jessica
    February 1, 2010 at 10:13 pm (7 years ago)

    I LoVE this post. I completely believe in having dreams. People who don't have dreams…they're not usually nice to be around. What a great post Genny!And your daughter's journal is awesome!

    Reply
  9. Mama Zen
    February 1, 2010 at 10:53 pm (7 years ago)

    The dream was being a mom. I just didn't know it!

    Reply
  10. Tammy
    February 2, 2010 at 3:45 am (7 years ago)

    I am going to have to look for that book. Sounds interesting.Are you involved in MOPS? I see you have an advertisement for them on your sight. I was a registration coord. and a craft coord. I spent 5 years in MOPS, I loved it! What a great place to meet some awesome moms.

    Reply
  11. Genny
    February 2, 2010 at 5:27 am (7 years ago)

    Loved reading these! And Tammy, yes, I volunteer as a Mentor Mom Coordinator for MOPS. :)

    Reply
  12. Six Feet Under Blog
    February 2, 2010 at 1:49 pm (7 years ago)

    What a good idea. My five year old has many dreams, but my other children don't know yet what they want to be. Sometimes I think that they get lost too in the daily act of life.

    Reply
  13. bluecottonmemory
    February 2, 2010 at 10:38 pm (7 years ago)

    Where did you find the journals? My little guys would love those. I'm a firm believer that children need to set goals about what they want to do, what kind of parent they want to be, what kind of wife or husband they want to marry. Those things might change, but it provides a foundation to move from or towards.Beautiful job:)

    Reply
  14. Leslie
    February 3, 2010 at 2:37 am (7 years ago)

    very sweet to see your daughters dreams at ten years old. That's a fantastic idea.

    Reply
  15. Stephanie
    February 3, 2010 at 5:13 am (7 years ago)

    Your daughter's list made me tear up a little. I remember making similar lists when I was about her age…and you know what? So many of my dreams came true! :)I just bookmarked "The Dream Manager" on Amazon, by the way. It looks like a book that I would enjoy. stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

    Reply
  16. Genny
    February 3, 2010 at 3:57 pm (7 years ago)

    bluecottonmemory – I got the journals at Barnes & Noble. :)

    Reply
  17. Ana
    February 3, 2010 at 7:15 pm (7 years ago)

    I love this! What a great idea! I'm going to read that book, and get my kids dream journals.I'm a big believer in dreaming. Just having it written down somewhere helps you subconsciously get there. It's like a dream board, or a "100 things I want to do before I die" list. Dreaming is living. Ana

    Reply

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