We’re back with another round of “Mom Talk”, where we invite some incredible mothers, from all walks of life, to share their personal experiences and journeys through motherhood, whether it be struggles, triumphs, or anything in-between—nothing’s off limits when it comes to topics. This week, Jo Morrison talks how she reignited the flame for the hobbies and activities she loves post-baby. -JKM
I have found that with each new season of life comes unsolicited advice. The moment I became engaged, I was flooded with so-called words of wisdom about having a baby: “You better take your time”, “Don’t get pregnant right away”, “You’ll never be able to travel”, “Your love life will change”, “You won’t be able to chase your dreams”, and most detrimentally, “Your passions? Forget about those.”
Granted, when I found out that I was pregnant, my initial reaction was, “My life is over.” I can still remember standing in my tiny New York City apartment crying, as my husband tried his best to comfort me. I was filled with anxiety. Were my goals and dreams really a thing of the past now that I was pregnant? I gave into the fear, so it was easy to think the worst: “Time to bury my passions and dreams. There is no way that I will have the time or energy to pursue them now.” I allowed all of the outside opinions, alongside my own fear, to cause me to believe that there was no way to live a full life and chase after the things I was most passionate about after entering motherhood.
Because of this, I spent months sitting in that fear. When the weight of motherhood set in, I could feel that the naysayers were right—there was no way that I was going to find time in between changing diapers, cat naps, and remembering to eat or brush my teeth to actually have a moment to try and even think about my passions, let alone pursue them—or so I thought.
One day, while scrolling through the Internet, I came across a quote from Nelson Mandela that became a personal game-changer. It read: “There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Reading this felt like a breath of fresh air. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I could escape my cloud of negativity. At that very moment, I decided that it was time for me to tap back into pre-baby me. Before the unsolicited advice, before the self-doubt, and before the lack of sleep, there was a woman with passion and drive, and I was not ready to let go of her so easily.
This was the start of a beautiful change in my life. I turned off the Law and Order, opened up the blinds to let the sunshine pour in, and declared it a new season. I began to surround myself with all the things that used to inspire me. And, every time I looked at my beautiful baby boy, I felt a reignited, uncontrollable desire to discover what my passions were in the first place, and to pursue them wholeheartedly. After doing some reflecting, I realized that the desires I had previously didn’t disappear; they were simply being overshadowed by negativity and fear that I allowed in.
So, I sat down with my notebook and wrote out all of the things that made me come alive or brought me to tears, and the acts of kindness that came to me naturally. I knew that focusing on these areas would set fire to the flame that had burnt out. To my surprise, and joy, the list went on and on.
I realized that my heart beat for encouraging and helping others. After becoming a mom, I was particularly passionate about doing so for women and children. I then made a vow to commit three days a week spending time nurturing my calling. And, before I knew it, I was stepping out in faith and putting my dreams and passions into action.
You see, I realized that my passions are embedded in me. No words spoken over me, no doubts nor insecurities, not even lack of sleep could make them disappear. I just needed to take the steps to revive them. No matter what new season of life I enter, the activities and people that bring me joy are still there waiting to be tapped into. In fact, becoming a mom has made me more passionate than I’ve ever been. I just needed to awaken the fire in my belly, and set my goals and actions into motion.
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