“I’m so jealous. I’ve always wanted to stay at home with my kids, too!” My colleague had just heard the news that I would be leaving my position as a music teacher to stay home with my kids.
(In case you’re already scratching your head about the details….this is a staff-writer post written by the ever-talented, Jamie Jeffers. ;))
It’s not something that magically happened one day. My husband and I had planned this for years, and every step we took brought us closer to our dream. By the end of the school year, we had laid enough bricks to finish the road that brought me home from work.
“Well, it isn’t easy. But we’re doing without cable and we don’t have any debt right now…” I started to say more, but immediately realized the conversation wouldn’t go anywhere.
“Oh, we could never go without cable! How would my husband watch the games? He’d hate it!”
What can you say to that? It wasn’t my job to make other people’s dreams come true, though, so I smiled and wished her a happy summer break instead…
Are You the Biggest Stumbling Block in Your Life?
Let’s be honest. Life would be boring if we all had the same hopes and dreams. One mother might be willing to give up everything to stay home with her kids. Another needs the fulfillment of a job, and she knows Grandma loves the extra time she gets with the grandkids anyway.
So it doesn’t bug me when people say they would never want to be a stay at home mom. What bothers me is the people who claim they want to stay home (or reach financial independence…or early retirement…or own a house in the Bahamas….) but every move they make takes them further from that dream.
Sometimes people have legitimate troubles that stop them from fulfilling their wildest dreams. But most of the time, people are their own stumbling block.
Does this kind of thinking hold you back?
What Do You Really Want?
The first thing to do is a little self examination. What is it you want the most? If you’ve always dreamed of being a stay at home mom, then do something about it!
But if being a stay at home mom sounds nice, but you don’t have your heart in it, then let it go. Saying things like, “I wish I could be a stay at home mom like you” gives you a reason to beat yourself up over something that isn’t truly important to you.
You’re better off owning it! Try this phrase instead; “Being a stay at home mom sounds lovely, but it’s just not for me.”
Wanting a lot of things just a little bit splinters your focus into too many paths, and in the end you probably won’t reach any of your goals. Instead, try this…
(Don’t roll your eyes…. This might take you back to a bad interview experience.)
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in…
- 5 years.
- 10 years.
- 20 years…
When you reach the end of your life, what will mean the most to you?
That should help you know where to focus your energy. If you want to see the world, live in a different state, or surround yourself with family, there’s no better time than now to take the first step towards that goal.
You Already Know
What is it going to take to reach this goal? I bet you already know. Because it’s that thing you keep telling people you can’t do.
I once saw a post on Facebook that read something like this (I’m paraphrasing):
“My husband and I have 3 kids and I can’t catch up on our bills. I try to keep our grocery costs low, but the truck payment is really high and our cable bill keeps going up for some reason. Don’t suggest we get rid of the truck, because my brother sold it to my husband and he really likes it. Oh, and I can’t watch other people’s kids because ain’t nobody got time for that, lol.”
Clearly this woman already knows what she needs to do. The simple solutions to her problems are the ones she refuses to consider.
We’re afraid to make any big changes in our lives. It’s not comfortable to sell a vehicle when you owe money on it (especially when family is involved). And I wouldn’t suggest childcare to someone who will neglect kids. But babysitting is an awesome solution for stay at home moms who need to earn some extra money.
No, it’s not easy to watch kids, but why not do it until you get caught up on your bills?
The best way to get past fear is to think ahead to what you will regret. Those two emotions fight each other pretty well, so put your future regrets (use your imagination) against your current fears and see which one wins.
Now Go Get It
Once you know what you want, and you’ve learned what you need to do to get there, go out and get it.
Yes, even if it’s something uncomfortable.
Take the first big, awkward step towards a different future. Even you can sell a house, change jobs, or quit spending money (because are those things even making you happy anymore?).
Stop tripping over yourself!
Do the things that scare you just a little bit. Because in the end, it will be worth all of that and more to live out your biggest dreams.
What do you wish you could do? Have you been your biggest stumbling block?
AUTHOR Derek Sall
Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.