Before we were mothers
This weekend I attended a dance production for the first time in a few years. The fact that I had not been to a production in a few years is very strange for me as I have always been passionate about the arts, dance in particular. This made me think about how mothers, myself included, often tend to push our passions and interests to the background to make room for the many other priorities that take the forefront in our new lives.
I was raised in a very artistic home and developed an appreciation for the arts from an early age. My mother was an artist/art teacher and a member of a local choir in Trinidad. I did ballet and modern dance from the age of 4 and also sang in various choirs and my aunts and uncles played a myriad of musical instruments and performed in theater productions internationally, among other things. My mother and I always attended every dance production or art exhibition that was in town and my love for the arts grew as I got older.
I continued dancing all through university as a member of my school’s Modern Dance Ensemble and all the way up until I was 29. Then I got pregnant.
After my first son was born I stopped going to dance classes because of the lack of time. I stopped going to performances because of, reasons, and my only interaction with my passion was watching shows such as So You Think You Can Dance or any other dance related show I could find.
I loved dancing and I miss it. I miss the freedom of movement and expression and the complete removal of inhibitions that dance allows.
It's so easy for us as mothers to get lost in the joyful, chaotic and emotional experience of motherhood. But continuing to pursue your passions and interests, even if it's only one day a week, will allow you to be a better wife, mother, friend and every other being that exists within you.
Devoting one or two hours a week to something that you enjoy, be it painting, dancing, knitting, gardening, playing a musical instrument or working out, will recharge your batteries and renew your energy to deal with the various levels of crazy that are a part of motherhood.
My children and family will always continue to be my top priority, but, at the same time being a mother should not mean that all of our individual interests and passions need to be forgotten. That said, this year I will bury my fear of returning to dance, dust off my dance shoes and become reacquainted with the passion that forms part of my identity. I hope you will too.
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