My aunt just sent me a link to a commercial for a Taiwanese bank entitled “Dream Rangers”. I’m a total sap and I cry at just about anything – romantic movies, school kids singing the national anthem, slide shows set to music (whether I know the people in the slides doesn’t seem to matter), and yes, television commercials – even ones about Taiwanese banks. I won’t spoil it for those who have yet to see it, but in a nutshell it’s about life, changes, challenges, and how we cope.
Pretty deep for a commercial, right? Well, believe it or not, it reminded me of my favourite scene from the not-so-deep movie “Mamma Mia”. Yes, I cried several times watching that too – the song “Slipping Through My Fingers”? Come on! I challenge any mother to listen to those lyrics and not shed a tear or two! Anyway, it’s the “Dancing Queen” scene when Meryl Streep is jumping up and down on the bed with her best friends. The shot is slowed down just enough so that you really relate to how she is feeling at that exact moment. She’s middle aged, yet she leaps in the air with the joy of a 17-year old. You realize that while she looks older and is no longer a carefree teen, the essence of “her” is still the same.
As moms, we need to keep that feeling alive. When you’re putting most of your time into caring for others, you need to remember that you’re still you. That’s what Salsa Babies did for me – I took something I loved before starting a family and adapted it to fit my lifestyle with my kids when they were little. I wasn’t out clubbing it up to all hours like I used to, but the music and the movements reminded me of “me”. Now that my kids aren’t babies any more, my husband and I are hitting the clubs again and loving it (mind you, we’re usually home by midnight when most of the “cool” people are just heading out)!
The point is that life changes, but it is possible to get that feeling back. We don’t need to lose ourselves in motherhood. In fact, we should make a point not to. I truly believe that happy parents are better parents, and happiness starts from within. We might get sidetracked for a while, and things will change, but it’s all about priorities and attitude. I’ll take the inevitable changes to my body because my babies were worth it. I’ll take a change in lifestyle because my kids need me and my life has more meaning because of them. But I won’t give up how I want to feel inside or how I feel about myself – and neither should you. Even if it’s a little thing that re-ignites that spark, you’ve got to find it. Accept the changes but continue to dream! Perhaps ABBA says it best: “Try once more like you did before, sing a new song chiquitita”.
Archived from April, 2011.