Quitting my directing job was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Directing musicals felt like part of my identity. But I had this nagging feeling that I was selfish for doing it. Directing took me away from my family—all the rehearsals, late nights planning, and Saturday set builds. My husband had to make dinner so many nights, my mom had to babysit, and my friends helped by carpooling my kids. My mom guilt was huge. I thought I had to quit.
A few weeks later, my children asked why I quit and if I could go back. One of them even fervently cried about it. I was stumped. Hadn’t I done the right thing?
In time, I realized that the main reason I quit was due to fear that directing took too much from my family. But what I didn’t know was that this job, my art, my passion, actually gave them some very valuable gifts. Here are 4 reasons you should pursue a personal passion for play or for work, for your children’s benefit.
1. Children love to see you doing something you love to do.
When you truly enjoy doing something, it shows. It fuels you. You get excited about it. Kids can sense that, and the excitement is contagious! Giving yourself time to express yourself in a different way makes you a more well-rounded person. As my daughter says, “if Mom is happy, everyone is happy.”
2. Children cherish being able to come alongside you and be a part of something you love.
Kids feel so important when you bring them with you where you do what you’re passionate about. Seeing you “in action” helps kids understand and respect what you do and love. They see your hard work and they want to work hard with you. In addition, they want to celebrate your hard work. They are proud of you.
3. You’re being a good example for them to follow as you use the talents God has given you.
God gives each of us talents and gifts. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Do you want your children to pursue their passions and use their talents only in childhood? Of course not. A mother’s prayer is that her children continually follow their interests throughout their lives and continue to perfect their God-given gifts so they not only bless others with their talents but live life to the fullest.
4. You’re giving your kids a vision of what God is doing outside the home.
There is so much going on inside our homes that demands and deserves our attention. But God is doing great things outside of your home too, and He wants you to be a part of them. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” When you use your talents outside the home, your children become aware that there is a world out there that needs light.
When you use your talents outside the home, your children become aware that there is a world out there that needs light.
That’s not to deny there are definite seasons in our lives and sometimes, certain passions have to take a back seat to current family needs. God knows you use many different talents being a mother (nurse, detective, teacher, and the list goes on). Other times, there are other pressing needs, like personal health concerns.
God’s timing is so, so perfect. During my off-season, I needed that time—for my health, for learning, for searching, and growing. It was all part of His plan. And thankfully, two years later, He has brought back the opportunity to direct. Having a fresh perspective and being freed from my fears, I’m ready to begin again, and my family is right here with me.
What is your talent or passion? Do you feel God calling you to use it?