I was hardly an adult staring down at the largest life-shift that I never anticipated – an unexpected pregnancy. Visions of baby coos and ruffled dresses were short-lived as I caught a glimpse of my prestigious college acceptance letter – that just days earlier, I accepted. My heart sank as I realized exactly what being a mommy would cost me. My hopes, my dreams; my world was shattered. I didn’t want to decide between my future dreams and my future daughter so I decided to embark on a seemingly impossible journey: to have both.

Gender scripts have taught women to not only put your family first, but also to put “you” last. The social barrier that society has created has made many women “purpose paralyzed.” We were all created with purpose, both men and women alike. Otherwise, we would not have that innate desire to leave a mark or be remembered, if only in your community or inner circle. However, none of that is possible without fulfilling your mission in life.

So what’s your mission? That’s the easy part; what are you passionate about? What gets you off the couch and into action? What atrocities make you want to stand up and shout? What problem are you the solution to? I guarantee that if you can find your passion, you can find a way to monetize it. In fact, I can help you. We all have embedded passions and goals we’d like to achieve that if left ignored will leave you feeling void, passionless and empty – or, in other words, unable to give fully, teach wisely and love freely. So why then do women pigeonhole ourselves into situations that suffocate our ability to be the best moms that we can be?

I’m not saying motherhood alone doesn’t bring an immense amount of joy and happiness into a mother’s life, because that’s undeniable. Nevertheless, in my experience, that joy and happiness you experience with your children typically happens when you are watching them live up to their full potential; embrace love, take their first steps, make the right decisions, sing the lead in a play or receive a science award. Whatever their talents are; they are unique to them and you want nothing more than to see them use their talents, excel and live up to their full potential. But just as you want that for your children, at one time your mother wanted that for you too.

Your child needs you to live up to your full potential so that you can teach them how to live up to theirs. Teach them how to touch a star, stand against the wind, rally for justice or just live the best lifestyle for you. This Mother’s Day, give yourself a gift… permission to say, “Mommy has a dream too” because it’s the best thing you can do for your child.