Reaching Your Dreams With Your Kids By Your Side

Noelle-Pikus Pace celebrates with her family in Sochi. © AP Photo/Michael Sohn

At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the women’s skeleton event featured two fierce competitors from Team USA. Noelle Pikus-Pace, one of the women representing the U.S., had some very special fans cheering for her in the stands—her husband and kids.

After a disappointing finish in the Vancouver games in 2010, Noelle Pikus-Pace decided to put her family before her Olympic career. In the years since, Pikus-Pace has returned to the skeleton track, but determined to have her family with her every step of the way.

For Sochi, Pikus-Pace created an unusual training schedule for this year’s event, but one that many moms can easily picture in their own day-to-days. Once she dropped off one of her young kids at preschool, Pikus-Pace squeezed in a workout, toting along her toddler to the track to play as she ran. (Bringing along sandbox toys for him to play with as she trained? Brilliant.) Skeleton training came in the evening when the kids went to bed.

And all that hard work paid off: Pikus-Pace earned a silver medal on Friday in women’s skeleton.

Pikus-Pace shows all moms (and dads) that even on days when you’re changing diapers or making school lunches, you can still fight to make your dreams come true.

It’s not just Olympians who work hard to reach their lifelong goals. Geek moms might recognize some of these creative minds who “have it all,” working hard to fit in their dreams while staying focused on family time. These artists often squeeze in work while the kids are at school or sleeping nearby:

Captain Marvel scribe Kelly Sue DeConnick gets up at 3:00 AM every day to write multiple titles, including her creator-owned series Pretty Deadly.

• Matt Fraction wrote the first outline for what would become Hawkeye #2 in the car while his two kids napped.

Elephant House
“The Birthplace of Harry Potter.” Photo by Stafford Student, Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

• J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter novel in coffee shops and cafes while her baby daughter slept next to her.

• Singer-songwriter Frances England, well-known for her sweet kids’ albums, composed her first songs while keeping an eye on her son in the bath. She also writes while cooking, or as she waits for her kids to finish a martial arts class.

While we’re not all destined for Olympic medals, you can always think back to these hard-working parents for inspiration when contemplating reaching for dreams of your own. But if you’re just getting started, what are the best ways to find the time to explore your own creative outlets? Over at GeekDad last week, David Faith tackled that very question.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA, where she contributes to local parenting magazines. She also writes for StarWars.com, Geek & Sundry, and more. You can find crafts and art projects for geeky families at her blog The St{art} Button.