Weeks (months?) ago I asked a dear friend who is also family, another one of my very favorite people, to write something. I told her she could write about anything she wanted, and she promised to give it a shot, even though I could tell she was nervous. She sent me a draft a couple of weeks ago without an ending, and I waited (not so) patiently to read the rest.
I love this post because I think it is a great representation of who she is. She is a wonderful mother, and a very strong person, but like the rest of us, she doesn’t always see things that way.
Motherhood changes us all, usually (hopefully) for the better. It doesn’t make us perfect overnight, but somehow, it gives us what we need, or we find it ourselves.
At the age of twenty I got the surprise of my life, I found out I was pregnant. I was terrified. I had known since my preteen years that I never wanted kids. I thought having kids would be boring, that there would be no excitement in my life after having kids. I thought by having kids, especially at so young, that I was going to miss out on life. I was going to miss the “nightlife,” the staying up all night drinking wine with my girlfriends, or that I would be completely forgotten about by my friends. When I found out I was pregnant, I felt as if I lost a part of who I felt I was meant to be. I never could have imagined just how wrong I would be. The truth is, after having my son I learned so much more about myself and what I needed to succeed. I needed him, my son. He gave me the motivation and push I needed to finally buckle down and take life seriously. For him, I worked hard. For him I pushed myself to be better and to achieve what I thought would be best for us, and two years later I graduated from college.
After having my son, I learned who my real friends were, which relationships were worth keeping and which ones weren’t. When something life changing happens to you, the people around you show their true colors and you learn who your real friends are. I lost a few friends, but I gained more true friends. As for the ones who I did not lose, that relationship became stronger. I couldn’t be happier to have the friends I have now around to show my son what true friends are meant to look like. Having my son also gave me the strength to walk away from a toxic relationship, even if that relationship was with his father. I didn’t want my son to grow up in a home where there was dishonesty, lack of trust, resentment and most importantly one without love. He deserved better and that meant walking away from a person I felt down the road would damage him.
What I was most wrong about however is that having a child is definitely not boring. Everyday I’m filled with more joy than I could have ever imagined because of him. I now find enjoyment in things I used to loathe doing all because my son gets so much enjoyment from doing them! For example, my son loves helping to pick up dog poop. I know gross right? He runs around the hard screaming, “POOP! MOM! POOP!” until I come with the shovel and scoop it up, then he runs around the yard looking for more. Or how he loves to help take the garbage to the curb. His face glows with accomplishment that he had the strength (with a little help from mom of course) to pull that big garbage can all the way down the drive way. I wish I could put into words the type of feeling I get when I see my son filled with such genuine happiness over such little things that most people dread doing!
Lastly, having my son taught me that I am not at all the person I thought I was.
I wrote that a few weeks ago when I was first asked to write a post. But then something came up and I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. But why? When I wrote this post I felt inspired and felt all those things were true, and they are. However, after a certain situation occurred, I felt weak. I had just wrote a post about how becoming a mother had made me stronger, had truly motivated me make changes and to move toward a more positive future! But then, I felt as though I failed. I failed my son and I could not bring myself to finish a post where I included how I’d become strong for him. After a few weeks of contemplating how to finish my post, and some self reflection, I’ve come to this: becoming a mother made me create a brighter future in so many ways, it did make me stronger, but it did not make me invincible. Every day I’m still learning and still preparing for the surprises that lie ahead for the complicated future. I’m only human, and no matter how hard I try, I’ll never make the situation perfect. I’ll do my damnedest to try but it will never be perfect. That’s something I will be forever working to accept. That being said, the future is complicated, I’m still learning how the world works and that I can’t always trust people to do what is in the best interest of my child. But what I do know is this, because of my son and the strength, experiences and motivation he has given me by making me a mother, the person I am today is because of him, and I am a hell of a lot more prepared for the complicated future than the old me ever would have been.