Quite unexpectedly I became a mother. And when I say unexpectedly, I’d a few months to get ready and was all too aware of the circumstances that found me shocked by my protruding and constantly moving belly…but I was younger than most. Quite ill-prepared for what was ahead of me. Yet, there was no turning back.
At twenty-two with no money, friends moving in different directions, a useless job, little education, a failed relationship and a fantasy of how it was all to work…I became a Mom. Instantly falling in love…knowing I would never, for the rest of my life, be alone. My life, as important as I believed it to be, was far less important than the life of the exquisite red-headed creature I held in my arms when I made her a promise…that I would do my best.
Overnight I grew up…faced the realization that I needed to give her more than I’d aimed for and in order to do so, needed to expect much more of myself.
I constantly have to remind myself of that one point.
Life, for me, has taken more twists and turns than a roller coaster on speed. I’ve had a great amount of heartache, an equal amount of happiness and much support to get me through the hardest moments but through it all my children have been my focus…my greatest reward. They’ve offered me more adventure, wonder and amazement than I’d ever believed possible years ago when I first heard that heartbeat…that took away mine.
I wasn’t ready when my first child entered this world…wasn’t ready with my second or third and what I’ve learned is simple…no one is. No one is prepared for the late nights, the early mornings, the tears, the fear, the panic of trying to settle an upset baby, a disappointed child or a heartbroken teen. There is no manual to tell you how to do things right and quite often, no matter how hard you try, you get it all so wrong. No one can prepare you for the joy you’ll feel when you watch your child succeed…the pride in watching them “go for the stars” but not quite reach their goal…the pain you’ll feel when they fail.
It’s like having your heart live vulnerably outside of your body in these little people you desperately want to protect. Everything they do reflects the person you are and every one of your own successes and failures changes who they become.
I wasn’t prepared when my first child entered the world but with patience, forgiveness and strength I’m doing my best…just as I promised…the day I became a Mom.