I can’t help but notice the “awe” bottom lip pout people give me when I talk about how I got pregnant with my little guy at 21, unmarried and I’m now pursuing my educational and career goals while raising him.
Let’s go ahead and get it out there that no my pregnancy wasn’t planned at the time- neither are like 80% of all pregnancies. I wasn’t planned. Were you?
Usually that’s how it goes, you don’t choose fate, it chooses you. You’re in between birth controls or whatever and the grand higher power is like, “Hey, this is actually the exact time I want to expand this persons internal capacity to love. I trust them to figure this out.” And then you’re a parent. Nothing’s the same, but it’s better than before in a lot of ways.
I got to thinking about that the other night. I was laying in bed. Smushed between James and our Benjamin. Benjamin was curled up on my right. His body cuddled onto me, his little arm reaching up and around my side. (Which is as precious as it sounds.) James on my left, also turned and reaching around me. I’m lying there and I realize how lucky I am. To have a family. To go to sleep in the middle of my greatest loves. To love and to be loved.
I started to remember my life before James and Benjamin were even thought of.
My life was chalked full of superficial relationships and toxicity that seeped from them. Natural cause and effect- the toxicity infected my mental health. Life was dark. My internal dialogue was negative and self detrimental. I had never felt so alone, misunderstood and unloved. As much as I tried to be motivated, I couldn’t see passed the clouds I walked under.
I couldn’t find my joy and I started to search for it in the wrong places in the wrong company. That wasn’t too long ago.
Now, with my son, I am his instinctive complete comfort.
My son feels safe and content when he sleeps curled into me. Where he can smell my scent, feel my warmth, listen to my heart, have the assurance of my voice and my embrace. My son values my presence more than I can understand right now. He’s new to this big, loud, bright world. I am his only familiarity. I’m his safety. He’s knew me long before he took his first breath. He’s heard my voice and my heartbeat from the inside before he heard any other sound. He’s known and loved me before I ever held him in my arms.
I have divine purpose as his mother, I am so loved, I am understood beyond what words could ever say. I am never alone. He has saved my life in many ways. He has filled the aching gap I had in my heart. He has illuminated my life. He has given me the gift of humility, forgiveness, selflessness. Every single day, I don’t have to look any further than his big gummy smile to find heaps of sincere joy.
Everyday, I have someone who counts on me. I have someone to come home to. Someone who reminds me of the bigger picture. Someone who keeps me focused, on my toes, and stokes my ambitions. Helps me picture a bountiful future.
Someone who keeps me from being cynical and selfish, someone who invites my inner child out to play. Someone who maintains my faith in humanity. Someone who keeps me company when I need it the most.
In exchange, yes my money goes other places. I change diapers. I lose a little sleep. I have to plan things differently. I have to consider this person. I have to prioritize him. Plan for him.
I can assure you, he’s well worth it. I would never go back.
It was through my experience having him that I found my gravitation to helping others. The desire to participate in something bigger than myself. My goals feel more right for me than they ever have. This baby did that. He put me on this path.
He showed me a piece of who I was I didn’t know existed.
I’m not saying go rush off and have a kid before you accomplish your goals. Of course not. That’s unconventional. Just know- It’s not impossible. Yes it has hurdles. But you grow tremendous mental miles and muscles you never knew existed. Mommy’s can do anything. We really can.
I’m better than the old me.
The universe saw I was fit to be promoted. I’m now in charge of a little human.
Such a gift doesn’t call for pity. I’ll take a congratulations, though.