I always thought that when I became a mother I would be married to a loving and responsible man, have a house and be monetarily stable. It didn’t happen that way, so for many years I was desperately sad about that.
I separated from my child’s father when she was 6 months.
When I was young I thought that one day I would just grow up and suddenly become a responsible adult. Though I had felt responsibility at work, it was nothing like the feeling that hit me after my child was born. It may sound strange but while I was still pregnant it was still like a dream, it wasn’t really real that I was a mother. After her birth I remember picking her up to feed her, not knowing what to do, and being overcome with tears of fear (I wanted them to be tears of joy but they weren’t). I wanted to love her, I felt I should love her, and I know she grew inside me but I didn’t know her and for some reason I thought that I would instantly bond with her but I didn’t.
I was petrified because I didn’t know anything about being a parent. How could little old me suddenly be given so much responsibility? It must be a mistake. I thought that any minute someone would come along and take her away…..and sometimes when I was alone and shattered and crying I just wished they would.
I was upset with life because it wasn’t what I had expected. I had resentment towards my child for ‘taking my freedom away’. I was upset with myself because I thought I was a crap mother. I didn’t think I had the same patience and love my mother had shown me and because of this I resented my mother. It was not until years later that I apologized to my mother for always being so defensive and stroppy with her. I explained that I had never felt good enough as a mother. Her reply was “WHAT? WHY? You are an amazing mother and I am so proud of you”
It feels like I resisted being a mother for so long, as if it were a chore that I had to bare, I think it was because I thought it was going to be so different. I had no idea it would be that difficult, I thought I’d take to it easily, but I didn’t and at times when she was very young it was as if I was living someone else’s life.
I did not bond with my girl instantly and because I found being on my own with her hard work it took me a while to think of her like a piece of me I never want to be without, she lights up my world! Our journey so far has taught me so much about myself, human nature, love and life. We enjoy our lives together. I’m not saying it’s all plain sailing because it isn’t but every challenge is an opportunity for growth.
There is no one set, perfect, way to be as a parent and it is the hardest job there is but most definitely the most rewarding. I love hearing my girl say “Mum!….” because I now accept, love and am proud of who I am as a mother and lone parent. I’m just me looking after my gorgeous girl I don’t have to be any other way but the way I am. The most precious present you can give to a child is your loving presence in the present.
Always remember there is help out there no matter what you are going through, just ask.
Enjoy the rollercoaster journey of parenthood it’s a blessing.