I sat on the edge of the toilet seat praying that the stick I was looking at would reveal to me a single line and not a double line. In my heart, I hoped and prayed that I wouldn’t be labeled a “baby mama” especially since, I didn’t take the time to Really know this guy. What was he going to say? Would he want to take our relationship further? Was it true that he did want me to be his wife like he told me? I didn’t know what to think. I was so freaked out. I looked down at the stick after the longest 2 minutes of my life. In 2 minutes my life had completely changed, I was going to be a mother to a life I didn’t think I was ready for. As the tears fell like a well from my eyes, massive amounts of thoughts ran through my head? Was I ready? Why is this happening? Why didn’t I just stay where I was that night? Why did I have to go looking to be with someone? I shouldn’t have let loneliness get the best of me. How the hell am I going to take care of a baby?! I don’t even like kids! Someone needed the bathroom so I had to get out, I washed my face, dried my tears and went out the bathroom.
Still dazed and confused I searched online for a possible mistake. This stick had to be wrong, maybe I was too anxious. Yeah that’s it, I’m too anxious and my body thinks it’s pregnant. I scheduled a doctor’s appointment to get a “real” answer. After work I rushed to the doctor’s office praying the entire time, hoping that my repentance would get me out of this. After being tested for the 3rd time that day, the nurse came back with the results I dreaded in my heart, “you’re pregnant, congratulations”! I hated that nurse. I was furious, those weren’t the words I wanted to hear, and those weren’t happy words to my ears. I didn’t know what to do, I wanted to scream, cry, fight, curse everything to undo what I had done. My choices had finally caught up to me and I didn’t know how to handle them. My doctor came in, interrupted my thoughts and asked “so what are you going to do?” before my thoughts could catch up with my mouth I blurted out, “I’m going to keep it”. WHAT! Takima what do you know about raising kids, you can barely raise yourself, let alone a baby! My doctor scheduled me my next appointments and I was on my way. What was I going to do, I have a little person growing in my belly and I don’t know how I am going to raise her/him, how I am going to love her/him. I called my sister, who reminded me of a conversation we had a year prior. I was telling her that I didn’t like children and I don’t think I am meant to be a mother, she said to me “Takima, be careful what you say because God will give you exactly what you need to do what you are supposed to do. You have everything already inside of you, when the time comes you will know what to do”. I disregarded it because I thought to myself, I know what I like and do not like and children was one of them. Now with this life force growing inside of me, I knew my life would take a turn that I had no idea how to maneuver.
I looked at the little face that looked back at me, doesn’t really look like me, but she came from me. She is a piece of me, she is me. I stared at her for hours. As I lay in the hospital bed trying to figure out how I was going to love her and bond with her I cried. I felt so hopeless, I felt like I didn’t deserve such a perfect life, I was sure I would mess it up. Out of all the times, I screwed up and screwed around why would God choose Now to give me this life. I was not at my best, I didn’t do the right thing and worse of all, her dad was not there and had not been there for the entire pregnancy. The last month he went to 3 appointments but he did not show up for her birth. I was so crushed and hurt because I knew that would be a precursor to what her life would be like, fatherless, like mine. I wanted to different for my child, so I already messed up. How could I right my wrongs for her, I would continuously play catch up. Trying to figure out my own life while trying to develop hers, “God IM NOT READY!!!” I screamed inside as tears rolled down my face. My first month with her was torture for me, I experienced the worse kind of post-partum and I felt like everything I did was wrong and even though she was brand new in the world, I felt like she hated me. I couldn’t connect with her, I couldn’t breastfeed, she wouldn’t latch on, I was so anxious about everything, I didn’t sleep, and I just felt like a complete failure as a mother, this went on for about a year and a half. I was afraid that something was going to happen so much so that I dreamed about ACS coming to take her away. I considered putting her up for adoption just so I could get my bearings and understand exactly what happened to my life. Apart of me knew that would have been a mistake but at the time, I felt like there was nothing I could do for her and frankly I didn’t truly want her because I was not okay with my new role, as mother.
Present Day: 2014
My daughter is now a Very vibrant, expressive, Very vocal, active, 2 year old. She is the epitome of a my inner self. She is strong willed, determined and just plan herself with me mixed inside of her. When I look at her I see all the things in myself that I thought I knew but really I didn’t. she is daring, she is a risk-taker and she doesn’t like to be told no. Just recently I had experienced somethings, which brought me back to when I first had her. Although things in my life has somewhat calmed, I am still struggling with the fact of being a mother, a single mother or in my head a single young woman who is also a mother. Very tough concept to grasp for me. I watch and see my peers or younger versions of myself that go and come as they please because they have no children and I often think of how carefree I used to be and live. Things I desire to do I cannot do as freely, things have to be planned out, money has to be more closely accounted for, I am forced to be more responsible, although those are All great things, it just came on so fast and its taking some time for me to process this transition. I often look at other young single mothers/fathers who seem to be delighted to be in their role. I do not envy them but I wonder what it took for them to fall so seamlessly in the role and why I am having such a hard time. Then I also think about if I am the only one who feels the way I feel. I love my daughter, I just have a hard time connecting with the fact that this is how my life is now and she is relying on me to take care of her. I have to do things for her, its not about me anymore. Yes I recognize this may be a self-fish thought, but it is my truth, and I am sure there are others who feel the way I feel but are afraid to speak out because they are too, afraid to be judged. There are days when I leave work and I want to just sit in my apartment, and be quiet, they will never happen again. She wants my attention and whether I want to give it to her or not, I do because that is what is required, as a mother. I reached out to another single mother who is a friend of mine and shared how I felt with her. She reminded me although it is normal to have feelings like, this I must get to the root of struggling with being a mother. After doing some searching this is what I found:
1. I miss my freedom, my carefree nature, no thinking and just doing not having to be on a schedule and go and come as I please. Lesson: I am a woman of God and if my Father does everything in decency and order, I need to get my life in order the same way. My child needs structure and order, and although I liked that life, that’s not how God wants me to live.
2. I miss being able to spend my money the way I wanted to. I could buy what I wanted, when I wanted and go when I wanted. Lesson: truth be told, I wasn’t a good steward of what God gave me. I would pay my bills but when I wanted to, or shop when I needed other things. Now I cannot do that, I have to think of making sure I have a shelter, food, and necessities met before anything else is done.
3. Being a mom was scary to me because I have two mothers (that will be in another post soon). From one I was taken care of, all my necessities but not so much emotionally and the other I didn’t know too well because she couldn’t take care of me, so I am afraid I won’t know how to raise my daughter, I don’t know what to do with her, how to love her properly. Lesson: No one gets it right the first time or ever (so I have been told). That is where God comes in, He fills the gaps. He Will Be A….
4. I cannot give out of what I do not have. Being a mother at 28 was scary, I was almost out of my 20’s and I was still trying to figure me out. Now I have to do that AND be responsible for a new life? How does that work. I have so many broken pieces in me, how can I give to my daughter, I need to be fixed, healed, put together. Lesson: it is out of our pain and brokenness that we are built stronger, wiser, and more compassionate. I am learning about Surrender. Surrender to the process, Surrender of my Will, Surrender of what my life is now, and even though it is not easy every day I am realizing, every day when I put down something I feel lighter, more clear, and more focused.
5. I don’t believe in Me. I have a bad habit of looking around instead of looking within. I learned that this week. I always said I don’t like kids, I cannot relate to kids; I would never be a mother. Now that I am a mother, I am forced to change my own perceptions of myself. Lesson: the very thing you are afraid of WILL HAPPEN, so understand that YOU can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives you strength, and if you do not have Christ, let’s talk J
I hope this story encouraged someone, inspired a single mother to continue on and be the best Woman you can be so that you can be the Best Mother you can be. There is NOTHING wrong with feeling inadequate, alone, anxious, afraid, angry, Feel those things, It Happens! The best thing is to not STAY in those feelings. It won’t help you and it won’t help your child. I know it’s hard; it can be frustrating and the transitioning from Single Woman to Single Mother but know you are not on this journey alone! I encourage you to comment and even share your story!
Until Next Time,
Signed One SXSI Lady