The day I became a mom was the best day of my life. I swore all I’d ever need is to be my child’s mother. I couldn’t wait for him to start calling me mama and for it to catch on that that’s what I was now. Time has went on though. Some days, on my way to work where I spend most of my time, I think about what my life would be like if I wasn’t “mama.” I try to think of the path I was on even though that is long gone. With mama, I am also now known as chauffeur, chef, maid… not to mention full time employee of my boss at work. Just another full time employee. Along the way, I’ve lost my name. My fiance even calls me mama so that, hopefully, our little one will catch on and start saying the one word I’ve longed to hear. On my pictures on Facebook, my friends politely comment “hot mama *heart eyes emoji*” just trying to boost my confidence. Sometimes you just need that. Still, “mama.” That’s what I am though. That is my new identity. I absolutely despise my fiance. He is still a son, a brother, a best friend to many. He can come to me and say, “hey honey, I’m riding over to *insert one of his many friends names here*, be back soon.” I go back to folding clothes. Who am I? A little over a year ago, I was a friend. I was called every weekend to go out. I was waiting on my 21st birthday, excited to see what that night would hold with my best friends who now, i barely have time to get up and get coffee with. I was a sister, a daughter. I had an identity. Now, I’m just mama. HOLD UP THOUGH… “Just mama.” That isn’t how I should feel about that title. People laugh and make jokes, “oh, I’d invite you but now you’re a mom.” “You used to be so much fun but now you just can’t be because you’re a mom.” There is so much negativity toward being “just a mom.” I have my days asking myself, “who even are you anymore?” I have days where I forget how to style my hair, how I used to dress… Sometimes I look in the mirror and say, “these shorts are too short for a mom to be wearing.” Sometimes, I forget what people called me before he came along. Then I remember him. That precious face that smiles at me every morning as I get ready for another long day at work and then an equally long night when I get home and cook dinner and get things ready for another day just like today. He looks at me and it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing, how my hair is styled, how many times I’ve failed in one day. I am his. I am so much more than his mama. I am his first love. I am his guide through life. I am his number one fan. I am his person. I am prayers every night for him to turn into the best that he can be. With all of titles that I lost along the way, I gained so many more. I am now giving an identity to someone else. I am growing someone, teaching them and loving them along the way. I am letting go of the me I can’t even remember and embracing the woman I am becoming… The woman I am becoming because of the one who gave me that identity “mama.”
Recently, I reached that point where I threw my hands up in the air and said I’m done. I am done letting myself go, I am done caring whats others think, I am done trying so hard to get no where. I think it happened when we had a meeting at work and the only thing we talked about is how our department does everything wrong. I sit at a desk flipping papers all day… You’d think getting it wrong would be impossible. I know this job like the back of my hand. Somehow, out of every department in our building, we are the ones who aren’t doing it right. We talk too much, work too little and we don’t listen to any ideas out supervisor gives us. I think that’s when I decided not to try anymore. That meeting showed me that you can try to be perfect and fit in to everybody’s perfect little box but you will always make mistakes. You will more than likely be trampled on by somebody that is a little above you. Now, this has nothing to do with me giving up on my job. This has everything to do with me giving up on being perfect for society. I think we all sit back and try to be more calm, try to shut our mouth more even though we have an urge to spill out all of our thoughts. We are so scared of getting judged for talking too much, having hard to reach dreams, having ideas that society looks down on. So we sit down and shut up and live our lives on the edge of exploding into a chaotic mess of feelings and thoughts. We get up and go to our nine to five jobs because that is what we are taught to do. We take pictures of the perfect moments of our lives, crop the mess out, throw on a filter to make it perfect and post it to prove something to rest of the people we graduated with. That isn’t a way to live life. So I decided not to try anymore. I don’t want to try to force friendships that aren’t really there. I don’t want to try to be employee of the month when I have so much to work on. I don’t want to try to prove that I am wonder woman, a super hero mom, a obedient little housewife, a social media based woman. I don’t want to try to make my body look like the magazines and I don’t want to try to force myself to only eat salads and drink water when all I want are fried nuggets from ChickFilA. I am so tired of living my life trying, waking up and trying for everybody except myself. I don’t want to try to do or be anything except better for myself. I have decided not to try anymore.
One day, I asked God to change me. I asked God for a blessing, something to settle me down, something to make me better, something that’s permanent, something I could believe in. I asked for excitement, something to change up my life, turn it upside down, something to throw my life off the all too familiar routine it was on. So God gave me a child. He gave me an all time best friend, an unconditional love, a never ending cycle of excitement and weird schedules. He gave me someone who will look up to me, who forces me to be a better, more loving person. He gave me someone to fight for.. someone who made me get a back bone and stand up for what I believe in. He gave me something that made me forget what life was before this blessing. God gave me something that makes me appreciate quiet rides to work after dropping them off and quiet rides to pick them up, right before they get in the car and chaos happens again. God gave me something that makes me appreciate that first sip of coffee in the morning and the last few sips of wine after a long day. He gave me something that makes the most simple things the most fun memories. He gave me something to make me appreciate my job because it supports my little family. He took away one type of freedom and gave me a whole new one. He gave me noise, dirt, kisses and hugs. He wanted me to feel like I had a purpose, a reason to get out of bed and get motivated every single day. So God gave me a child.
Grace over perfection… meaning let go of perfect and accept God’s grace. When I found out I was pregnant, I couldn’t wait to be one of those cute moms who was all baby and wearing fashionable clothes and taking insta-worthy pictures. I didn’t stop and think about the things that could happen. I started gaining 15 lbs. a week. My feet couldn’t fit into any shoes and the shoes I did wear cut into me. My maternity jeans were cutting into my legs, I was swelling so bad. I went and got a second opinion from a doctor because my doctor wasn’t too concerned and was told I had mild preeclampsia. I went back a few days later and had severe preeclampsia. I was told I wasn’t leaving the hospital until I had the baby. My blood pressure were life threatening and they decided the due date that was a little less than two months away just wasn’t going to cut it. At 33 weeks, I was induced and had my son. He was a very tiny 4 lbs. but in this NICU, thats big! He just wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t expect to leave the hospital without my child… I didn’t know I’d be a NICU mom and wouldn’t have him home with me until 27 days later (which isn’t long considering some babies have been in there almost a year but every day away from your child feels like a month. Now that we’ve made it through and he is growing quickly at home with us, I look back and accept the fact that I was given this child for a reason. God knew what I needed and what I could handle. I do look at other girl’s pregnancy posts and I want so badly to say, “it’s okay, you don’t have to make this seem perfect.” I read girls posts bragging about how they carried their babies over.. “no preemies here.” *eye roll* I’ve had a perfectly healthy mommy to be compare her 39 week swelling and pain to my severe preeclampsia pain *another eye roll* I had a mommy to be complain to my face about her baby being a small ALMOST 7 lbs.. (That was too tiny to her family) *an even bigger eye roll * I don’t know if I’m the only one but sometimes I just want to blurt out my true feelings on that. I want to tell them that even if their body was incapable of carrying that baby to 40 weeks like mine was, that child isn’t any less perfect. If your child is tinier than the rest of your families, that doesn’t make it any less perfect. Also, can we stop bragging about perfect pregnancies!!! Can we stop saying perfect? When my body could no longer hold my little one, I took it hard. I was failing him as a mom already. I was supposed to help him grow a little more and I was letting him down.. I finally understand now though. I learned through this time, and after reading and hating these Facebook posts and comments, to stop holding myself to perfection and start holding myself to God’s grace. I was able to have a child, get him healthy and now am raising him to be an awesome person. No matter the problems, the obstacles, or how crazy your pregnancy gets, its all because of God’s grace. He gave you the child that is meant for you and that is what you always have to remember, even through the not so easy times.
A positive pregnancy test at the young age of twenty was not the plan I had written for myself or for the future of me and my boyfriend of 3 years. We still had 3-5 years of saving up to do before we even attempted to be engaged. I had to start and finish college. I had a whole to-do list. Those were my first thoughts when I seen the two little pink lines. Although it wasn’t the plan, we played the game so we had to bear the pain and although it might sound like my world was turned upside down, it only was for a minute. Now, I’m not really an open christian. I don’t shove it down peoples throats and I only talk about it if someone sits down and wants to discuss it but I will say, this was God’s will for me. I realized that. Almost as soon as the selfish thoughts flooded my mind, they disappeared and I realized I was put on this Earth to be a mother and I started loving this little heartbeat inside of me instantly. Just as soon as I had announced I was pregnant, the love started flowing in but not only that, so did the criticism. I was too young, I was unmarried and quite a few people made that clear. I still, to this day, see posts from our friends about people doing things “backwards.” They go on to say they are doing it the right way and they are glad they are choosing when they have children and that they will be married when they do so. It seems like a low blow coming from people we think are so close to us. It doesn’t make me regret anything, it just makes me want to look at them and say, “would you look at God and tell him his plan is backwards?” Would they tag God in that post as they act all Holy and judge others all in the same sentence? My life is not backwards… It took a different route than others. I met the real love of my life a little sooner than expected. I was blessed to be handed a child and to carry it and to be able to witness such a perfect blessing. My life is not backwards just because I didn’t do it societies way… I went the way I was supposed to go. I hope that if you are going through the same thing that you don’t let people cause you regrets. I hope you cherish motherhood, whether you are single or engaged or whatever and I hope you remember your life is taking a certain path for a reason. You are right where you need to be and nobody can tell you its a mistake or backwards!