I didn’t like who I was before I became a mom. I was an anxious, socially awkward 20 year old with more issues than I could count. Trust issues, insecurity issues and family issues; issues that developed gradually throughout my high school years. Simply put, I was a hot mess.
While I loved high school and did pretty well academically, I always felt somewhat different from my peers. By the time I left high school, I had only a few friends left. The ones I did have, I started to push away because I feared that they would eventually grow tired of my weirdness and issues. And then, just before I turned 21, my son was born. Was I prepared, hell no! But I was determined to be the best mom I could possibly be. I spent days and nights trying to figure out motherhood and it was the most difficult time of my life. Let me just say, no amount of books or advice from other mothers can prepare you for the actual experience.
I remember spending days crying for absolutely no reason (or rather I could not pin point the reason for my outbursts). It was hellish! Still, I wouldn’t change a single thing. Because I did most things on my own, I gained a confidence that only comes from going through extreme hardship and coming out on the other side. I gave myself a pat on the back. I realised that if I could take care of a new born baby on my own, I could do anything. For the first time in a very long time I felt significant. This innocent little guy was depending on me to keep him safe, warm and happy: it gave me life.
Now, almost exactly four years later, I love the person I have become because of my son. As clichéd as it might sound, he has made me a better person. I appreciate my mother more because I finally understand what being a mother means. I reach out to my friends more often because I realise as much as I was feeling isolated, they were also feeling rejected. I appreciate my brother who looked after my little one for a whole year so I could go back to varsity. That was the most unselfish thing anyone has ever done for me. I see my son being fearless when it comes to doing new things and meeting new people and now I open up more as well. As much as I like doing things for myself, I realise no man is an island. It’s perfectly fine to need and accept help from others.
I remember how people remarked that my future would be ruined as soon as I had a baby at such a young age. Ruined? Not even slightly. Motherhood meant I just had to adjust my sails. It meant I had less sleep and missed out on a few parties but, it also means that I am so much surer of myself. I value the time I spend with the people I love and completely evade those who add nothing to my happiness. Harsh, I know, but I have come to the conclusion that life is too short to spend wishing you were happy.