One year ago today…
I went into labor with our third baby, our first son. As I reflect on that day, I also think back to the past two times I had a baby. The sweetness, the pain, the joy, the complete lifestyle change, the love, the adoration. When I first became a mama, eight years ago, I never in a million years thought that I would have the joy of being a stay at home mama to three beautiful children and the wife to their amazing, handsome daddy. See, I became a mama at the age of 18.
Becoming a mama while you are barely an adult yourself is scary. There are so many unknowns at that time in your life. Where will I go to college? What do I want to do with my life? Where are my friends going? Who do I want to be? Who is most important in my life? Add a baby to those questions, and it is a whole different world. Now, not only did I question myself as a young adult, I also questioned myself as a mother. What is best for this baby? What doctor do I choose for her? How am I going to pay for diapers? Childcare? And, at the time, I questioned if her daddy loved me.
It’s my first pregnancy, mind you. I am still a teenager, mind you. My hormones are ridiculous! No wonder my “baby daddy” wasn’t ready to commit during my pregnancy and right after baby came! There is a physical reason most teenagers should not get married or reproduce. Their hormones are too unstable to trust their own emotions. Add to that a pregnancy and you are crazy! Literally crazy! I hope to relay this to my children so they know exactly why they should wait until they are older to marry and have kids.
Early 20s are a time of defining who you are. I feel my identity was defined the moment that precious little girl took her first breath. In that second, I became Cadence’s mom. Everything else in my life, would wait. College, marriage, my friends. All of that, would take a backseat to this precious little life that God trusted me with. Those things fit into my life somehow later on, but in that moment in time, all I could think of was that little girl. It is amazing to me the overwhelming feeling of commitment and unconditional love that first breath brings.
There have been many challenges along the way. From the moment I had to tell my dad, to the time her dad and I were not together, to right now – today. I am a 26 year old raising an 8 year old. It is a struggle for me to step up to the leadership role and out of the friend zone with her. She has been my best friend since the day she was born. I always had her with me. I told her about everything (at least until she started to understand or repeat it). She was my comfort. My drive. My joy. We were inseparable. I still struggle to be her mom and not her best friend. There will come a day when I can be her best friend again.
As I think back on the first time I became a mom, I am overcome with emotion. To think that at that time, I was dead set on college, career, then family. To think that without the right people in my life, I could not have kept my sweet baby girl. To think that just eight years ago, I was given my greatest gift. The gift of motherhood. As I celebrate Baby Boy’s life tomorrow, I celebrate another little person that will forever call me “mom”. What an honor!
I love the story God has written for my life thus far. Yes, it has been hard. No, I don’t encourage others to try it. But I could not imagine my life any other way. My children were not mistakes. God entrusted them to me. He has used them as a way to shape and mold me. For that, and for them, I am eternally grateful.
If you want to read more about my story, head over to my blog where I share all about what being a teen mom taught me.