Updated: Feb 17, 2019
I was 19 when I got pregnant with Tiana, 20 when I delivered.
I remember having so many emotions, not to mention the whole list of extenuating circumstances I found myself in surrounding that whole scenario. More on that later.
Today, I want to address the fact that motherhood as a young, single woman was tough. It was like, REALLY hard y'all. I know I was judged and people assumed the worst but I managed to keep a commitment to myself and to Tiana that I would do my best, even when I was really tired. That I would show up even when I wanted a break, and that I would learn to be myself so that I could teach her to be herself, too.
Update- At 17 years old, I can tell you that every moment I questioned whether I was doing a good job as her mother- paid off. It was not easy but the philosophy was simple. Allow for change. This was necessary both out of the realization that I didn't have the energy to micromanage her and Sofia, but also out of the clear difference I saw when I sat with the girls and allowed them to be who they are. Yes, we are friends and YES we have rules at my house. But, in relaxing a little and seeing my role as a nurturer, guide, resource, and friend that listens, I began to appreciate the girls for who they were becoming, not who I wanted them to be. Their personalities were amazing and the more I just watched them the more I really started to like them. I loved them already ok, we know that- but I can tell you that I truly love hanging out with my girls as fellow humans. They are a hoot!
Now, I will warn you this is not always easy. I swear, I still struggle with allowing my children see my cry. I still get really mad when the dishes aren't done and Sofia's glitter spills on the carpet. and for the love of pete- that kid leaves little bits of paper wherever she goes. And Tiana? Well, it's food. or clothes. It's ALWAYS food or clothes.
It is worth it. It was sooo worth it. and it pays off.
If you are in a space where you aren't totally sure if what you're doing is good enough or "right" I would encourage you to do these few things:
1. Evaluate what your needs were when you were a child and try to recognize that behavior in your child. Do they need more of that? How can you adjust delivering that need to fit their personality vs what you already know?
2, Take a yearly review of how your children are doing. Year over year, how have they changed from the year before? What are points of contention and are there ways you can be transparent so that a compromise can be discussed? What are the goals for the next year?
3. How are you doing emotionally? Do you need additional support, and have you made time to self evaluate, adjust, and re-charge?
4. Finally, give yourself a break and remember that you are doing your best. There is no such thing as the perfect parent- we are all evolving and the idea is that we never stop learning, even into old age. Allow yourself the time to reflect, heal, and let go of any mistakes you feel you've made. Remember, there are no mistakes, just more beautiful ways to learn.
-xo from tawn, with Love.