I remember like it was yesterday—I was locked in a stall in my dorm bathroom anxiously awaiting the results of my pregnancy test. As I closed my eyes I thought:
“Could I really be going through this?”
Just months earlier, I had left my small town as the first person in my family to receive a scholarship and to go to college. I remembered my parents beaming with pride. They were full of dreams and had so many aspirations for me. I was going to make a difference.
I opened my eyes and my life changed forever—the test read positive. I was pregnant.
Everything after that was a blur from the many tears I cried. My boyfriend (husband now) was supportive, but we really had no idea what to do. We considered an abortion, but neither one of us could go through with it. I wanted to keep our baby. After making that decision there was a whirlwind of activity:
I had to find a place to live, get a job and tell my parents that I was pregnant and that I was keeping the baby.
My mom cried and my father was silent – dead silent. After about a month they recovered from the news, after I vowed to stay in school and still “make something out of myself.”
Nine months later my son was born, but instead of life being easier it got harder — even unbearable at times. Here I was a full time student, part time worker, who still had dreams, aspirations and a baby. Being the strategist I am, I decided that I had to make this work. I moved to on campus family housing, got government assistance, and decided to live by the mantra:
“that hard times don’t last always”
During those hard times I learned 5 important lessons that have stuck with me. These lessons taught me how to be a great mother and wife despite obstacles:
When you have children, their interests are first. Period. Point.Blank.
This was hard for me. I was so used to doing what was good for me, that oftentimes I forgot I had a son who needed me to do what was best for him.
Spend time and love your children and everything else will fall in place.
While I was pregnant I read every website and book I could find about raising a child. When he was born, I tried to institute everything I read and I almost had a nervous breakdown. Do what your heart tells you.
Some friends will not understand or respect that you are now a mother—discard them immediately.
I was 19 when I got pregnant, (twenty when I had my son) so I was the first of my friends to have a child. Some of them understood my new journey, but there were some who could not. Simply, they couldn’t respect that my life had changed.
Every mother needs a support system, small or large.
For the first couple of months of motherhood I thought I was superwoman. I needed help, and since my parents lived 500 miles away I had to make a choice. Accept nearby support, or go back to my hometown with my baby. I chose the first option and life got better.
“Me” time is vital for your (and others around you) sanity.
Fast forward to eleven years later, and I am a mom of 3 children (11, 4, 2) who graduated from college, got a Master’s Degree (working on my PhD) and is a pretty awesome wife to my college sweetheart. As I look back during those times I can smile because my son helped me become a better (more responsible person).
Mommy Community Chat:What are some lessons you learned when becoming a young parent?