The ongoing experience of being a single parent.
There are thousands if not millions of stories about motherhood and being a parent, labor and delivery, and the struggles of caring for an infant. Which makes my experience one of many, yet still entirely unique and my own.
My pregnancy didn’t start out with joy and excitement; it started out with a jolt of fear and a denial so strong that I actually managed to push it from my mind until I could no longer deny it. I’m ashamed of myself that I couldn’t accept that fact of my pregnancy and instead chose to ignore it for as long as I did. When I finally accepted it, the waves that got sent through my family will stay with me for the rest of my life. I’m lucky that my fear had no effect on my daughter and she came out healthy, happy, and perfect.
Even after accepting my pregnancy came the issue of the father. I had tried to contact him when I first found out but had received zero response. He didn’t find out until our daughter was already born and he had to find out through my father. I didn’t expect him to jump up and down with joy and want to be 100% hands on and he wasn’t but even so it fully cemented in my mind that at 23 years old I was fully going into this alone.
Family helps, there’s no doubt about that, but unless you’ve experienced it yourself, parenting without a partner is a massive undertaking. There are times I feel so overwhelmed, it’s as if I’m drowning. And yet other times I’m filled with so much joy I imagine I’m soaring through the cosmos.
The love I feel for my daughter is unmatched by anything I’ve ever felt. The urge to protect her caught me off guard with its intensity. You’re always told how the love a parent has for a child is beyond anything else. I think it’s even more than was promised.
I hope she grows up strong and wise, playful and inquisitive, compassionate and understanding. I hope she never loses the love of learning and that she always stays safe. I hope I’m up to the task of raising such a woman.
I know my story isn’t necessarily original albeit unique but it still feels important to share. As a reminder to myself at the very least that there are women out there who have stories very similar to mine. But more importantly that I can do this and that even when I feel alone, I’m not. I’m not a perfect person, but I can damn well do my best to be a perfect parent for my daughter.