Saturday, January 8, 2011

Back to School I Go!

It’s hard to believe that just 15 months ago I learned I was pregnant.  Oh how time flies, and how quickly life changes in such a small amount of time.  My life before Jacob was vastly different.  I used to be able to get up and go as I pleased and come home whenever I wanted to.  Although I have always been good at budgeting and saving, I didn't have to think too much about what I spent my money on.  I worked, went to school, shopped and went out with friends - the average life of most 20 something year olds.  After becoming pregnant though, my life and the way I thought and spent my money instantly changed. Something most parents can relate to, I’m sure.  But in those first few months I made many promises to myself, including that I would never lose who I was before my son.  With that came my dedication to school and my career, something I could not give up.  So I walked into my classes proudly sporting my little belly for 8 long months, completing the year with a 3.8 GPA.  Jacob was born the month after, and I spent the summer falling more and more in love with my handsome little fella.  I grew so attached that it was hard to believe I had to leave him in September to continue my studies full time (which now included an internship 21 hrs a week).  The HARDEST decision I had to make was to continue on with school and leave my son in the hands of someone else; imagining that I would miss his smiles and coos, that they would possibly witness his milestones before I did.  Thinking for many nights I would come home just to put him to bed and wake the next morning to drop him off once again.  Would I be a good mom if I sacrificed the time I had with my son so that I could continue on with my education?  All through my pregnancy I knew exactly what my plan would be.  But that all changed as I watched him sleep beside me.

Somewhere during a break between one of my many crying sessions, I came back to reality and reminded myself that I had to do this – for us.  No longer could I be selfish.  And crying at night because I didn’t want to leave my boy was selfish.  I had to think about the bigger picture – if I didn’t get my degree, who would support us later?  Where would we be?  Daddy wasn’t there to take care of the bills.  It was up to me to ensure that my son had the best and brightest future.  It was up to me to make sure that I provided all his necessities and more.  It was up to me to make sure that my life was in order, and that I took care of myself and my responsibilities so that my son would be okay later on.  In reality, I know that Jacob will not be in years of therapy because mommy wasn’t always there when he was an infant.  He will be perfectly fine; It is me that is dying inside.  I realize that it is now, when he is too small to remember, that I need to complete my degrees.  This way when my son is 2, running around and starting school, mommy will be there to love, support him, and provide all that he needs.   

So as I get ready to complete the last semester of my undergrad, I remind myself that I made the right choice in moving forward with my goals – except this time around, I have even greater motivation to succeed.  I am reminded every time I pick him up from daycare and he looks up at my with bright eyes and a toothless smile from ear to ear that melts my heart.  I still get to play with my son, hear him coo and laugh, and watch him smile as he develops and grows.  Momma’s still here Jacob, and we will be just fine. 

How can you not love that smile?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Single Momma and Fabulous!

As a single mother of a beautiful 6 month old boy, one would wonder how I have any time to even think about starting up a blog.  I think to myself - "Girl you are crazy!"  But as more of my friends have babies and our lives continue to change, one thing I have known of myself is that I love to share my blessings, my trials and errors, my hardships and triumphs, and most importantly my love and support.  Being a single mother is no cup of tea, that's for sure.  But I think we all have so much to share with one another, so much to learn - what good would all of this experience do if we cannot find ways to support each other throughout the process?

Why am I a single mom, you may ask?  Well without sharing in too much detail, after 8 long years of good and bad times with my son's father, I learned that it was no longer worth trying.  A woman cannot change a man - they have to honestly see where growth is need, and genuinely want to change.  Then they have to work to make the change, and stick to it.  Well my son's father was very adamant and not changing for anyone.  And so after many "I love you's" and "let's get married", I learned that love would never be enough. It pained me to know and accept that my son would never have the ideal home - mommy and daddy under one roof - something I had been determined to give to my child since growing up lacking just that, but I quickly learned to be okay.  I knew I was extremely competent and would be able to give my son the loving, nurturing parenting he needed.  I knew that I could be mommy and daddy.  I knew that things would be hard, and many questions would be asked in the years to come, but I would start preparing from now.  And so at 8 months pregnant, after my son's father walked away yet again, I told myself and Jacob that we would always be okay and didn't look back.

As a pregnant woman, I wore my bump proudly.  Oh! I loved my belly so much, and miss it to this day.  There is something about having him all to myself, that feeling of never being alone.  Of knowing that every choice I make affects the child growing inside of me; that my body directly nurtures him.  Beautiful.  But here I am, with my 6 month old boy, and I am still not alone.  He lays beside me, kicking at my arm as I type.  He is my life, the reason I breathe.  Every choice I make still does, and will forever directly effect him.  I am proud and honored to take on that responsibility for this wonderful blessing. 

As beautiful as it sounds, some may see it as just overwhelming.  But one thing I promised to myself is that I would never let myself go.  And although I have many sleepless nights, and I skip a meal or two here and there, I still maintain my fabulousness!  I truly believe that positive energy and feeling of self-worth should and will rub off onto my boy, and he will grow to be a confident, healthy young man.  So momma allows herself a night out with the girls, an occasional date, an hour or two every 2 weeks to get my hair done, 10 minutes to put on some eye liner and bronzer, and the ability to maintain a fab wardrobe.  I will be the fab mom in heels pushing my son in his stroller around central park - because I want to, and so I should.  I have to say though, I have not been getting my mani-pedi as often as I should!  Washing bottles everyday is just SO discouraging.  But I got my manicure last week after over a month of not doing so, and boy did it feel great.  So I wash bottles with gloves now =] 

Momma's remember - Motherhood is a full time job all in it's own.  But you wouldn't go to work looking a hot mess, so why let yourself go in everyday life?  Take a walk, put some eye-liner on, grab a fruit.. You are beautiful, and your baby will appreciate you more when you appreciate yourself.