I am often told by people that I am an amazing, inspirational woman. When I hear this compliment I withdraw into myself, mainly because I don’t know how to give myself a pat on the back and appreciate the steps I have taken to be the woman that I am.
This compliment was given to me last week by a stranger whom I happened to be telling my past experiences to. The question that usually sparks this reaction is… “do you have children?”, to which I reply “yes, a daughter”. The second question is obviously “how old?”. At this point I take a deep breath and reply “12”. Then a gasp and a look of surprise comes across the female stranger’s face. I smile and say I know I had her young. “Well how young were you?”, I reply, “14”.
I do not know many teenage mums and I am unsure of how people view me once this sentence is out. I do not get defensive about the responses that I receive because it is what it is! I suppose because I have a good developing career, home and my daughter is doing amazingly well at school I never see the age I had my daughter as an issue. I guess that if I did not have a job, had three more children and was basically the person that some expected me to be, then I would react to this question differently.
If I could go back and do things differently I would still have chosen to have my daughter. She changed my life in many ways; she gave me hope and a purpose and for this I will be eternally grateful. Being a parent and a single parent is hard! Extremely hard… but I feel that we only get one chance at it and life will never be perfect but you can always be happy.
My parents were never in my life and somehow I broke the cycle of being an absent, mindless mother. I know that I have had to harden myself to my past experiences and I am constantly in fight mode, which is probably why I never take the time to appreciate myself. My guard has been up from the day I found out I was pregnant and I feel that having such a destructive childhood has made me feel that I have no choice but to be the best I can be.
You can never predict how a person can turn their life around, but I see this happening every day!