Let’s be honest, as little girls we all grow up with baby dolls, rocking them to sleep like we see our moms, aunties, and other women on TV do with their babies. In fact, it’s probably what most little girls first aspire to – to be the perfect mommy.
Life as we know it
As we grow up, we face many challenges – school, friends, the weird and wonderful feelings of falling in love for the first time, the hazards of going through puberty. During this time, our mommy-instincts lie dormant, waiting for us to get to the right “place” or stage to kick in. If you followed the rule book, you went university, started a career, married your partner (more or less in that order), and then BOOM, baby number one arrived. Or, if like me, you would have been living your life and then BOOM, out of the blue, you became a mom.
A family wasn’t on the cards for me
Even though I was in a steady relationship, and planning a future with the man of my dreams, having children was not on the cards for me. I had lost my mom and had experienced a difficult childhood. In fact, I was a bit frightened of children. I was also in the middle of a career as a DJ, which I loved, and having babies did not fit into that picture.
In my heart though, I felt I didn’t have much to offer a baby. I had a career in the entertainment industry as a DJ and I travelled a lot, which did not fit into being a mom. I’m not the “mom type” and didn’t have a close-knit family living nearby to offer a child. The words that best described me was selfish, probably a bit lost (because I hadn’t established my career yet), and also, unconventional.
What would I be able to offer this little guy as a mom? I am not great enough, responsible enough, patient enough, knowledgeable enough or good enough to be this child’s mom. What can I teach him about life? How could I be a good parent if my parents were absent my whole life and I didn’t know what I was doing? I didn’t have much knowledge about family, of anything to do with children. I was not confident, that was clear, but worst of all, I did not want to be a failure with something as important as a child’s life. I did not feel like I was the right “guy” for the job.
“Lord please show me your way”
I was three weeks pregnant when considered whether it wouldn’t be a better to terminate my pregnancy. I remember sitting at my dining room table, terrified with a thousand thoughts swirling through my head. Closing my eyes, I said, “Lord please show me your way, what you want me to do and I will accept whatever you want.” What happened next, I can’t put into words exactly, only that I experienced what felt like a wave of “peace” that came over me. It was a feeling that everything would be ok if I would just trust and let go.
It was a life-changing moment.
“Sammy taught me how to be patient, present, loving, and gentle.”
My subsequent journey has been nothing short of a phenomenal experience. Yes, of course I have had plenty of challenges. But I feel that from the day Sammy was born, he took me by the hand. Instead of raising him, I feel like he has been the one who has helped me to grow. He has raised me.
I am not a conventional mother (or person) for that matter, but I am the perfect person for him. Instead of things falling apart, they “fell together” and instead of me having nothing to offer, I had everything to offer. I was more patient than I ever imagined I would be, and where I lacked, Sammy taught with a single smile, how to be patient, present, loving, and gentle.
He allowed, welcomed and gave me the confidence to be me without fear of failure. He even laughed at my goofy jokes. When he looked at me with those big blue eyes, I understood what it felt like to have every corner of my heart love someone much more than I would ever love myself. To give my life for him would be a simple task.
He showed me I’m competent because he is a mirror of me – God made him perfect in every way. As he fell asleep in my arms last night, he said: “You are a good mommy, thank you for looking after me.” I thought my heart would burst with pride, joy and love! As wrong and inadequate as I thought I was at the time he was conceived, I know I made this child.
A message for mommies
I bet my story is not unique. I bet we are all scared of being a mom, or becoming one, at times. This story is not about me, or of untold braver. This is a really common story. Maybe the circumstances are different, but the fear and uncertainty are feelings we all experience.
My message today is to have faith in your abilities as a mom. Your uniqueness is not inadequacy. It is your superpower. You are never alone, even though you might be the only one there. You are not weak. You will fight battles and win wars for your child. You are not a nobody. You are admired and a hero to the ones who matter the most – your children. You don’t have nothing to offer. You are shaping a person who will contribute to the future of the world. That in itself is powerful. You are an incredible mom, doing an amazing job.
You have got this mama – you are more than enough!
Visit fitworkingmom.co.za to read more of Brigitte’s posts.
Brigitte is a working mom based in Cape Town. Apart from being a working mom of two young boys, (7 and 4 months old) Brigitte also writes a Mom Blog called Fit Working Mom. The blog covers her journey through the challenges of being a working mom and also shares ideas, tips and “how to” video’s and articles on everything from fitness and weight loss, to helpful baby/mom-hacks and lifestyle topics. For Brigitte, the aim of the blog is to help and inspire other moms and to create a community of women who help and share ideas. You can also learn more about Brigitte here.