Unplanned Pregnancy, Single Motherhood: Not a Mistake
As Mother’s Day rapidly approaches, I have become very reflective about the way I became a mother. For those of you that aren’t totally read in to “Cara’s Road to Motherhood“, I’ll catch you up to speed. I was dating someone for a couple months, I got pregnant, and I became pregnant and single, which morphed in to – single and a mother.
But that doesnt mean that my pregnancy was a mistake, and equally it doesn’t mean that my daughter was a mistake. (By the way, if you ever refer to my daughter as a mistake, I won’t even give you the courtesy of telling you I am upset – I will simply cut you out of our lives.)
There is nothing about my child that is a mistake.
Dating a male that didn’t have the same respect for life, both born and unborn, as I did? Mistake.
The life that came as a result of dating that male? Not a mistake.
Not thinking about the consequences of my actions? Mistake.
Those actions delivering a life-changing result in the form of a beautiful child? Not a mistake.
Being fooled into believing the superficial made the person? Mistake.
Realizing what is truly important? Not a mistake.
Worrying so much that I missed out on some amazing moments of early motherhood? Mistake.
Staying in our PJS all day and playing with every single toy we have in the apartment? Not a mistake.
Focusing on what is missing, instead of what is present? Mistake.
Learning how to be completely present, and in doing so, enjoying the minutia of parenthood, the good, the bad and the ugly – and in doing so, really living a full life? Not a mistake.
Don’t get me wrong. This is hard. Many of you never see it, or hear it – but I cry. I worry. I’ve got most of the logistics of single motherhood down. But I am still struggling with some of the conceptual aspects. Ellie knows what a Daddy is. As I have mentioned before, there are some really great Dads in her music class…and I refer to them as “so-an-so’s Daddy”. Lately she has been pointing to male friends, and saying, “Daddy?”
This breaks my heart. It makes me cry.
But it is not a mistake – there are a lot of great Dads in this world, and there is no reason Ellie shouldn’t get to know them.
I go out of my way to do everything I can to be Mom and Dad, which means working full-time, trying to advance my career to give Ellie everything, while attempting to strike that balance of being an actively involved working Mom. She is currently taking a music class, which the musically challenged Mom in me loves. And she also loves to throw and kick balls across the playground – so the terribly un-athletic Dad in me has started looking into some version of soccer classes for kids her age. All of this means I have nearly zero free-time to myself. But it is not a mistake.
It is love. Not a silly soccer class, or an educational music class. That isn’t love. The time and energy it takes to raise a child properly, that is love. The dedication to my daughter, the ability to smile when I walk in the door even after a really difficult day at work? That is love.
My path to motherhood was not what I had planned, for myself or for my daughter.
Do I wish so many of the circumstances of Ellie’s life were different? Of course.
Do I blame myself for not creating a more ideal set of circumstances for the person I love more than anything? Sometimes.
Is there ever a moment that I think that my daughter is anything other than an absolute miracle? Never.
Her shirt says, “Long, Live, Love.”
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