This is the only clear picture of when I became a mother, with the kind midwife that helped me through. It was a rough birth that ended in forceps delivery because my body wouldn’t let him go. 17 years old. Deeply committed to doing my best for my baby. Both as scared as I had ever been and head over heels in love.
It would take 10 years for me to come to terms with motherhood because it didn’t feel like a choice with either of them. I let him drift away between 5 & 10 because another mom liked to have all the boys over every day and it just made things easier with his little sister and going to university. But my mama love was always fierce and I consciously worked to find my way back to him. By high school we were close again and I had fully embraced motherhood.
I look at my face and see how young I was and it’s a wonder that we made it through. Honestly I’m not even sure how I pulled it off. I see so many mature moms with resources worry about how they are doing and I think about how I did it with no role models, little money, undiagnosed C PTSD and the ugly consequences, ramen and Koolaid for nutrition, working instead of participating in school functions, and being a woman who refused to make my kids my everything. I made them self sufficient and able to entertain themselves, necessities as a single mom.
While I made the big decisions based on their needs, like where we lived and what I did for work, I also chose myself in lots of ways, especially creatively. I wrote and made art and volunteered for community leadership. I went on fun weekend trips to the city to be a normal young person who did ecstasy and went to raves, or to kinky play parties. I had a lot of sex and many relationships that didn’t include my kids. And I never questioned myself as a mother. Not for those things.
For me it was about choosing them in the ways my mom did not choose me. Guiding them to be self aware. Supporting their passions. And healing myself and our matrilinial line so that I did not pass on the wounding.
From what they tell me, I did good.