From the Ground Up

Like many queer parents, I became a mother after years and years of planning for a baby. But then my entire world was turned upside down and absolutely nothing is as I thought it would be.

My daughter was conceived with so much intention, love and dreams of a family. At least from my perspective. I carried her in my body constantly envisioning who this little person might be and how they would fit into my life.

My daughter was conceived with so much intention, love and dreams of a family. At least from my perspective. I carried her in my body constantly envisioning who this little person might be and how they would fit into my life. But just like everything in motherhood, the weeks and months following her birth took me by complete shock. Most of which involved outside circumstances that – due to things not being completely tied up – I can’t fully explain here. But I ended up being a single mom very quickly and had to move in with my parents who lived states away with only $40 left in my bank account. I gave up a well-paying job I loved and left a house I had just purchased; all of which was not my doing. On top of this, I was also being treated for postpartum depression, which I refused to accept for quite some time. Finally, a kind, but firm midwife insisted that I try medication. I reluctantly accepted the prescription but didn’t fill it until I was laying on my bathroom floor bawling my eyes out as to not wake the baby during one of the many dark nights I spent alone when my life was quickly falling to pieces.

But that was then.

I’ve always been driven, but with so little left in my life the way I had built it, I could basically just start completely fresh. And so I have. At first, I mourned, I questioned, I argued, I screamed and I cried – a lot. I said goodbye to a reality I thought was supposed to be mine. I went to therapy. I asked for help. Then, I had no choice but to get to work.

There’s something about having a tiny human relying on you that just sets you into motivation like never before. I’ve always been driven, but with so little left in my life the way I had built it, I could basically just start completely fresh. And so I have. At first, I mourned, I questioned, I argued, I screamed and I cried – a lot. I said goodbye to a reality I thought was supposed to be mine. I went to therapy. I asked for help. Then, I had no choice but to get to work. I reached out to my old network and started picking up graphic design and virtual assisting work. One thing I can say about myself is that I’m very self aware and I know what I’m good at. I’ve always wanted to start my own business and since I was already beginning from the ground up, it seemed like as good a time as any. The clients started to come in and I was able to pay my bills. I’m even throwing my daughter the first birthday party with all the details I could dream. On my own.

So here I am now, almost exactly a year later and in a completely different circumstance than I ever imagined I would be as a mom in every way possible. I am 33 and I live with my folks in a different state and share a small bedroom with my baby who hardly sleeps. The college degree I obtained as an adult after years of night classes and debt just sits unused. I work from home while caring for a baby full time, so I’m basically doing three full time jobs – at least. Most days I’m just in survival mode. Keeping her fed, clean and entertained day after day takes every bit of my energy while simultaneously juggling clients. The laundry piles up far too high and I usually eat lunch in front of my computer. I’m pretty amazed I even wrote this post. Naptime is my saving grace, but I sure miss the days of “sleep when baby sleeps.” I can recall the naïve pre-baby version of myself on Pinterest with all these handmade ideas and activities I intended to do each day with her. Now, I’m breaking all of my own rules as she gets much more screentime than I ever intended just so I can get things done. But I’m learning not to be so hard on myself. She’s extremely happy and healthy and you know what? So am I – all things considered.

And on those days where I feel like I really cannot do it alone anymore, I have to remind myself of how she might tell my story someday. As long as I know she’ll have pride in her voice as she shares what I’ve been through for her, I’ll know I’ve done something right.

A good friend of mine who is part of my “mom hive” once said that she heard that we are each given the child we are meant to have. I could not believe this more. My daughter teaches me things I had no idea I needed to learn and both fulfills and drains me in new ways daily. I am already seeing her develop a love of water and all kinds of animals – both of which she shares with me. But unlike me, she loves to get dirty and talk to strangers. All the cliché things people tell you about motherhood are 100% true. It goes by so fast, they keep you on your toes and it’s BEYOND exhausting but so worth it. And most of all… “it takes a village.” I truly could not be a mother every day if it weren’t for my own mother, my sister and my friends. Some of them still live back home but check in with me regularly and keep me sane. Seriously, if you ever see a mom struggling, tell her she’s doing a good job or just listen to her for a moment. It will make the world of a difference for her and for the tiny human relying on her and sucking her completely dry. Motherhood can be such an isolating experience even without depression and divorce and all those other dreadful things… but it also brings you together on a new level to the people who love you. And it brings out a sense of self. Not only did I birth a child, but I also birthed a new version of me. It took even more sacrifice than I ever imagined. I don’t get to do yoga or shop or drink wine into the wee hours like I used to. But I am raising my best friend and building a new life that is looking even more beautiful than the picture of the one I had before. And on those days where I feel like I really cannot do it alone anymore, I have to remind myself of how she might tell my story someday. As long as I know she’ll have pride in her voice as she shares what I’ve been through for her, I’ll know I’ve done something right.

 

 

1 Comment

  1. I love your nose ring!Love your blog too..Im still a teen,but reading your story got me SO inspired.Youre really strong, and I’m…just really inspired.Keep writing awesome stuff,and I wish you all the best for your future endeavours.Id love for you to check my blog out too!

    Like

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