Eleven Days

I knew at age 17 that I wanted to be a mother. I remember the day very clearly. I was laying across my bed and I just had this feeling. I can’t describe it, but it was a strong, unmistakable feeling and I thought to myself, “I can’t wait to have kids of my own.” I wanted something in my life that would just love me. I’m not going to get into why at 17, I felt like I wasn’t loved. That’s a therapy session for another blog. This one is about motherhood.

Back then, girls my age were having babies. I knew I didn’t want to do it that way. I’ve always been very independent and enjoyed making my own money and doing things on my own. I did not want to be a mother who couldn’t financially provide for her children.

I also didn’t want to have my kids out of wedlock. That wasn’t so much a morality thing, but a “don’t embarrass your mother” thing. I told my mother at the age of 19, that I could see myself being a mother – but not a wife. Her response was less than positive.

So, I got married. Three months after the wedding I got pregnant. Five months after the wedding I had the marriage annulled. Five months after that, my son was born. I took seven weeks for maternity leave and went back to work in order to provide for my son. I received $0.00 in child support because I had more pride than sense back then but me and my son were fine.

Almost three years later, I got married again and 14 months later, my daughter was born. I stayed married for eight years this time, pushed my pride to the side and received child support. Not because we needed the money, but because every father should financially support his children.

When my kids were 12 and 8, I purchased our first home and raised my children to the best of my ability. I didn’t always get it right, but I have no regrets. I knew I wanted to be a mother and I don’t think I ever wanted to be a wife. I became a wife because I thought it was the right thing to do. However, somewhere deep in my subconscious – I knew I would never stay married, but I believed that was the only way I could be a mother. I know how ridiculous that sounds, trust me.

Being a mother has been the greatest, most fulfilling thing that I have ever done in my life. My kids did not ask to be here, and they trusted me to provide for them, to guide them in life and to protect them. I’d like to believe that I did just that and I have good relationships with both my kids as a result.

As I journey to 56, I am confident in the knowledge that I am a good mother.

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