Most of you don't know this, but I was only 16 when I had my first child. I had 4 by time I was 22. Most people don't even have their first child by 22 (these days), so I still cop the looks from people down the street and at my kids school. This was very difficult for me to admit to people a little while ago in fear of the looks, the immediate judgement on my parenting abilities, and the dreaded 'You're just a baby!". These things all made me feel small, inadequate and a bad mother.
Because I had babies in succession (16, 18, 20 & 22), I didn't have much time to discover myself. I therefore always thought of myself as a 16 year old mother that people would more then likely distance themselves from, or try to mother me in the ways of parenting, thinking I didn't have my own parents, or that they were bad parents considering I got pregnant at such a young age. The truth is my parents are very good parents. They love and nurture me, and always have. They made their mistakes, but who hasn't.
I shied away from mothers groups, I didn't have many friends left, and I was struggling to put my daughter in daycare while I continued school. For a long time now, I have just been going through the motions of life and motherhood. Trying my very best to have and do what everyone else with children do and have. Trying to make sure my kids have enough fruit, vegetables, whole grains and everything else they are suppose to have.
Last year at my kids school, I went to my first Parent Club meeting. It happened to be their AGM. I found out that all of the executive members were leaving as their children had finished the schooling at the primary school and were moving on to secondary school. If new members were not elected that night, the club would no longer exist. For some reason, I put my hand up. From that night on I was Parent Club President. I was scared as I had to have so much interaction with the school, and I wanted to make sure that I could do some good for the school. And you know what, I have! We now have 5 executive committee members and around 20 people that come to meetings. I didn't have a clue about how to run a meeting, organising agendas and speaking in public - well that was just NOT going to happen. I did it though. I spoke and handed out certificates to all grade 6 students from last year for their graduation. Last week I ran unopposed and was re-elected into the president position for yet another year. Everyone was really keen to have me back in the position and made me feel so welcomed and like 'one of them'. I felt at last like I was a 'normal mum' not a 'young mum'.
Now I have had my little confidence kick, I have realised, with or without kids, I am now 24 years old. I am in my mid twenties. I know this is still young. But I am not a child raising children. I am a mother raising her children. It has kicked started me into a journey of discovery about myself. I am a mother, however I am not JUST a mother. I am not JUST homemaker. I am an accountant, a chef, a nurse, a taxi driver, an educator and sometimes a bit of an officer of the law (of the house). But still, apart from ALL that. There is me. There is what I like. What I like to do. My personality. I still don't know 100% who or what that is. But I do know I am going to find out. This is my year. My year about me. Finding out what I truly like to do without fear of judgement (within the law of course). Finding out how I feel, and making sure people know how I am feeling instead of slapping a smile on my face to cover anything I am feeling, in fear of people thinking I'm a bad parent/person for not being happy all the time. I am finding that showing my feelings is making me happy more often anyway. So no need to cover up.
I like stupid lovey dovey chick flicks that usually star Katherine Heigel. I Like stupid old cheesy artist like Cher and Barry Manillow as well as modern pop music. I am secretly in love with Gerard Butler (LMAO). I am scared of horror movies, and do that thing where I cover my eyes, and open them a little bit because I still want to be scared, but I don't know to at the same time. When I grow up, I want to be a midwife. I LOVE CHOCOLATE! I love my kids more then anything in the world, and I love my fiance Chris and I want to have more babies with him!
So what I am asking my followers. How and when did you come into your own? What did you do to find yourself? I obviously cannot travel, and never have. I find this is when most people seem to find themselves but I am sure that is not the only way of discovery.
This post was very personal, and it felt GREAT to get it out there. I hope you like reading, but if you don't, know that that's ok with me. Everyone is different and I wouldn't want it any other way. Have a lovely day and keep smiling. :)