Someone recently mocked my social media posts of my life as a new mother, insinuating I’m disingenuous. It has thrown me for a loop and made me step back for a time. Not because anything that was said was factually correct however. I’m far from perfect but integrity is in my backbone and I will never attempt to portray a reality that is not genuine to my life experience.
To some it may seem that I, like so many on social media, attempt to depict a perfect existence with no flaws or raw illustration of life as is. It is not so. But the fact remains: Every moment of every day is precious to me. I look over at my son and the emotions run wild. My head is still not wrapped around the reality that he is here and that he is in my life. Forever.
The gratitude I feel is never ceasing. Overwhelming. Insurmountable. In fact, it increases every day as Julian grows and my comprehension of life’s change of status sinks in. Every word I write is straight from my heart. The happiness that knows no bounds gives my heart reason to beat. It is truth.
Everything shared is earnest although not everything is shared. Yes, I’m also tired from waking up several times a night, and early in the mornings. Yes, I wish I had someone to share my life with and provide a permanent father figure in my son’s life. Yes, I’m a single mother on a single pay check, with a heavy weight to create a good life with endless opportunities for my son. Yes, I’m still working on rebuilding my body postpartum and having some real struggles, etc. etc. etc.
Yet, despite any obstacles or negative pop-ups in my world, nothing affects my core, the core that has dramatically shifted since my son’s arrival. I am genuinely happy. Julian lights up my life and has changed my outlook on… well, everything.
Motherhood is my most important promotion that I have or ever will receive. I did not become a mother to turn my son over to strangers’ care. I did not become a mother to miss out on important milestones and not being available for quantity time so that the quality time output is on my son’s terms and time schedule. Being there, present, is of utmost importance.
I’m exploring many avenues to have sources of income to create a life where I can be at home with Julian as much as possible for as long as possible. That has become a driving force in some of what I do with social media. It will however never dictate who I am and how I share my story. Our story.
Starting a blog was for the purpose of sharing my path to motherhood, which has deviated from tradition and included much pain and darkness. The contrast to the blinding light that motherhood has bestowed on me is remarkable. I want to shout from the roof tops of gratitude and profound joy. That is truth. It is not a portrayal of a skewed reality. It is the end to decades long dwindling hope and path to mental destruction. Truth. The contrast is stark.
My path up to this point did not include finding my soul mate. It did not include having children when I was ready. It did not include the white picket fence and fulfillment in a career. It did not include getting married, buying a house and filling it with baby feet and laughter. It did not include a home full of life and the fulfillment of the only dream I have ever had… None of that was mine to enjoy. Life to me was always lacking, no matter how hard I tried to find purpose.
That dwindling path has now led to endless meadows, the beauty of which I have never seen. What was lacking is no more. The knight in shining armor and castle on a hill have yet to materialize yet with my son, I am home. All other dreams and goals are not lost but will for always remain secondary to that. The family and home I have with my son, just the two of us, is all I will ever need.
My experience as a mother will never be the same as one who had children with a partner whom they love. My experience as a mother will never be the same as one who had children when they chose to, and did so without much difficulty or wait. My experience as a mother will never be the same as one who was able to have more than one child, with the blessings of the amazing opportunities and bonds made by having siblings, etc. etc. etc.
This is why the story I share is important. Some of our stories are similar and we find solace in the exchange. Some of our stories vary, and there is enlightenment and judgment broken down when understanding and empathy comes in play.
Few knew the depth of my pain and sorrow when I was going through it. Perhaps knowing more of my story now can enlighten someone to notice another with a similar experience and provide comfort. Perhaps knowing more of my story can give strength, and HOPE, to someone in a similar situation.
Isn’t that what the companionship of others is for? To “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15)… The response in sharing my story, in written word and photo depictions of our everyday life, has been overwhelmingly grand.
Short of the downward spiral of negativity from the person who deemed my social media presence fake, I have been embraced with love, well wishes and genuine joy for my sake. To all of you who have and continue to rejoice with me in my blessed state of motherhood: Thank you.
Every word, every smile, every inquiry… it all matters and makes a difference in my life experience, and ultimately also in Julian’s. Your empathy for what has been illustrates that you care. But even more, the sincerity with which you share in the happiness that has finally come into my life, expands its presence. It is love of generous proportions.
That feeling when someone I care about illuminates in spirit over the fact that I am overjoyed… It is special. It connects souls. The realization that a friend I hold dear is going through difficult trials yet genuinely rejoice at the light in mine. That moves me. How very grateful I am to each of you and how you have touched my soul.
May the light, in life experience and the connections with our fellow men, shine through the darkness of life’s uphill battles and poisonous attacks on our path. May it lead all of those who seek it to the peaceful junction of blossoming meadows that life can be.