Now I’m the Mama of an adult…
Saturday saw my eldest daughter turn 18. 18!!! I managed to raise an actual adult. As I sat writing her card the night before her birthday, I was struck with so much emotion. My baby is a grown-up. The one who made me a Mama has grown up when I wasn’t even looking.
They tell you the years go fast, but when you first hold that newborn in your arms, you don’t believe them. The sleepless nights feel endless, and you can’t imagine ever moving past them. You long for the day you can sleep all night long, then suddenly, one day, you look and that baby is a woman.
When I first held her in my arms, 18 years ago, I had no clue what to do. I remember getting home from the hospital, with her asleep in her car seat. Her Dad and I sat on the sofa, looking at her and wondering what now? I was thoroughly unprepared for being a Mama. I had no clue about anything, but somehow, together we learned. We muddled our way through and came out the other side.
She taught me so much, not just about being a Mum, but about being strong. These years have gone so fast, I wish I could rewind and relive it all over again, soak in every moment and hug that little girl just one more time.
If I had one piece of advice for 22 year old me I’d say don’t worry so much, do’nt feel guilty that she prefers to fall asleep in your arms, don’t wish time away, soak in the little moments and don’t be in a hurry for her to grow up.
22 years ago, I’d never been around babies. I was newly married. Not long ‘recovered’ from an eating disorder and a suicide attempt. Pregnancy gave me a reason to be alive, but it also gave me something to hide behind. For years I used being a Mama as a barrier between me and the world. I was lost and scared and confused. Slowly, being the Mama of three girls, I knew that I needed to be a role model for them. Show them what a strong woman looks like. That we don’t have to stay in unhappy relationships. That we don’t need a man to make us whole. That we can face hard things and win. That life can be truly magical – we just have to believe it.
I’m so thankful that Lola chose me to be her Mama. I truly believe she was sent to me to help me grow and travel further along my path. I am so grateful to be her Mama, and I am excited to see what the future holds for her.