When I realized I was going to be a mom I was scared, full of anxiety. I know most of you reading this are thinking, well that’s mostly every woman before she becomes a mother, right? However, my fear came from a different perspective; it was the fear of not knowing, the fear of failing, and the fear of being a bad parent, mostly because I grew up without a mother.
My real mom was young, made dumb mistakes; she was into partying a lot. One day my dad got a call that he needed to come get me because I was severely sick from all of the smoke I had been inhaling; I was only about three months old, so my dad came and got me. That was the last time I would ever hear about my mom.
My dad was super young as well, and did not have the means to support me. He decided to join the military so that he could go to college, get income, and eventually provide a home for us. He also decided it would be best for my grandparents to adopt me.
My grandma became my mom for the first three years of my life, and although I can’t remember those years, by the pictures I have seen, they were probably some of the best years I had. My dad re-adopted me and married someone, but it was NOT a healthy relationship. I am sure at three years old all I wanted was a mother to love me just like my grandma did. However she would tell my dad that the bruises on my body were accumulated at the park. Only they were really from pots, pans, and any other object she could find to throw at me or hit me with.
So my dad and I left, he divorced her and we went back to living with my grandparents for the next year. By this time I was five and I can remember being super happy that I was reunited with my “mom” (aka grandma), and things were the way they were supposed to be. When my dad started bringing a girlfriend around, she was nice and always said nice things to me, and painted a pretty picture for everyone around to like and accept her. I have to admit I was super stoked that she was going to be my new mom!
My dad and his new bride were married when I was 9, and he stayed with her for 17 years. Things were great initially, however when I was 13 she began saying extremely hurtful words to me, and unfortunately, that was the extent of my childhood life.
I tried looking for my real mom, but never had any luck. When I turned 17 I decided to stop looking. I did not want to have any more disappointments in my life. I started to rebel, I was failing school, and yet no one had any clue as to why. I was depressed. I was alone, and had contemplating how life would be better without me. Although my dad dealt with me the best he could, he didn’t know what to do. So he decided to send me to live with my grandma, again. When he gave me the news I was beyond ecstatic. I was going back to where I belonged; I was going back to my “mom”.
Almost 2 years ago, today, my real mom found me on Facebook. At first I could not believe it! Wow! The person I have been wanting in my life found me after 32 years, and I was SO happy. I finally had some closure in my life. She answered a lot of my questions and told me how sorry she was for everything. She told me how she never gave up looking for me, and how much she loves me, and that she hopes that I can call her Mom one day.
The truth is I already have a mother, and I still have her today; she is my grandmother. When I realized this, I lost my fear of becoming a mother because I knew I was going to love my kids with the same unconditional love that my grandma had given me. I realized that just because you give birth to someone it does not automatically entitle you to be a mother.
Take the time to appreciate those mother figures who have stepped in to fill the gap. No matter if you are a stepmother, a grandmother, an aunt, or a cousin who has been a mother like my grandma is to me, know that you are one of the best gifts that anyone could ever ask for in this world.