For as long as I can remember, I was someones mom.
I gave birth to my eldest on the 29th November 2001 at the tender age of 19. (Me, not him.)
I can't comprehend a young adulthood without the added pressure of having to look after another little person. I remember admiring other (childless) young adults who were making life decisions, like whether or not they should Au pair in America or even go out to a movie on Saturday night, and it looked glorious! I didn't have that luxury. My fate was to stay at home and raise a baby.
19 year old me
I gave birth to my little boy when I was fresh out of high school, just finishing my 1st year at varsity. I actually went to write my 1st year finals with an extremely big belly. Yip, I got all the stares and tsk tskkksss and ag shames and snickers. Especially when your bladder demands to be emptied every 5 minutes and the examination room is a distance from the loo.
My then boyfriend was my childhood sweetheart and he was legit - It wasn't a wam bam thank you ma'am, kinda thing. He was my first love and I was his and we were both dedicated to our kid and to each other. But love and dedication aside, we were ill equipped for the task of raising another person. I mean, we were still kids ourselves and we also had alot of growing up to do! Finding out we were going to be parents was kind of exciting. We spoke about names and who the baby would look like and what baby would be like. But as much joy as our baby brought to both families, it also changed things so much. I mean, I didn't have the freedom to be a young girl anymore. We both had to work, because babies are not cheap. I left varsity to find work (not quite the Journalist position that I had dreamt about) and he also had to give up dreams that he had. Ish got real.
Me at 22, Him at 3
For the longest time I felt stuck - like I was destined to struggle for the rest of my life. Especially after my baby daddy and I broke up, resulting in him moving to Cape Town.
As a single, young mom, living on her own, with a little boy, I felt totally hopeless.
How could I give my child a good life?! How would I even have a life of my own?!
I felt stuck. I felt hopeless. I felt as if I had no future.
But guess what, I DID have a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 said so.
I hear horrific stories of all these young people going for abortions as if it's a day out to the salon.
Abortion is murder.
Me at 25, Him at 7
Yes, an unwanted pregnancy may seem like a hopeless case, but choosing to end a life is never the solution. My life was not exactly a walk in the park, but I learnt to make GOOD decisions and surrounded myself with people who lifted me up and encouraged me to be the best mom I can be. So, pregnant teenagers: There IS hope for you. You CAN have a prosperous future. And if looking after a baby is totally impossible for you and your situation, there are hundreds of people who are yearning for a baby of their own, and would give yours the love and care that it needs.
But let me tell you, if I could do it all again, I would STILL choose my son over and over again.
Through the grace of God, his dad and I managed to find compromise and make unselfish decisions that would help us to raise our boy with pride. Yep, it meant that both of us had to work HARD (still have to yo!) because we had made the foolish decision to have sex before we were married (and before we even understood the enormity of what that actually even means!) so we had to bare the consequences and make the best of it!
I still think about my days as a "youth"... 18, with big dreams!
Me at 26, Him at 8
Oh how quickly those dreams were shattered for a moments pleasure. BUT I believe that God is not limited to our circumstances and our human mind sets. He places dreams in our heart and He helps us to fulfill them, if we let Him!
As I said yesterday, God always has a better plan than ours and as you know from previous stories, my hubstopher came along at just the right time, with just the right stuff. We have been blessed with the best.
My son went on to be the deputy head boy at his primary school (moms brains, duh) and is having such a good time in his first year at high school this year. I know that everything God had promised me in Jeremiah 29:11 applies to him too. I am so excited for his future and I am SO thankful for his life.
Me at 29, Him at 11
He is the quirkiest, stubbornest, coolest, weirdest 13 year old in the world.
The other evening, he spent the night watching YouTube videos on how to make things out of paper.
Like... why????? I don't know why. But he did it.
He can quote stand up comedy to the point of annoyance and makes a mean cup of tea. He is totally in love with his baby sister and really admires his dad and thinks that his step mom is so cool. He gets "annoyed" when his step dad tries to kiss him, but the smile that he lets slip now and then shows how much he enjoys being loved on. I can count on him to scold me when I try to carry something that is too heavy. He's like "But mommy WHYYYY are you carrying that?!" He thinks he is my boss sometimes.
He has been through alot more than kids should have to go through.
I mean, I had to do some growing up while raising him. It hasn't always been easy, or pretty.
It sometimes burdens me that he seemed to be more adult than kid for the longest time, always aware of things that he shouldn't be aware of. Like at 9 years old when he said: "Mom, it's okay, you don't have to buy me a burger meal today, only the burger, because I know that you need the money." I did not want my boy to grow up knowing lack and hardship. But through it all, he is growing up to be a wonderful young man, who is going to be a big success, I am sure of it!
I am grateful that amidst my hopeless situation, God came in and did miraculous things!
He has restored us and given us a hope and a flourishing future.
And if He can do it for us, then He can do it for you too.