I Am a Bad Mom, Chapter 1

January 19, 2018

The NYTimes just launched a new video series called Conception: Love. Pain. Regret. Six Stories About Becoming a Mother.  It is a powerful series that confronts the socially accepted norm that parenting is the most fulfilling, meaningful, love-jammed thing in a woman's life and instead gives a voice to women with a different narrative.  The idea that if we stray from those feelings we are indoctrinated to believe we will feel the entire life span of parenting a child is CRAZY!  Parenting is HARD and a lot of the time, it SUCKS!

I felt very inspired to share my story especially as we talk honestly about what it is like to be a woman in this society.  Parenting being considered one of the "things" that women are exclusively saddled with and are supposed to be infinitely happy doing.  A message from the time we were born and given a doll to care for it is explicitly implied that we, at the very core of our genetic makeup are maternal beings. I intend to make this,"I Am a Bad Mom"a series.  I have given it this title because of its shock value but also I feel as a parent you never feel like you measure up.  Never feel, good enough. It is a constant struggle, trying to figure out what is the "best" way to parent a child.

My son is 18 years old so I have gone through all of the formative rearing stages.  I will leave where we stand for the end of the series but I will tell you, that where we stand in our relationship today, coupled with the rearing of my 14 year old stepson, has created tremendous reflection and introspection.  I am still very much working through my feelings and it is my hope that sharing my story will resonate and bring comfort to someone in this vast web community.

I Am a Bad Mom. 

Chapter 1. 

My pregnancy story

I was 16 when I met my son's father, he was 22 years old but told me (and his family confirmed) that he was 19 years old.  The first lie of many, many lies.  I was young, naive and sheltered.  The relationship was the toughest Ive ever had.  He was abusive.  A master of lies and deception and for a young girl unexperienced in love, it proved to be a web I could not easily free myself from. Tumultuous doesn't really cover the type of relationship we had.  He would yell, get in my face and reduce me to tears. He could also be very sweet, vulnerable, child-like even.  He would confuse me and shame me for calling him out on something I knew wasn't right.  My parents hated him and tried to break us apart which only made me want it more.

At 17, a high school graduate unhappy at home with rules and restrictions, I moved out and in with him. At 19 I became, unexpectedly pregnant.  I was a college drop out, in an abusive relationship, alienated from my parents, I didn't want to become a mother.  Actually, I never considered motherhood as something I wanted or needed.  I remember not wanting to be boggled down with the responsibility of a young person even as a teen.  My sister loved being around children and would plan outings with our younger cousins and I would reluctantly accompany her.   Shortly after my first pre natal appointment, I miscarried.  It was devastating.  Confusing, because I couldn't understand why I mourned for something I never wanted.  At that moment, to help with my grief and confusion, I decided I DID want to be a mom.  Purely an emotional plea, because logistically I was completely unprepared for motherhood.  A child myself, I didnt know enough of anything to take on this responsibility.  A few weeks after the miscarriage, I became pregnant again.  What I suppose is supposed to be a wonderful time in a woman's life was actually the scariest and loneliest time of my life.

The first three months, I was sick as a dog and exhausted. So exhausted.  The next three months, I was bedridden.  My boyfriend would leave early in the morning and not return until late at night.  I would be home alone sometimes with nothing to eat.  As my belly grew so did the realization of what I had signed up for and it seemed the same was happening with my boyfriend.  He was very distant.  Unloving. He would stay out all night.  Wouldn't respond to my calls or my pages.  I was alone.  I cried a lot. When I was 8 1/2 months pregnant I (finally) discovered that my boyfriend was cheating on me.  At the time I thought it was just the one, I soon realized he was cheating on me throughout our entire 5 year relationship.  I was heartbroken and scared to confront him.  He had temper and I was VERY pregnant.  So I ran to the corner nursing home and dialed my parents.  I needed a ride.  They picked me and brought me to their home.  I cried the entire night.  I remember thinking, "what am I going to do." "How am I going to do this?"  A single parent at 19?

To be continued...

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by LifeStyledbyErica

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