If I only knew..

I swear I have gained so much more respect and understanding for her as a parent. I guess it’s normal as humans to point out what others have lacked, especially as a teenager or a young adult. I recall having conversations with my mother about certain things that she used to do. Things that I would not approve of or things I believed she could have done more of. The problem with that is a lot of times we are a product of a vicious cycle. As much as we don’t want to admit it we do take many of our parent’s traits with us. Of course, it is natural to want to go a step beyond what our parents taught us when it comes to us parenting. I am sure we have all said well I won’t do this or I won’t do that and possibly catch ourselves mocking the same trait or habits of our parents. I remember calling my mother when I was pregnant with London. It was one of those days where I wasn’t feeling like myself. Between working eleven to seven shift and constantly arguing with his father I felt terrible. I mean it is already bad enough that we as women have to endure so much to prepare for the baby. I think I was in my second trimester so everything was just huge. My feet were swelling and it was about the middle of summer or at least the beginning. My face was full of acne and my nose was spreading across my face. That was something my mom would say. I was excited because this was something that I always wanted especially for my spouse and I but the timing and situation couldn’t be anymore difficult. I mean here we were living in a house that I decided to try and rent to own alongside my father. We agreed he would help me by staying there with my younger brother for a year while his wife remained in Texas taking care of her mother. It doesn’t sound all that bad seeing as how that seems the normal for today. Young adults moving back in with their parents or living with a few family members to make ends meet. Once again I was rushing into something (meaning the house), that at that point in time was just not for me. Being a Taurus and very stubborn I tend to try to make things work no matter how much time and effort it takes. I could imagine myself in Kindergarten trying to stick a square block in to a circle puzzle piece. That’s really what it was. For a while, being the nice daughter that I was. I was trying to make things as comfortable for my father as possible. I knew things for him the past year were difficult especially being a single parent to two teenage boys. One who was incarcerated at the time. I tried everything in my power to mask my father from his reality. I did everything I possibly could do to help out. Majority of the time I just wanted to make him smile. Here we go again people pleaser. For a while I made my room down stairs in the old colonial house that had two bedrooms and a garage. The house definitely was a fixer upper and I just thought of it as an opportunity to ownership. Once again here I was adding to the list of projects. Little did I know! I made a room for myself in the basement which was old yet updated with the basement and mildew stinch. A pink rug covered the floor and what caught my eye once I saw the house was the outdated bar set up. It wasn’t perfect but I liked it. I spent the first couple of trimesters having the basement as my room. That day while on the phone with my mother I was upstairs in the freshly painted room. I figured at that point we were getting ready for the baby and I wanted everything to be perfect. The room was small and the rug semi new but that fresh coat of dark blue paint my spouse painted made it look a bit more modern. With my 32 inch TV and the AC , that is where I spent most of my days. Most likely that day he was out and about with one of his friends doing who knows what. Of course leaving his pregnant then at the time girlfriend at home. I was upset and frustrated at everything most of the time but that day I was scared. I remember crying to my mother telling her my fear of being a failure as a parent. Her responding that there is no true way or manuscript on how to be a parent. I understood then what she was saying but now I understand. I just couldn’t understand myself a lot throughout my pregnancy. Something that I prayed for, cried about, and asked for, why was I still not happy. My spouse and I have had relationship issues for a while, prior to getting pregnant with London but having a baby together was what we both always talked about. How we envisioned the situation, I am sure was a bit different. Call it crazy but I recall wondering if my son was going to love me for me. I wanted it all. I worried about if we were going to have enough clothes, money, diapers, childcare, toys, even things like what is my baby going to look like. I prayed my baby would not have my wide nose. I pictured things to be so much more different. My picture was not reality. Although my picture was not my reality, my reality was my life. Here I was lying in this bed worrying about where he was, if I was going to be a good mother while on the phone with my mother yelling at me for thinking about things not your typical person would think about. Some probably wouldn’t even care. They just try their  best. Me on the other hand I did not want to leave any room for mistakes. Just like the old me planning and trying to set certain time restraints. Trying to prove myself to others. I wanted to do things the right way. Although I started off on a bad foot I was going to correct this. This was my mindset for the majority of my pregnancy. Seventy five percent of it was spent thinking, worrying, and stressing about things that I could not control. The other twenty five percent of it was trying to make that connection with London. Sitting here writing this I begin to tear up, because all the time that I wasted on other foolishness, I could have spent bonding with him. Only If I knew.

 

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