Expectations, dreams, hopes – we all have them, don’t we?
Especially when it comes to how we’re going to live our lives, how we’re going to find happiness and how we’re going to raise children, have a family and live with the love of our lives.
I – like everyone – had a lot of expectations when it comes to my life as a grown-up.
I was certain I’d find the perfect guy, be happily married and have 4 kids. This dream kept me going through my years of struggling with a massive eating disorder and going in and out of depression. This vision of my little family creating a home, a comfort place, a spot where we all belonged, kept me alive.
When I got married at 22 and reality kicked in, my vision of life “happily ever after” got blurry, but my expectation of having a family with the man I had married never changed.
However, as so often in life, everything turns out different than we think…
When I left my husband, I did so after years of struggling with my self-worth and myself. Marriage, I thought and still believe, is for the long haul. You don’t just run away. You stick with it, fight for it and don’t give up.
Well, I gave up. I just couldn’t see a way of making it work anymore. After many attempts, many back-and-forth’s, I saw no other way but to go.
Boy, did I not have the slightest idea of what I was about to experience.
Well, mere two days after I moved out of our apartment, I found out that I was pregnant.
We had been trying to get pregnant for years and the moment I decided to leave, our dream became a reality. Oh the irony.
Needless to say, I was surprised, shocked and quite a bit overwhelmed.
I thought about going back to him, restoring our relationship and trying to make it work, but in the end, I knew that the separation was for the best for all of us.
I was confident about changing the picture of our happy family in my head and ready to adjust my expectations about my future as a woman, mother and business owner.
What I hadn’t expected however, was him not being in touch once, not asking about the baby – a child he had so wanted – not caring at all.
It stung and it still stings.
For me, yes, but most of all for the baby. Granted, it’s not born yet, so a lot can change, but what will I tell it when it’s here, growing up and asking where the daddy is? What will I say? How will I respond?
Questions that keep me up at night.
In a way, guys have it easy. When they don’t want to, they can disappear. For us women, it’s different. We have to be the grown ups. We have to be the strong ones. We can’t just close our eyes and leave responsibility to someone else.
Now, 9 weeks until my due date, thoughts are coming up about me having made the wrong decision.
I am second-guessing myself, worrying about the future, feeling bad for the baby that is yet to be born.
I never expected to be a single mom. Yet, here I am, about to be one.
I ask myself many questions and reflect on what is best for the little one.
Growing up with parents that always fight, love each other, yes, but can’t really be together is not an option.
I know that children sense everything and I don’t want my child to grow up in an atmosphere that is anything but loving and kind. I don’t want my child to have to carry the burden of parents being together only because of an unexpected pregnancy, resenting each other for the decisions they have made. I don’t want to do that to a beautiful new soul.
But I did grow up seeing “family” as one of the major values in life. And even now, I see how important it is to have that support.
Am I selfishly taking this haven away from my child? Am I not letting it experience the “right” kind of family for my own happiness and sanity?
I don’t think so. After all, what is the “right” kind of family, of love, of togetherness anyway?
I am not sure. What I am sure about though is that I get to shape my own kind of togetherness; creating this comfort place I have been dreaming of for so very long for my child and myself.
Yes, my life looks different now than I could’ve ever imagined it and fears come up all the time.
There’s the birth – I’m doing it alone.
There are the first few months – I’m doing those alone.
There is a whole lifetime of raising a child – right now, I’m planning of doing it alone.
It’s different than I had expected.
But it doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be beautiful, full of laughter, happiness and joy. It doesn’t mean that the little one won’t be content with the answer I’m going to share when it asks where the daddy has been. It doesn’t mean that my child, this child that I never thought I’d have, won’t be vibrant and happy and totally loving life.
This child, beautiful baby of mine, will change my life. And I’ll change his or hers.
Photo source: plaisir-sensuel.tumblr.com