On Forgiving Myself

I don’t think motherhood has really changed the kind of person that I am. I still feel like myself, my real real self. I just have a little guy that looks kinda like me that is with me at all times and depends on me for everything. Aside from that, I am the same person. I really expected some kind of a transformation, and perhaps over time the changes will be obvious, but I feel no different from before I found out I was pregnant. Although, I do find that I am quicker to make better choices than lollygag and put things off, because time is really limited now.

I can say though that since becoming a parent, it has really made me stop and magnify the things in my life that I don’t really like about myself and want to change. Even though my son is really young, I know for a fact kids pick up the tiniest things. I can not help but think about the things I do that I don’t ever want any child of mine doing. I can’t help but think about the kind of person I want my son to be. You want your kids to be instilled with good virtues and not pick up nasty habits. One of the things about myself that I need to work on is forgiving. Forgiving others as well as myself.

I especially need to learn to forgive myself. I beat myself up a lot about things. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a perfectionist, because I never do anything perfectly– perhaps the better way to word it is, I hate being wrong. Anyone that knows me well is probably nodding their head at that sentence. People don’t understand how much it bothers me to be wrong about anything or someone. As I’ve gotten older, I’m better at this– especially with my close friends. I’ll forsake being right because I don’t like arguing with my friends. While forgiving myself has gotten slightly easier, I know I still have a lot of work to do with that.

Ever since my son was born, I’ve beaten myself up every single day about his “father”–and I’m using that term really loosely here. I can see why some single parents can have such hatred for their child’s other parent, because I have never felt such hatred and disgust for another person before this. And I really hate myself for it.

I’m one of those people that believe who you surround yourself with is a reflection of you. And I just can’t believe I ever let someone in my life that doesn’t do anything for their child and thinks parenting is a choice. I can’t believe one day I have to explain this to my son. I have no words for this. I know this scenario isn’t a new one or anything, but it’s just one of those things you think will never happen to you until it happens. And I’m having a hard time with it because while this whole situation disgusts me and is appalling, when I think about it– I’m not really surprised. Just because you expect someone to do the right thing, doesn’t mean they will.

The thing I’m having a hard time with is, in the very beginning, I knew I should have just not pursued this relationship. I just knew I shouldn’t’ve done it. I made so many excuses, ignored the red flags that I knew were there from the very first date. While I know it isn’t all my fault, I can’t help but tell myself that I knew this would happen over and over again.

I must say, I love my son, and I don’t regret him. That’s not what I’m mad about. I just wish things were different for my son, because one day he’ll ask about this period in his life and I don’t have a logical answer. I know there’s nothing I can do but forgive myself and move on, and I want to– but it’s like I’m staring in a tunnel and the light is so distant. I don’t want my son to see me this way. I don’t ever want to see my son beat himself up the way I do.

So I’m going to work on it. I don’t intend to be mad about this or at myself for forever, but I sure wish I was much better at forgiving myself right now, because I can see that this is going to be a very long road ahead of me.


On The Pregnancy Struggle

So I’m allegedly having a baby sometime soon, my EDD is 26 December and so far everything is going smoothly. Although I’m at that point where I just can’t move anymore. This baby is so low in me and his presence has never been more real than while I’m attempting to walk like a normal person right now.

To tell you the truth, I am one of those people where nothing really phases me whatsoever until right before it happens. I get it, I’m pregnant, there’s actually a person sharing a body with me at the moment, I get it– but then again it’s still a concept for me, not so much a tangible thing. Almost every day, without fail, I’ll say to myself “Oh yea, you’re pregnant!” I’m still trying to wrap my head around this, even at 39 weeks (minus one day) pregnant. I probably won’t have that shit just got real moment until I actually see this little guy.

Now that I am in the final stretch before the “big moment”, I spend a lot of time reflecting on certain times. My mommy friends have been pretty invaluable to me in terms of giving me the heads up on things, and I’d like to attempt to do the same for any of my friends who have not experienced this yet.. so without further ado–

That pregnancy glow is real. I know you know by now (at least I’m assuming you do) that it’s really just sweat, but I bet you didn’t know even though it’s winter that you might still find yourself sweating like it’s summer. This works out in my favor for me because my jackets do not even fit right now, so long sleeves and a light unbuttoned jacket works great for me. I still have to occasionally use the AC in my car though. Even in the middle of the night, I will wake up sweating and my hair will start to curl from the sweat. It makes me want to shower several times a day. I feel like have been a human heater for months now! I’m glad I’m having a winter baby, because I cannot imagine myself surviving a third trimester in any temperature that is remotely warm.

Using your ab muscles becomes nonexistent after a certain point. Your body goes through many changes, this is one of those that is a big deal for me but is not something people really mention. Around the sixth month of pregnancy I realized that I should probably make a conscious decision to use my arms to get up instead of using my abs because those times I did not were soooo painful. Hello, there’s a baby there! A couple of times recently in my sleepy haze I would forget to use my arms to get out of bed and I would and instantly regret it. Let me tell you, there is going to be a lot of getting up in the middle of the night so drill this into your head and get those arms working!

Pregnancy hunger. Anyone that knows me knows I love food. Like, aside from sleeping.. food is my love. All my favorite things usually involve me eating, because this big girl loves to eat. Let me tell you though, pregnancy hunger is completely different for me. Now, I am sure you have heard of the term hangry, which definitely applies to me because I do get visibly pissed when I am hungry. However, my hangry level increased exponentially the more my pregnancy progressed. It is so unreal. Not only do I get instantly pissed when I am hungry, BUT I get hungry SO OFTEN and if I don’t find something to snack on immediately– this kid will not stop kicking me. Oh, and it doesn’t matter if I’m asleep. That is what makes it different, and also the fact that I get full pretty easily. So having to eat often, but in not humongous quantities at once.. that is a lot for me to keep up with. There was a point where I’d wake up once or twice a night just to take my bathroom break and if I even tried to go to sleep without eating– non stop kicking. He’s obviously his mother’s child, but I did not realize that I would get to the point where eating became a chore. I imagine this is not going to wane because I plan on breastfeeding, but at least I won’t have someone kicking me from the inside to remind me to eat some more, right? Right. Anyway, this is just a heads up for anyone that already had a monster appetite. If you thought you could not possibly eat more.. you can. You can and you will.

Your friends will get you so much baby stuff, you might as well wait a little bit before grabbing baby things, especially cute things in newborn sizes. Before I knew it I had so my tiny items of clothing, I kind of wish I waited or at least got bigger sizes. My son will essentially be naked after six months, I think. It will be summer anyway, so I don’t think it will matter too much.. But I digress. It is also funny what your guy friends gravitate towards getting you on your gift resigistry in comparison to your girl friends. My guy friends got me the most practical stuff ever, y’all– sans anything that had to do with breastfeeding, of course. I did notice that reoccurring pattern and I found it kind of humorous. It came in handy though because towards the end I realize I had so much cute stuff, but still had a ton of “boring” stuff to get. So keep that in mind!

I think though, out of everything, the one thing about pregnancy that I never really thought about before is that I after I got over the initial shock, I started imagining this life for this other person. It is interesting when you have these strong feelings about the kind of life you want for you child, because it is a reflection of what you find important. I just want this baby to be happy and healthy. And really smart. I secretly hope he is really good at science, because I wasn’t. In fact, I’ve never taken a chemistry class and opted for physics instead. I really hope that doesn’t bite me in the butt one day if he ever asks me to help with his science homework. Ugh.

Well, I have eight days left until my due date. I think he will be here before then though.. if I were to guess. I think I’ll sleep until then or something because I can’t move anymore really.

On Pregnancy

So I am officially back to my country, permanently! I came back with a Master of Art’s degree in International Politics and Human Rights and a baby that will (should) be born next month. Surprise! Coming back from London, and expecting to be a single mother was not in my plans, but life does not care about your plans. Which is fine, adaptability is something I like to think I have acquired after all these years anyway. The last few months have been a roller coaster of emotions, and I do not know if this it is the hormones talking or what– although I like to throw that excuse out there when I can, because no one will question me anymore. Perks. Between wrapping up my master’s program, finishing my dissertation, a transatlantic move to North Carolina, and adjusting to life in a new place.. it has been a lot. It has also been a learning experience!

I can remember the day I found out I was pregnant so vividly, it was on the 27th of April. I remember looking at those two lines and thinking, “Oh. My. God.” I remember really wanting lots of fruit juice that previous week, not being able to get up for my final weeks of lectures because I was too exhausted, and falling asleep in the library because I could not stay awake whatsoever (in the middle of the day). I remember calling my mother within hours of finding out, and before I could even say the news, I could not stop crying out of shame and feeling so mortified. She was very happy about the news, by the way. I on the other hand, I was complete a wreck. I had essays due, a dissertation proposal to write, and at the time a boyfriend I barely knew. It was not the time. Not that there ever really is a right time, but this definitely erred more on the worst possible timing side of things.

Fast forward to now, two trimesters, a master’s degree, a new country, and a breakup later– I’m here and my baby (it’s a boy) is still here. By the grace of God that baby is still here. I say that because during the first trimester I really worried about miscarrying just because I was not expecting this and you never know what could happen, and the second and third trimester was just full of stress from my situations. It was unbelievably stressful. I really wanted to be fully happy about this baby, and I was happy to a certain extent, but the situations surrounding this pregnancy put such a dark cloud over me for a while. Now I am at a place where most days are better than others, I am still settling into my new place in Charlotte, NC, and I know I made the right choice by coming back to the US. I had previously planned to stay in London due to the work opportunities within my studies, but God had other plans for now and I’m really OK with that.

I could say a lot of other things about this pregnancy, but I what I will say for now is that outside of my normal first-time mommy fears, I am pretty anxious now to see this little man that’s been kicking me all throughout the late night hours. Aside from only being slightly uncomfortable, this pregnancy has been really easy so far. I was really surprised. I will hold my breath though because this labor part that is coming up next month might be a different story.. hopefully I will get some sort of a nursery up by then. Oops.

Well the good news is now I have a ton of free time to write since I am currently unemployed, and a lot of material saved up from the past year! So, I shall see you sooner than later. Until next time..