A Reader’s Story…..
You see that woman in that pic? That is my mom. I am not sure how old I am in the that picture, but I know my mother is 20. My sister and I were both raised by our single mother. I was born 16 days before my mother turned 20, and she raised us on her own until she married when I was in high school. Luckily, we had an incredible extended family and community to support us along the way (we were also both in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program).
A few days ago, someone sent this story to me privately on Facebook. I receive lots of stories that people email me, or leave as comments, and I’ve never really thought about sharing them before. Something about this woman’s story hit a nerve. I am keeping her anonymous, but found this story quite moving and think we could all benefit from it.
I know you wanted us to post something about us on the last day of your giveaway, but I haven’t really shared my story with anyone in a long time…and by long time, I mean like anyone that wasn’t there doesn’t really know what happened before my daughter was born. I know a lot of people mistake me for a teen mom, but I’m not a teenager, I am 23, I just got stuck somewhere around 16 haha. On your giveaway I said I was a single mom, but sitting here thinking about it, I feel like my daughter actually has about 80 moms and a dozen dads.
I found out I was pregnant January of my senior year of college, ie last January. My boyfriend and I had been going through a bit of a rough patch, so I hid it from him for a few weeks while I figured out what I wanted to do. I went in to get an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay and it was love at first sight. From the moment I saw her tiny heartbeat on that screen I loved her more than I have loved anything in my entire life. When I first told my boyfriend I was pregnant, he was great, he called every day to check in, texted me all the time, took me out on extra special date nights and it was like all of the issues from before had just vanished. Until something changed, he tried to talk me into getting an abortion and was much less than friendly about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the freedom of choice, and I respect women’s reproductive rights but it wasn’t the right choice for me, something he never understood. He then started referring to our daughter as an array of horrible things, including ‘Little Bastard’. I tried to ignore it, and tell myself that it was just nerves getting to him and maybe it would all get better.
It didn’t. One night in February one of my sorority sisters told me that he was dating someone else. Of course I was like “yeah right” but when I confronted him about it, he told me that it was true. That he had been sleeping with her for a while behind my back. And to make matters worse, she knew about me and he had told her that I was pregnant. So things obviously got ugly from there, and I do admit that I was much less than pleasant, but I tried so hard to keep my cool. I guess all along I knew he was going to leave me. But then our families got involved, and his parents started demanding a paternity test, and he started telling people that the baby wasn’t actually his. He started to point fingers at every one of my guy friends. I haven’t heard from him despite my efforts to contact him since February 16.
You know that saying? ‘It takes a village to raise a baby’, well I don’t know how I would have faired without my sorority sisters. When I fell apart as it all went down, they were there to pick me up. Some of them even sat and cried with me as it all happened. They corrected people who were spreading false information, weren’t ashamed to sit with me, jumped to my aid on those days I felt like I had been hit by a bus. A whopping 23 of them crowded into the room for the big gender reveal, and one of them was always at my doctors visits. They even spent weekends in with me watching movies and reading girlie magazines. A lot of my guy friends were beyond awesome as well, running to get me food in the middle of the night, fighting over who got to be the godfather and cracking ‘Who’s baby is it anyways?’ jokes. So, although I am technically “single”, there are 79 amazing young women who held my hand every step of the way, and roughly 12 incredible guy friends who love me unconditionally. That is my story, in a medium sized nutshell.
Happy New Year!”
just some food for thought…..what kind of community and support has helped you to become better parents??
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