I very rarely, if ever, give myself enough credit, but I have, indeed, come a long way. I've come a long way from:
The frightened, ashamed, in-shock woman I was when I realized I had to call off my engagement when I was only 2 months pregnant and proceed as a single mother by choice.
The justifiably angry woman I was during 7 months of gestating all by myself because I had no one to take care of me during a time when most women are cared for with an abundance of love and attention and made to feel special.
The mother of a newborn; alone, exhausted, riddled with self-doubt.
I've come so far from that woman. I look back at that woman and I wish that I could gather her up, fill her with the love and support that she needed, and release her into motherhood with the certainty that not only could she raise an amazing human being but that she herself would be alright as well. I wish I could tell her that some of her fears may indeed come to pass, but that she is so much stronger, smarter, and kinder than even she knows, and that she and her child would be fine regardless. No matter what. I wish I could give that woman all the love she so richly deserved and yet did not adequately receive. She was such a warrior and she didn't even realize it through all the fear, disappointment, and self-doubt she was weighed down with. I love that version of me so much I could cry . . . that she was so brave and yet didn't know how truly amazing she was breaks my heart.
If you have just become a single mother, for whatever reasons, let me offer you these words of comfort:
You are enough.
You are, you are, you are. And don't you EVER forget that.
No matter the situation with your child's father, no matter how many hours you have to work every day to put food on the table, no matter how short-tempered you get when you are tired and irritable, no matter how you fall short of your own (usually impossibly high) expectations, you are enough. Just do your best. Put your child at the center of your decisions 90% of the time. Let go of any disappointment to the extent that you can by mourning your dream of what could've been and fully accepting your life as-is. And you must believe, with all of your might, that you are enough. Because, my sweet, scared, beautiful friend - you are enough - and time will show you this. It will.
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