As I approach the third year of motherhood I can’t help but celebrate the small victories every day. I realize now that no woman’s advice in the world could have prepared me for what I’ve experienced in sharing a life with my “Mini Me.” The challenges that have come with raising a baby girl alone have been very much like a rebirth. She teaches me something daily. At first I was somewhat fearful, full of worry. Every moment of every day I felt like there was something to worry about. It went from small things like, “Is my home clean enough? How do I know if she’s getting enough breast milk?” To thinking about larger issues like, “How can I afford quality daycare? And how do I get her father more involved?” There was always something in my head preventing me from simply enjoying being her mommy, but then something else happened in addition to the worry, she turned two.
As she approached the “terrific twos” her personality changed what seemed like overnight. Her newfound sense of independence put me in a place where I had to be ready for her to say or do anything at any moment. Sometimes a two-year old really can make you forget that you are actually the adult and the one in charge! From deciding when and what she will eat, to when and where she will go potty, to tantrums in the middle of Target, to sleeping when she can’t take it anymore rather than when I put her down to sleep – all in all I am tired.
I remember sharing with a friend the wonderful news that I was pregnant. After the hugs, tears, and excitement, she looked me directly in the eye and said, “Girl, I’m going to be real with you. Sleep as much as you can now, because you will never sleep again.” As I sat rocking her at 4:33am the other night I thought of my friend and couldn’t do anything else but cry.
However, I had an “ah-ha” moment watching her walk along the beach for the first time a few weeks ago. Her face was indescribable. As she got closer and closer to the ocean and looked down in front of her, she realized the sand she’d been calling a sandbox went on for what seemed like forever. It was in that moment that I realized I had not been living in the moment as her mother. Rather than being worried about everything, I had to let go of my thoughts and enjoy what was real. When I thought it couldn’t get any better I heard my baby excitedly say (with “binky” in mouth) pointing at the water, “Wook mommy water and the sky hold hands.” That was it! Those words put everything in perspective for me. Suddenly, I felt alive and rejuvenated. Now I know that having her is a way for me to live again with a fresh, new perspective about this sometimes crazy and worrisome world. My baby has taught me, rather than live in my head, to live in the moment – and be thankful for it.
Angela Eddings is a monthly contributing writer for the PRC on topics that celebrate empowerment, growth, and change through motherhood. She is a single mother of a beautiful two-year-old daughter, Amaya. As a high school graduation coach, Angela’s passion for encouraging youth is a testament to her personal evolution as a believer in a holistic way of living. She exemplifies embracing and nurturing one’s mind, body and spirit through her love of writing and belief in affirmations. Daily personal experiences are no longer seen as challenges but opportunities for growth. This perspective has shaped her role as a mother, teacher, and friend and she looks forward to sharing the beauty in adopting that view with you.