I guess it always helps to start at the beginning right…..
I was born in Soweto, however raised in PTA- I’m a mom of two girls
By the time I was 5 my parents had broken up, as such my mom opted to take me to live her aunt (my gran in Pta)
I had issues with depression in my teen years, I was officially diagnosed when I was 15 (insert –pause– depression + black folks = don’t mix) so it was swept under the rug
My mom wasn’t really around, to be honest I only got to “really” know my mom when I was 16yrs old and pregnant. Yes, I had shamed my family, I mean my gran was a nun, we were a staunch Roman Catholic family. We then moved back to Soweto in 2005, I was in Grd11 at the time and I had concealed my pregnancy. In my teen mind, it would all go away…
My family would only find out about my pregnancy a few weeks before my daughter was born. The disappointment in their eyes was just too much to bear. Whenever my baby would move, I’d just feel stone cold.
She was born on the 23rd of October in the wee hours of the morning, I was exhausted! Taking into consideration that I didn’t have proper pre-natal care I was praying and hoping that nothing was wrong with her. When she was given the all clear, I was relieved
However, there was something lingering in the pit of my stomach, little did I know at the time- I had post-natal depression.
It took me time to settle into the new role I was in, I honestly didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t mothered and I didn’t know what “Mothering” looked like.
It took over 5mnths of therapy – it was recommended by my school teacher.
Me and my mom had never had a good relationship; I meant, I resented her for “dumping me” in PTA so she can continue to live her life. That’s what I’ve always thought that. I had no one to tell me different.
Fast forward a few years later I met my now ex-fiancé, I had gotten engaged and I was expecting a baby, from the outside we were perfect. But he was abusive like my dad was to my mom. I had a miscarriage 16wks into my 2nd pregnancy, it was the worst experience ever! A few months later I was pregnant again, I was scared because of what had happened prior.
I don’t think I had ever prayed as much as I did in my life like the time I was pregnant, I attended all my pre-natal classes. This time I was looking forward to holding my child, not like the time I was pregnant with my 1st child
That motivated me to repair and build a relationship with my mom, it hurt at 1st because I had to confront all the rubbish that had happened. The primary motivation was the fact that my mom had an absent mom, she was an absent mom and I was not going to allow that to happen with my daughter.
I chose to walk away from my ex, it was hard at 1st however I had nothing to lose. I kept on thinking what I would have to offer my kids if I never stood up for myself.
In a nutshell, I can complain about my experiences and how they’ve hurt. However, I truly believe that all that happened was for a positive reason. I mean the “absent mother” cycle had to end for the greater good of future generations.
I’m still on my mothering journey and it will only end the day I die, the one I’m always grateful for is my kids and I try by all means to remind them that they’re valid, special and that the world is theirs for the taking. It’s okay to want more, I’m not perfect, I will always learn until the end.