For any new readers: I’m a single mother. This post is in no way meant to cause offense, judge or point blame. I know exactly how that feels seeing as I went through not being married and pregnant. This is simply an opinionated post that I felt led to write because of the large amount of young people today trying to get pregnant that aren’t married.
Above: Isaac Adaiah Cedarleaf, two days old
Over the past couple years, I’ve met a wide variety of people. Some have been those “I’m-a-Christian-and-I’ll-make-sure-you-know-it” kind of people, and others have been the “I-only-have-fun-by-drinking-and-having-sex-on-the-weekends” kind of people… you know, the ones living by the “YOLO” concept. Then there were the ones that always had their nose in the books and didn’t want to socialize. But the one group of people that I’ve met that has stuck out to me is the group that said “I’m-ready-to-have-a-child-in-my-twenties”.
You know the ones I’m talking about. They may be dating someone. They’re obviously having sex and they aren’t doing anything about preventing a pregnancy. It’s possible they haven’t voiced to you they actually want a child, but in casual conversation they’ve mentioned they wouldn’t care if they got pregnant (or guys say they wouldn’t care if their girlfriend got pregnant). They think “man… it might even be fun!” If you legitimately believe having a child will be peachy and solve all of your problems then go ahead, have unprotected sex. Watch what happens after you become pregnant and reality finally sets in that you’ll be a parent.
Society is now becoming more accepting of single mom pregnancies. Reality television shows praise having a child outside of marriage, especially if you’re young. They make it look like you’ll endure a little hardship during the pregnancy, but it becomes easy after the baby arrives. They say: a child will help motivate you to finish school; a child will make you stronger; a child will help re-prioritize your life; a child will make you happy; you’ll never be alone after having a child. Because, you know, kids will totally understand that you need to study; kids will always sacrifice for you; kids will sit down with you and help you figure out your goals and desires… Right.
Kids are probably the most selfish human beings to walk the earth. Everything is all about them. That’s just the way it is. They come into the world with the mindset that the world is their playground and everyone in it, especially mommy, is to serve them. So no, they won’t understand why you’re trying to study in silence. They won’t understand why you just want to be left alone. If the only reason you want a child is to re-prioritize your life, then you need Jesus and a good hobby… Not a child.
Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why friends of mine think a child will “fix them”. I got pregnant in high school and ended up miscarrying around 8 weeks. I remember how I felt. I remember thinking having a baby would solve all of my problems. I’d love that baby and forget about all that was going on around me. I’d never feel alone again.
After miscarrying, I stopped caring about anything except having a child. I became wrapped in the societal thinking that a child would fill my gaping hole of loneliness. A child would comfort me when I was hurt. A child would put a smile on my face when I was sad. But the problem with that thinking was that it was all about me. I was selfish wanting to give birth to a selfish child. Imagine how that would turn out. I eventually did get pregnant again and gave birth to a boy. It was a complete shock when everything I had imagined he would bring to me wasn’t even close to what I thought. After having Isaac, I was still depressed, still lonely, still searching. If you think you’re ready to have a child, chances are you’re probably not. No one is ever ready for a child until the child arrives.
If you’re in your twenties (or younger) and you’re not married, I’m begging you, don’t try to conceive. Obviously you’re going to do what you want, but if there’s one thing that you should take from this entire blog post, it’s this: my life isn’t about me anymore, it’s 100% completely about my son. That means I can’t just go to Walgreen’s down the street to pick up a late night snack anymore. I can’t travel like I’d love to. I enrolled in a shortened college program (which wasn’t my first choice) because I knew I needed a career quickly after having a child. Everything I do is all for Isaac’s benefit.
I’m not in the least bit depressed or regretting having Isaac. He HAS re-prioritized my life in a sense. If I were never blessed with Isaac, my eyes would have never opened to see how much Jesus loves me, as His child.
So yes, kids can motivate you to finish school, as long as you’re going to school knowing you’re finishing so you can earn money for your child. But finishing school won’t make you rich. I never realized how much money it is to have a child until I had one of my own. It’s pretty much impossible to raise a child alone without finishing school or having support.
Yes, you’ll never be alone after having a child… Never, ever again. In fact, forget about taking a shower or getting ready in the morning alone. You’ll forever have a sidekick attached at the hip. It’s funny that single people don’t want to be alone, but once they have kids they long for even a minute of silence to themselves. Kids will do that to you. I remember when Isaac was first born, I longed for one night to myself, even if that meant getting to sleep with the monitor turned off. That was like heaven to me. Can I get a good amen from all the momma’s? Just know this: a child won’t fill your loneliness you feel every night. Yes, a child may make you happy, but only temporarily.
If you’re like I was – searching and lonely – you don’t need a child. You need Jesus. I was one of the lucky ones that got pregnant and was shown unconditional love and support from my family. I thought that having a child would fix all of my problems. If anything, more problems arose. But now I have Jesus Christ to help me through those tough situations. I’m not alone anymore. I’m not striving for material things to fill my empty hole. I’m no longer blinded by my own selfish desires. I’m finally living. I’m finally able to love Isaac unconditionally because I understand the love that Jesus has for His children… for me.
Having a child is a lot of sweat, tears and heartache, but I’m completely comforted in knowing I’m not alone. I have a savior, the prince of peace, a wonderful counselor, and the creator of the world. If you don’t know Jesus and you’re tired of filling your emptiness with other things of the world, you can know Him, too! Start by saying a simple prayer of you admitting you need Jesus. It’s that easy. I often refer to the day I became a Christian as the day I started living. I don’t feel shame or condemnation anymore. I no longer live by the world’s standards; I live by God’s standard. One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” It’s a continual reminder for me that while I was sleeping around, lying, and wanting a child, God still loved me!
If you’re one of those people that believes having a child will fix you, or that having a child can’t be that rough, here are a few snap shots of a day in the life of a single mother.
Sorry about the graphics in this one. It never fails that a blow out or barfing episode will happen on days I’m running behind and “woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” Maybe that’s God’s way of telling me to take a chill pill.
Being a single mom has its ups and downs. There are days that I want to stay inside and spend the entire day with Isaac. Then there are days that I’m stressed and could really use a break. Overall, I’m truly blessed with the gift of Isaac. If someone had asked me a year ago how I felt about being a single mom, my answer would have straight up been that it’s exhausting, depressing, and life changing. Now that I have Jesus in my life, I no longer look at being a single mom as a negative thing. I don’t allow people’s stares to bother me anymore. I’m confident in who I am in Christ and what He’s done for me. I don’t want to live any other life.