My daughter asked me, “Mommy, what does it mean to love, what does I miss you mean?” We’ve been reciprocating I love you's for 4 years now and for the first time, she asked what that really means.
On the spot I answered, “It means caring about someone so much you never want anything bad to happen to them. You care about them and want to show them, like I rub your back every night and you've wiped my tears before. You don’t want to see them hurt.”
I repeated this answer now for 2 weeks wondering if I am explaining it right. The amount of time I’ve been at home, quitting my 100k a year job.
I didn’t want to quit this job. One of my faults is I always based my being on my level of success, how much money I made. It was instilled in me before that I was a stereotype because I had a child at 19 years old. “Teen mom, college dropout, never going to succeed.”
I wanted to prove everyone wrong, and I did. 23 years old making 100k a year with no degree. 40 year old women at the same job hating me. Telling me, “Apparently I didn’t need to get myself in debt or an education to be here.”
I started to feel that I didn’t deserve what i got.
But in a even bigger picture, I realized you can never have your cake and eat it too. I believed I was doing this job, for Kira. To show that her mom worked her ass off with all odds against me. I was so blinded by this idea, I realized I wasn’t actually changing her life now in the ways that mattered, because I wasn’t there enough.
I came back home from work to her dad telling me things I can’t fully share right now, but it wasn’t my choice to leave at this point. I was given an ultimatum.
But it was the biggest ultimatum of my life. Everything I’ve worked so hard for, or my daughter.
I quit one days notice to my work the next day.
Got a lawyer, and here I am. Back at square one, the person I was hiding from all along. Poor. For 3 years now I made amazing money, and that was where I gained my confidence. Now, who am I?
When I didn’t have my daughter and she was with her dad when I got back, I had to face reality….What if I don’t get full custody? I gave up absolutely everything.
But when I did have her, I realized what I am fighting for. She never wanted to learn with me earlier, but I realize it’s because I didn’t have the time to really work with her. Me and her since I have been home have done so many different learning activities, and I see her getting excited. As a parent, that is what pure happiness is. Seeing your child grow.
Someone told me recently, “I am not raising children. I am raising adults.” and that stuck to me. I want to give my daughter every opportunity I can for HER to be successful.
I think majority of this population can say they had a fucked up childhood. Whether their parents were divorced, or they saw their parents in a loveless relationship, alcohol, drugs… whatever that may be. But I learned from that and I want to minimize that for Kira.
Coming back home has been one of the most humbling, crazily annoying experiences of my life, because as I am trying to focus on rebuilding my life and raising my daughter...but I am being pulled in a million more directions.
I feel like I have to not only be the best mother, but also daughter, friend, aunt, and sister. I am being pulled in all of these different directions when I am already broken. When do I stop trying to help? With losing who I thought I was, the only thing I know about me is I feel the need to always help those I care about.
So when my 4 year old daughter asks me, like she does everyday, “What does love mean?”
Where do I include the part you also have to love yourself?