Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why I Love My Mother 2

My mother taught me about being a loving parent, who loved her parents. That's my mom, sitting in her daddy's lap. We were a close-knit family.

I was a teenage mother. I gave birth to my oldest daughter two weeks before my 18th birthday. When my mom found out that I was pregnant, she immediately swung into action. She called my aunts and told them, got the prayer chain and support line going. Then she made appointments with the best OB/GYN in town for my prenatal care. She spared no expense in seeing that her only daughter had everything necessary to have a healthy baby. 
I left the high-school I was attending to attend a breakthrough school called LAMP - Lee Adolescent Mother's Program. At the time it was a ground breaking philosophy - allow pregnant girls and new mothers to attend school in a nonjudgemental environment. Where all your classmates understand where you are, because they are right there with you. Once the baby was born you could bring the baby to school with you on the bus! Daycare was provided - breastfeeding was encouraged. Mom's could go in and hang out with their babies between classes, at lunch, during 'life skills classes'. Everything necessary to run a home, from cleaning and cooking to laundry and diaper changing was taught. With a healthy dose of math, science, english, and history. We still had regular classes, but on top of that we had to learn how to be parents. 
Some of the girls were lucky like me. They had supportive parents or family and were happy, well adjusted young women. Others - well, others weren't so lucky. The "other girls" the orphaned mommy's  as we called them lived in group housing with the nuns of the local Catholic parish. They were well fed, had wonderful housing conditions - usually only 3 girls and one sister per home. Most of the homes were three bedroom, two bath houses on the Catholic campus. We also had a nunnery (right word? dunno - not Catholic). 
But the orphaned mommy's had only each other and a sister for support. They formed tight little families, and shared goals, dreams, and life lessons. But they were in so much pain. Their own mothers either abandoned or gave up on them. They were not present to provide support. I only knew one girl who's mother had passed away, and she lived with her mom's sister - who promptly threw her out as soon as she got pregnant out of wedlock. 
The rest were throw aways. It was sad, to me, to see these young ladies grow and mature as they did without a parent standing beside them, proud of their accomplishments instead of ashamed of a mistake. 
My mother wasn't that way... she saw things as they were. A mistake is a mistake, you accept the consequences, and move on. Make the best of the hand you are dealt. So when she discovered my pregnancy, I was given choices. It was my decision - keep the baby, adopt, or abort. Abortion was out of the question, for me, it was wrong. Adoption sounded like a possibility, but I was my mother's daughter. If she taught me one thing it was to take responsibility for my actions. If I was going to do that, then I needed to keep my child and raise her to the best of my ability. Now, before you say anything -  I do not believe that this is the best choice for everyone. It was the best choice for me. 
I was able to get my GED - 6 months prior to my scheduled graduation, and start college two weeks after my daughter was born. 
I was able to go to school and work, and had child care in the form of my grand parents who lived with us. 
I was able to raise my daughter my way, with the gentle guidance and unconditional love and support from my family. My grand parents or mom would watch her only when I went to work or school. Otherwise I was on my own with her. 
When my daughter was three months old she came down with colic. She finally grew out of it at five months. For two months of her life my baby screamed uncontrollably from midnight until six am - every blessed night. I was a wreck. I was going to class from eight am until two pm, then to my job as a cashier at the local grocery store from three until eleven. Then home to my baby and sleep... only I still had homework to do. If I was lucky I could get it done just before she woke up at midnight. 
Bless my mothers heart, and her dad - they both would take turns getting up with her during scream fits - walking her and stuff so I could sleep two or three hours at least. There were many nights I would wake up in the rocking chair sans baby - only to find her in the hallway looking at pictures with my grandfather - bounce, walk, bounce, walk, bounce, hour after hour. 
My mother was always there when I needed her. She supported every choice I made, good or bad. It didn't matter what she thought about things, it mattered to her that I was happy with my choices. 
She encouraged me to be the best at whatever I chose to do, and left things at that. Then showed genuine excitement at my accomplishments, and commiserated with me over failures. Unconditionally she loved and supported me through every bad, and stupid thing I pursued all through my life. 
Just one more reason why I love my mother! 
Why do you love your mom?


Christina Lee said...

wow THAT's a great story!!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post! How lucky you are to have such a great mom and a great example.

Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day! Have a great weekend!

cheri said...

your mom is awesome! supportive and she treated you like an adult, not like some knocked-up kid.

shuttling in from SITS :)

Sha'ahn said...

Very thoughtful. I was nearly a teenage mother myself. And my mom was also very supportive. I chose to have an abortion though, because I was afraid of becoming a mom at 16.

Lori said...

thanks for stopping by my blog. What a sweet post. I had a similar situation to yours. Thanks to my mom, even though I was a single mom at 20, I was not only able to finish college, but graduate from law school as well. My mom spent hundreds of hours babysitting during exams etc. I should thank her for that (my son is now 21). Have a great mothers day!!!!

Melissa @ Cellulite Investigation said...

Sounds like you have one SMART momma! Thanks for celebrating Saturday Sharefest with me :)

oh, and Happy Mother's Day!!

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