Ellie on the subway.

 

As Mother’s Day rapidly approaches, I have become very reflective about the way I became a mother.  For those of you that aren’t totally read in to “Cara’s Road to Motherhood“, I’ll catch you up to speed.  I was dating someone for a couple months, I got pregnant, and I became pregnant and single, which morphed in to – single and a mother.

But that doesnt mean that my pregnancy was a mistake, and equally it doesn’t mean that my daughter was a mistake.  (By the way, if you ever refer to my daughter as a mistake, I won’t even give you the courtesy of telling you I am upset – I will simply cut you out of our lives.)

There is nothing about my child that is a mistake.

Dating a male that didn’t have the same respect for life, both born and unborn, as I did?  Mistake.

The life that came as a result of dating that male? Not a mistake.

Not thinking about the consequences of my actions?  Mistake.

Those actions delivering a life-changing result in the form of a beautiful child?  Not a mistake.

Being fooled into believing the superficial made the person?  Mistake.

Realizing what is truly important?  Not a mistake.

Worrying so much that I missed out on some amazing moments of early motherhood?  Mistake.

Staying in our PJS all day and playing with every single toy we have in the apartment?  Not a mistake.

Focusing on what is missing, instead of what is present?  Mistake.

Learning how to be completely present, and in doing so, enjoying the minutia of parenthood, the good, the bad and the ugly – and in doing so, really living a full life?  Not a mistake.
Don’t get me wrong.  This is hard.  Many of you never see it, or hear it – but I cry.  I worry.  I’ve got most of the logistics of single motherhood down.  But I am still struggling with some of the conceptual aspects.  Ellie knows what a Daddy is.  As I have mentioned before, there are some really great Dads in her music class…and I refer to them as “so-an-so’s Daddy”.  Lately she has been pointing to male friends, and saying, “Daddy?”
This breaks my heart.  It makes me cry.
But it is not a mistake – there are a lot of great Dads in this world, and there is no reason Ellie shouldn’t get to know them.
I go out of my way to do everything I can to be Mom and Dad, which means working full-time, trying to advance my career to give Ellie everything, while attempting to strike that balance of being an actively involved working Mom.  She is currently taking a music class, which the musically challenged Mom in me loves.  And she also loves to throw and kick balls across the playground – so the terribly un-athletic Dad in me has started looking into some version of soccer classes for kids her age.  All of this means I have nearly zero free-time to myself.   But it is not a mistake.
It is love.  Not a silly soccer class, or an educational music class.  That isn’t love.  The time and energy it takes to raise a child properly, that is love.  The dedication to my daughter, the ability to smile when I walk in the door even after a really difficult day at work?  That is love.
My path to motherhood was not what I had planned, for myself or for my daughter.
Do I wish so many of the circumstances of Ellie’s life were different?  Of course.
Do I blame myself for not creating a more ideal set of circumstances for the person I love more than anything?  Sometimes.
Is there ever a moment that I think that my daughter is anything other than an absolute miracle?  Never.

Her shirt says, "Long, Live, Love."

11 Comments

  1. unplanned pregnancy says: May 22, 2012 • 16:16:04

    Really loveable post. I like your post. I will share this with my friends.

    Reply

  2. Roxy says: May 19, 2012 • 05:44:31

    I just found out yesterday that I am pregnant. Same situation. I dated the father for a few months, on and off, but we were never official and he was always so awful to me. His first reaction when I told him was, “If you were on birth control, how is that different from having an abortion?”. He went on to tell me that I was unfit to be a mother, and that he didn’t want to have to explain to his parents that “the mother of his child was a woman he didn’t even like”.

    I turn 22 in a week, and I’m still trying to finish my college education. I do not have a supportive family, but I have incredible friends. Your story made me cry and gives me hope that I can do this. All my love and best wishes to you and your beautiful daughter.

    Reply

  3. Steffie says: May 11, 2012 • 23:30:22

    Ellie is nothing short of a miracle and, frankly, neither are you. Happy Mothers’ Day.

    Reply

  4. Jen says: May 11, 2012 • 01:21:19

    Very moving post! I find myself struggling to be truly present for my daughter, and to unplug when I am playing with her. Something I have to work on!
    Have a great Mother’s day!

    Jen

    Reply

  5. DiHart says: May 10, 2012 • 18:05:28

    I have 3 beautiful, wonderful grandchildren. The oldest 2 were from a very short marriage ( he cheated, she left ) the 3rd was a similar situation to yours. He is now 14 months old. A wonderful, crazy, funny, beautiful boy. He’s been referred to as a mistake, even a bastard child. I let them know what a blessing he is then told them to go to hell. His father is referred to as his DNA donor. He has 2 older boys but he says that since they came from a committed relationship they are more important. This one ? Nothing. He is missing out & it breaks my heart for the baby but he is very much loved & my daughter wouldn’t change a thing. I am very proud of her. Similar to you, she works fulltime, goes to school & is there for them when others aren’t. I help her care for them while she tries to provide a better life. God bless you in your journey. You are a shining example to your daughter.

    Reply

  6. Bhavna says: May 10, 2012 • 16:18:04

    Simply beautiful n honest. God bless. U with all the joy in the world.

    Reply

  7. Sandra says: May 10, 2012 • 16:16:07

    I hate it when children are referred to as “mistakes”. I like to call them “surprise” babies. Beautifully well-written post. Love it!

    Reply

  8. Cara Lemieux says: May 10, 2012 • 13:59:24

    Thanks for the kind words everyone!!! Hope you enjoy Mother’s Day too!!!!!! xoxox

    Reply

  9. Meg D says: May 10, 2012 • 13:50:46

    Beautiful post.

    Reply

  10. Aunt Maylene says: May 10, 2012 • 12:05:19

    Happy Mother’s Day to a wonderful mother… Enjoy the day with your “miracle”. Love you both!

    Reply

  11. cathy micinilio says: May 10, 2012 • 11:55:51

    your life is exactly how it was meant to be!!! great article

    Reply

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