When I look at him, I feel pure joy, love, and happiness. When my son was born, I shifted from focusing on me to focusing on another human. My worry is not on me anymore, and I do not have time to worry. It’s freeing. I don’t doubt. I know I am the best person to be his Mom, and God put us together.
We were super prepared for the birth, and then we got home. The first couple of days, my husband borrowed some baby books, and we just read. They tell you a little but not enough. Being a new mom is emotional, and there are parts no one wants to talk about. The stages are real, the weight of your feelings and all the thoughts you have are normal.
What you think and what is happening are two different things. I wish I could tell my younger self not to be afraid of what people think about me. I lived in three countries growing up (my parents were missionaries in Congo and South Africa when we were young), and I was just as embarrassed to read out loud in all three places. When I was in 5th grade, for a while, I was “sick” every Friday, so I didn’t have to recite scripture aloud.
I remember feeling judged and teased in junior high. The small things stay with you. Back when Doc Martens were popular – the first time, I asked for a pair for Christmas. And my aunt, who was known for getting presents my parents couldn’t afford, got them for me. When I went back to school, the kids asked – Are those real?
Once you get to college, you get a fresh start. You don’t have to prove yourself every day. You get to define who you are and what you are passionate about (I am passionate about creating architecture that benefits society).
I still worry about what people think of me. I want everyone to like me. But I am getting better. I ask myself, have they actually said that to me? If they haven’t, then I try not to believe it. I worry about it less. I hold on to good memories – eating off our mango tree in Congo, watching our guide crack open a coconut and drinking from it, and collecting fresh eggs. I believe in being adaptable. When you are adaptable, you can be anything.