Way before social media and dating apps.
It was a truly challenging time for us for very different reasons.
For me being a mother to a baby girl was as overwhelming as the thought of jumping off a plane. I felt I was constantly falling but never hitting the ground. Every moment I thought of the responsibility of raising another human being, let alone a girl, I ached for a closet to hide in. I often dreamt of running away. There were times I certainly understood why mothers would just leave their children. Awful, yes. But I understood it.
But I chose to have a child, and then another. I chose to live this life.
In the beginning of motherhood, the only thing I knew for sure was to just do my best, however I knew how.
There were impossible and even painful challenges. But there were many more wonderful and proud moments. Most times, I kept the struggles I felt of raising young children, to myself. Never sure if my choices would make my daughter and son better and stronger people than I ever was.
All I knew was to be there for them no matter what. To just show up. To make sure they know I am there for them.
So throughout the years, with my fingers crossed, I stayed.
But I'm learning that even that is not enough. Giving up your own space, sacrificing your time, struggling to make the right choices for them, do not guarantee your children would grow up as young adults you hoped they would be. And I accept that, because I know they are a part of me. But they are not me.
I stand in a room of my own. And I am grateful my children do, too.
Lenn Almadin-Thornhill has managed to balance an impressive journalism career with the demands of motherhood. Her biggest challenge to date is maintaining her sanity with two teenagers in the house. She is, in fact, the best thing since sliced bread.
Parenting a new baby can feel like being dropped off on another planet. Allow us to help you take baby steps toward learning this parenting business.