Because I know how the internet will look at the title of this article and take it waaayy left with insults and threats, let me say up front I love the hell out of my kids. I love how my genius 9-year-old fascinates herself with different languages and taught herself to write her name in Russian and how my 11-year-old believes kissing and any form of PDA is cannibalism. I love how they both play my favorite tunes on YouTube when they know I’m having a pissy day. I love how my 9-year-old will show me coupons on some new toy because she knows good and damn well how much of a cheap ass I am.
And while I’ve always loved my kids very much, I was not always confident I made the right decision bringing them into this world. There were points in discussions with my children when I wanted to bluntly tell them “Sorry, kiddo but I use to think at one point, you were a mistake.”
I never married when I had my kids. With my both my daughters, I was required to be on bed rest, leaving me unemployed for months, and I still lived at home. So, while abortion and adoption were out of the question, it felt like the deck of dumb decisions was stacked mightily high for me.
No money for anything, no means to starting 529s, relying on other people for pampers, rides to doctor’s appointments, and formula. Watching some of my peers get new and exciting jobs, travel, and get married while I sat at my mom’s crib single, broke, and big as a house was not a great self-esteem boost either.
While I knew deep down I made the right decision to have my children, I had moments to regret. Not that my kids were themselves a mistake, but the circumstances in which I brought them into the world was the mistake. Having a kid while broke as fuck? A likely mistake. Having a kid and not having your own home to take them to? A likely mistake. Having a kid to raise alone because the other parent shows half-ass interest? A likely mistake.
So, naturally I believed having my kids during this time was, indeed, a mistake.
But when my first daughter arrived, I knew it was time to get over my woe-is-me pity party. I gave myself a mental ass whipping and promised my new, beautiful tiny human that whatever happens, I was not going to be a struggling parent. I was not going to treat myself or my kids like they were mistakes anymore. I was not going let anyone else convince me having my kids during my circumstances were a mistake either.
After an on and off relationship and an ill-fated engagement, I split from the father and focused on building a great life for me and my 2 infants. I was so determined to never again get so depressed and low that I would regret my new role as a mother. I knew it was because I was scared of being yet another single mom contributing nothing to society except future jail birds because, according to society, my single motherhood automatically made me a piece of shit.
I knew my initial circumstances seemed malignant for child rearing but slowly but surely, I found a nice paying job. I was able to pay off debt, buy decent furniture, buy a car, and move into a nicer place. 4 years after that, my kids are maintaining the honor roll and I recently purchased my first house.
While it’s easy to believe having kids during humble beginnings may feel like quite the blunder, it is not the final determinant in creating a wonderful life for your family. It’s simply your story of beating some pretty bleak odds to come out on top of your parenthood game.
Monica is a devoted single mom of two and freelance writer from Virginia. She’s been featured in places The Washington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Yahoo, and USA Today. You can also find her on Twitter at @ohitsmo or on her website, www.monicaleftwich.com