3 Things My Son Taught Me About Motherhood and Life
Photo Credit: Eye for Ebony/Unsplash
Motherhood has been one of the most rewarding experiences. I was never one of those people who always grew up knowing I’d have kids, but motherhood definitely chose me when I found out I was pregnant with my son.
I became a mom to my now 11-year-old at a very challenging time when I was just beginning to find my own identity as a young adult. There’s never a perfect time to step into motherhood, but it really motivated me to improve some key areas of my life for myself and my child.
Here are 3 areas in my life where motherhood has motivated me and still motivates me today.
These past few years, I have been on a major self-development mission, and my son has been right there to motivate me in indirect ways. Children are really great at holding you accountable for the things you say and the actions you take.
As a parent, I make mistakes all the time, and my son is super gracious with me as I learn along the way. He supports my personal goals all the time without even knowing it.
I’ll never forget when he started his own pretend podcast by recording his voice on his children’s tablet after I started a podcast with a few friends. Or, the times when he eagerly ran to the car to go to day care at the fitness center when I was trying to make a habit out of going to the gym.
About a year ago, my son touched my heart when he sent me a text letting me know how he’s so proud of all my hard work to help support the family. It was another regular night while I was working on my computer on the couch. We love to send funny texts sometimes even though we’re in the same house. That particular night, I found his message so thoughtful and just reaffirmed that I’m doing a lot right as a parent.
As a young mom, juggling college classes, work, and taking care of my son was not an easy task. Money was often tight during the early years and I learned how to budget with the food stamp money I received every month.
My lowest point financially was when I went to wash clothes in my apartment building but realized I didn’t have any change — or money at all for that matter. Instead of falling into self-pity, I got pretty upset and had some tough but necessary internal dialogue with myself.
I work way too hard to struggle like this and I don’t want to live this way forever.
After that day, I got honest about my income and expenses and created a budget. I applied for a paid internship right on campus working for the public relations office and hustled to network with people in the journalism industry. I also found ways to work online writing one-off articles as a freelancer in addition to my part-time job. This allowed me to stay home with my son in the evenings and still earn extra money.
My son and I went to every free or cheap neighborhood event I could find and we made tons of memories. As I was working on earning more money and paying down debt, I didn’t want him to experience any major deprivation during those crucial years of his childhood. We lived the best simple life and I’m so grateful for all the important financial lessons I learned during this time.
Hard, New Things
One key thing my son has shown me over the years is that we are all capable of doing hard, new things. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the small and large accomplishments we’ve made throughout our lives and how they’ve contributed to who we are today.
I’ve helped my son overcome many challenges, whether it’s been learning how to ride a bike or reading his first book independently. More recently, the focus has been figuring out how to open his locker and adjust to multiple middle school classes.
Raising my son has motivated me to continue to try more new and challenging things and acknowledge my progress instead of dismissing it. We’ve all learned hard and new things in the past and survived. With each passing year, I will continue to learn and grow.
Recognizing the Young Boys in Our Lives
Kids are great, they grow up eventually. While I’m excited to see the person my son will become, my love and appreciation for him won’t change no matter how old he gets.
It’s been really encouraging to reflect on the 11 years I’ve had so far to raise an amazing son. Also, knowing that the impact he’s left on my life so far will stick with me even long after he’s left the nest.