As of today, my daughter is a five year old. She's not my little baby anymore. I can’t believe how fast the time flies. I remember walking out of my moms house when she was just about 6 or 7 weeks old to go to my job and show her off. I hadn’t returned to work yet and needed to get out of the house desperately. I dressed her up in a huge OTT (over the top) hairbow with a matching outfit then got myself together for our day out. As I was headed out the door, my mother said, “Chrystallynn got a baby!”. I think it hit her for the first time that I (the youngest of her three children) was actually a mother now. And, I was doing a pretty good job at managing my new role.
That time was so long ago. Now I have this charismatic little girl that I get the opportunity to watch grow up day after day. As she becomes another year older, I reflect over the years on things that I’ve learned as a mother. Some things about her, others about myself. For each year, I’ve written down one thing that I’ve learned. Here are five lessons in motherhood that I’ve gained over time.
1. There is a reason for everything. Becoming a mother at 22 was not a part of my “life plan” but I do not regret my decision to bring her into this world. There is a reason she is here and though everything hasn’t been revealed to me, and times can get hard, I realize every day just how special she really is. She’s so talented, well-mannered, gentle, kind, smart and she’s so much fun to be around. If I had not allowed myself to be the vehicle to bring her into this world, I would have done the world such a disservice.
2. Let it go. When she was about two years old, she was infatuated with the movie Frozen. She had a microphone stand and she would yell at the top of her lungs singing, “let it go, let it goooo, the cold doesn’t bother me anymore.” That song has so much meaning. Even for us adults. I’m sure she didn’t know what she was singing, but just by being herself, she was pouring into me. That little song reminds me that nothing is as major as it seems. I’m in control of how I view and respond to things. Whenever something gets to be too much, just let it go. If there’s a grudge that you’re holding on to, let it go. Life is meant to be lived abundantly.
3. I am magical. Being a mother (especially a single mother) means you have to make things happen. When no one else is around, you still have to provide for your child. They don’t understand when you don’t have the money to buy the toy they randomly ask for in the store. They don’t understand why you can’t take them on expensive play dates. Raising my daughter has shown me that I can do some pretty good tricks. Never has she gone without and I thank God daily for His grace. She depends on me and I depend on God. Together, we make magic happen.
4. Submit to the process. In a previous blog post, I talked about my journey into accepting motherhood. For a while I rejected my role because of the changes I had to make and the guilt I felt because I became an unwedded young mother. It wasn’t until I fell deeply into my role as a mother that I was able to enjoy the pleasures of the gift of motherhood. Raising her taught me to submit, stop running and to stop trying to be in control of things I couldn’t control. This mindset shift worked across the board. No matter what area of my life is demanding me to shift, I’ve learned to submit fully to the process.
5. I mean the world to someone. Being a single mother, it’s perfectly normal to feel like you don’t matter or that you’re not enough. After having a failed relationship with her father, it was easy to slip into the idea that no one really cares about me. Even when it comes to social media status, competition, climbing the ladder in my career, it’s hard to stay positive and feel like your work is relevant or that you have a place in the world. But when I am fully invested in my daughter; whenever I’m feeling low, I know that there is someone who thinks I am all that and a bag of chips honey! That person is my daughter. I could do no wrong in her eyes. She depends on me and I am here to be all that she needs. That is what makes being a mother so worth it. Having someone who believes in you no matter what makes my worst days turn bright.
This weekend we overdosed on candy, popcorn, cake, sherbet, fruit and then some. Now that my daughter is older, she was able to really understand and enjoy her birthday celebration. We had a pool party this year and there was a water fight too! Check my Instagram feed and stories @AllThingsChrys for photos from the party. I’m so grateful that God allowed us to see another year with her, to celebrate her life and the lessons that have come along with her. Happy 5th Birthday to my big girl!
peace + blessings.