In January, my world changed forever when I gave birth to my daughter, Kenia. Thinking back to life without my Pumpkin, it’s almost like I’m looking at the girl I used to be. The odd thing is, I didn’t want children. I wouldn’t deal with a worthless baby’s father—there were too many examples around when I was 18—and I didn’t want to be part of a negative stereotype, we battle the welfare queen trope here in the U.K. as well. I don’t think I’m better than anyone whose had a child on their own, I just wanted different for myself. But let’s just say that Pumpkin’s father is in pursuit of success and like a horse with blinders, his attention is on the race rather than us.
As a single mother, Kenia has only been in my arms for six months but she’s already changed my life, attitude and perspective. For some, motherhood is an easy fit but for me it’s been a tough adjustment.
As a single woman, I loved my sleep and my snooze button. Now, if you asked me the last time I truly felt rested, I’d say about six months ago. The funny thing is, I don’t really feel tired during the day, but when night arrives, that sleepiness hits me like a ton of bricks and there is no snooze button on my Pumpkin. The closest I get to a reprieve is her dummy (pacifier). If I had the money, I would send her to nursery just so I could catch up on my sleep and feel human again.
And my body is another story. Though I didn’t put on my pregnancy weight, I didn’t appreciate my humps before they became lumps. I’m clear that I’ve got awhile before bringing my sexy back. But I’m learning that feeling attractive is a state of mind as well as a physical thing because when my muffin top is protruding over my jeans, I don’t feel like Tyra Banks. However, pregnancy hormones did amazing things for my afro, and that’s not all.
In London, there are 101 things to do and people rushing everywhere, and that energy is just too much now. Keeping up with the newest thing doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve moved to the small town of Bedford and I am a proud country bumpkin living in what I call the Shire. I can walk for an hour and only pass five people. As for work, I still enjoy my job as a Contract Administrator in construction but not the idea of spending the long hours in the office like the pre-motherhood me. Whatever I’d be drafting, reviewing, typing up or organizing isn’t more important than time with my daughter.
When I look back, I have no doubt this is where I am meant to be. I see that bits of my past were preparing me for motherhood. I understand now at 30 years old that the negative connotations of being a single mum are irrelevant, people will always have opinions. But like my favorite quote, ‘Those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind.’ So as I face another restless night knowing I am raising my Pumpkin alone for now, I am contemplating whether having a second child would be such a bad thing.