There's one great blessing in my life that I feel has managed to erase all the bitterness and pain that I've carried for a while. This grand blessing of mine has changed my life in a way that no one has ever been able to do. My daughter has been my salvation from the very beginning, I just didn't really understand that until very recently.
When we moved back to Laredo in 2009, I was focused on one thing: surviving. Working, making plans for our future, following through with my motherly duties....I was on overdrive, and I wasn't there for her as much as I should have been. Often times, with all honesty, I was overwhelmed. I'd often go visit my mother and cry for hours because I had no idea what I was doing; or even what it was that I was supposed to do. At the time, my daughter was two and a half and I thought she was a handful. In reality, compared to other children, she's a dream. But at that time, I didn't see that.
After moving out of my dad's house, which he thought there was no reason for, I took on a whole new responsibility: providing a homestead for my baby. When I first moved into my place, I felt an instant loneliness settle into the pit of my stomach...and a huge ball of resentment grew in my gut. Resentment towards that crap head of a father I had chosen for my daughter. But I chose not to dwell on that and instead, focused all my energy on making sure that she had all that she needed, and whenever it was possible, whatever she wanted. I had to go to work on disciplining my child in order to make her understand that she wasn't always going to get her way, which was what she had gotten used to at my father's. It took us a loooooooong time, but we were able to finally settle into a friendly living arrangement.
Then we faced the obstacle of her first year of school. All the other 'major' transitions in her life had gone fairly smoothly. She was potty trained in a matter of days. She accepted full-time daycare with a grace that I didn't possess at her age. She had managed to understand that her father was not going to be in her life. That hurt. It was difficult to explain the situation to her and, of course, I explained it in terms that she would be able to understand. It killed me to see the pain of understanding in her eyes, but my little girl is strong and so she was able to deal with the truth. And now, we were facing with the feared first day of school. It was eazy-peazy for her. She took to it like a pro and has managed to do so well at school. I was worried at first because my child had shown signs of being an extreme introvert. Well, I'm glad to say that I found out recently that she's the class 'chatterbox'. At least I don't have to worry about that.
Now, I know what I'm about to say will be shocking to some of you, but it's the honest truth. I recently fell in love with my daughter all over again. I've loved her since the moment she was conceived. I adored feeling her move inside my belly. Seeing her for the first time, it was the most beautiful moment of my life....and the scariest. And the growing pains we've faced together are only a small part of what's to come. I'm fully aware of that. But my daughter and I have managed to reach a point where we actually enjoy being with each other. Her funny faces and silly dances have me cracking up. Her questions are some of the things I fear most because I don't know what's going through her head at times. I'm happy to say, she has no qualms about sharing her thoughts. Her most recent line of questioning was, 'Mom, where do babies come from?' Believe me, I came up with an awesome answer...until she really processes it and sees all the flaws in my story and she'll be back for the clarification. But, that level of communication is something I'm grateful for.
So yes, my relationship with my daughter was not always great but we've managed to work together to get to where we are now. I prefer a million times to be with her than leave her with a sitter and be out about town. I know where my place is and I know who needs me the most. My mom constantly hounds me about how I'll never find anyone stuck at home, or at her house, or at my dad's and frankly I don't care. When it comes to men, I'm very picky with who I get involved with; whether it be for a friendship or a relationship. Dating is extremely difficult when a child is involved. I'm not going to put my daughter at risk just because sometimes I get lonely. But when those nanoseconds come around, I cuddle up with my baby and put on a good cartoon and the feeling is erased.
When I get overwhelmed by life and it's unexpected chaos, I take comfort in knowing that I have my daughter who tells me, 'I love you, mom'. Those words and her sweet smile is more than enough to give me strength to try my best to give her all that she deserves. Not in material things but by my attention, affection, and the great love I have for her.
No matter what I have to do, I'll do in order to make sure my daughter is protected and happy. What else is a parent supposed to do.