“PUSH!!!!!” I pushed with all my being. Feeling my body breaking inside, pain beyond belief, blood pouring out… It had been 36 hours since I walked into this hospital. My vocabulary consisted of 12 words in Spanish. I was in extreme pain, hungry, tired and so fed up. “Just cut her out already” I cried. “Please just release me from this pain!” The doctor looked at me above her glasses. “You’re too tense, she isn’t coming out,” she said. “We’ll need to pull her out with clamps.” Jeez, what was next?!! She placed one foot on my hip, the other on the other hip, then two nurses started pushing down and out on my stomach. I felt myself literally breaking – I really couldn’t take it any longer!!!!
“WAHHHHHH, WAHHHH, WAAAHH” – all of a sudden, she was out! My firstborn child, my beautiful daughter, there she was. I burst into tears and laughter; nothing mattered anymore. I held her close to me, both of us covered in blood, and I swore I would always protect her. Always.
About a year later her father left. By then my second daughter had also been born. I was alone; I was in a new country. I was scared. It’s really difficult being a single mother. Tiring. Frustrating at times. Consuming. My parents lived far away, and I had no friends around, no one to help. On top of it all, I had a stalker harassing me and putting my life, and my children’s, in danger (see previous blogs). But, somehow, I survived – and, most importantly, my children are both happy, healthy little girls, and no harm has ever occurred to them.
I managed to protect them.
I protected them when that crazy stalker was trying to break into our house. I protected them when they fell, when they cried and wanted to know I was there. I protect them still, with all I have. I even protect them from my own pain – when it gets too much and I’m really tired, angry or sad, I wait until they are asleep or away to let it all out… I wasn’t always like this. They changed me. Motherhood does this to you. I went through some intense challenges, and I don’t believe I could have survived without this greater motive. Of course, I was always a “fighter”, a soldier – a strong woman. And before I became a mother, I survived many dangerous situations by myself. But I’d never protected and brought out of ugly situations two little humans without allowing the slightest harm to come to them. Since having my daughters, I’ve found a new strength.
When you become a mother, you gain extra powers. It is like “life” knows you need them, you deserve them now. You can live with little sleep, you can deny your own pain and postpone it for later, you can be much less selfish, at times even selfless. Your life before motherhood seems, all of a sudden, easy – almost too easy. I am not surprised when I hear of mothers who lift cars, run into burning buildings, jump onto train tracks and so on, to save their children. We become superheroes.
My message here is for any mothers out there. It is your duty to protect your children, to equip them with tools for the real world and to make them the best human being possible. But, you also owe it to yourself to protect YOU – whether you are single or not. If you aren’t safe, if you aren’t strong – mentally, emotionally and physically – your children won’t benefit from you as a mother in the best way possible. BE that strong woman. Be able to call the shots, to protect your family. Be an inspiration, a power tower. An example. And, alongside all this, find the time – maybe a secret time, just for you – to let go. To honor yourself, to feel your feelings, to let your hair down. Let it all out.
After all, even superheroes need to recharge.
With lots of love,