I was 21 when I had my first baby, turning 22 the very next day. No matter how many books or articles you read on the subject, nothing prepares you for it. From that first cry, you are thrown into the deep end and there is no other option but to swim.
As a single mother I learned how to be resourceful and always have a Plan B or Plan C to fall back on, because very rarely did Plan A work out.
When they achieve success, you watch from the sidelines and it feels as if your heart might burst from pride. You share in their disappointments and heartaches and it feels like your heart may break.
No matter where in the world they may be, they are resident in your heart and will never face eviction.
Mother's Day memories of little feet tiptoeing around the house, plates and pans banging in the kitchen before being served breakfast in bed. Those memories I'll forever hold dear now that I am alone and my nest is empty. The handmade cards, smiling happy faces, family times dominate my memory bank.
A mother will sometimes have to make difficult choices, will take risks, leave her comfort zone if there's a chance it will benefit her children. They won't always know why you did what you did and made a certain choice. You have to remember that only you knew the big picture, and the small piece they have is seen from their perspective.
The family squabbles and laughter will ensure the house is never quiet, until they have grown up and left the nest and the silence will echo through the empty rooms.
Being a mother isn't always easy, the responsibility of shaping young lives is huge, and doing it all by yourself is even harder. But boy is it worth it! The little grubby hand in yours, the head against your chest, the voice saying, "I love you Momsy," all make the most precious memories to cherish for the rest of your life.
My children gave me the Gift of Love and made me who I am today. A mother first and everything else second.
To my children, I am so proud of every single one of you. We might hardly ever see each other, all of us in different countries, but we'll always be a family and you'll always be loved.
Thanks for the memories!
Cindy Vine is a South African living and working in Norway. She is the author of Hush Baby, Defective, Not Telling and CU@8. All of her books are available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle format.