Monday, March 10, 2014

The Truth About Being a Young Mother and Wife

Someone told me the other day, "You make being a young mom look so easy." She also told me that I was "living her dream life." While I was flattered by her sweet comments, I immediately told her that it is not as easy or as glamorous as it looks. That is why I want to tell you the truth about being a young mother and wife and that although I am very thankful for where I am now, I would not wish for my worst enemy to go through what I have been through.

There are a hand full of people who have seen just a glimpse of what being in my shoes is like. But for those who only know me through social media, they only see the happy and "photo-worthy" times in my life. They don't see the times when I wanted to pull my hair out due to stress or frustration from raising a little boy. They haven't seen pictures of being up all night with a baby and what results from lack of sleep and stress within a marriage. While I completely love and adore my son and my husband, I would not advise or wish anyone to have a baby at 18 or get married at 19, and here is why-

1. I am one of the rare few who have family who has not only had the time to support me and my family, but they also have had the means to do so as well. Although Tyler and I are currently supporting ourselves, when we first started out we had to have a lot of financial help from our families. We have come a long ways since 2011, but not very many people are as fortunate as we were in having both of our families there for us to help with Sawyer, as well as the financial aspect of things in the beginning.

2. Mine and Tyler's relationship will never be the same as it was "pre-baby." I will always love Tyler, but I'm not going to lie, these past 3 years have put a lot of stress on our marriage. We are not the same people that we fell in love with in high school, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But because we are different people now, we have to try every single day to make our marriage work. Some days are a real struggle to even have a conversation with each other because of all that is going on in our lives. To be honest with you, I am not sure if Tyler and I would even still be together if Sawyer wasn't in the picture. I am sure I am raising some eyebrows right now because I said that, and that's okay. I am being real with you and if that causes some people to judge then so be it. What I can tell you is that my love for Tyler is completely different than what it was when we were in high school. In high school, the majority of the love I had for him was infatuation. I was "in love" with Tyler Hollister the moment I set my eyes on him in Middle School. But that wasn't love, it was lust and infatuation with a very attractive boy. My love for Tyler, now, is due to respect for what he did for me and Sawyer. He did not have to give up his entire life at Lee University and come back home to be with me and the baby in the fall of 2010. He did not have to sacrifice all that he sacrificed in order to keep me and Sawyer in his life. He chose to give up all of that and that is why I love and respect him the way I do. No matter what happens to us in the future, I will always have respect and love for Tyler because he chose to be a man and do the right thing in a not-so-ideal situation.

3. Being a young mother and wife puts more stress on you than you can possibly imagine. For one, it causes physical stress on you. I mentioned in earlier posts that my body will never be the same that it once was before I had Sawyer, and that's the truth. I actually weigh less than I did before I got pregnant, but that is part of the physical stress I am talking about. Because I am always on-the-go, or constantly having to do something, I have found myself having barely enough time to eat some days. I have had to make time for myself to eat in order to stay healthy for myself and for Sawyer. Having a baby at a young age also causes mental and emotional stress on you. Although I was never diagnosed, I am pretty sure I had what is called, "postpartum depression," and if untreated it can lead to serious issues. At one point I was diagnosed with insomnia and had to take very heavy sleeping medications in order for me to even fall and stay asleep. I also had insanely bad mood swings. These mood swings had started to affect my relationship with my family and my husband. There would be times that I was happy and okay, then all of a sudden I would be in the worst mood and couldn't even stand to be around my own family. I remember one time a couple of years ago, I could not even go to a family birthday party because I felt so horrible inside. I literally felt like a prisoner in my own body because I wanted so badly to just be happy. I am in control of my physical, emotional and mental stressors today because I have found a good balance in my life. But everyday is a challenge for me and I will more than likely be facing these challenges for the rest of my life.

I know that some people will be shocked when reading this and that is okay. I want to be real with you about what I have experienced and been through in order to help others. You don't have to get pregnant and/or get married at a young age to be happy or successful. Although I wouldn't trade Sawyer or my marriage with Tyler for anything in the world, I would not want anyone to go through the stress that I have been through. Just because it may look like my life is perfect through the viewfinder of social media, understand that it is far from it. Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with where I am in my life and I am blessed with an amazing son and husband. I may have gotten off easy with having Sawyer because he is an absolutely amazing boy. But he is human and has his days where he isn't perfect (like the rest of us). There are times where I want to pull my hair out because he makes me so frustrated, but at the end of the day I know that he is making me a stronger and better person. I don't want you to think that I am not happy with my life, because that is not what I am trying to communicate through this entry. I am trying to get people to realize that things like having a baby or getting married, no matter what age, are LIFE CHANGING events and are to be taken very seriously before making those decisions. If the three points I mentioned above do not sound like something you see yourself having to go through, then I strongly suggest you wait before having a baby and/or getting married. Also, if you are currently expecting a baby or are about to get married, I don't want to scare you. Although I am being realistic with you in this entry, I want you to know that through God, all things are possible. You may have some stress in your life once you get married or have your baby, but in my opinion, stress is a good thing. Stress is what makes you grow as individuals and we need that in our lives to become better individuals for the cause of Christ. Also, there is no such thing as a "perfect life." The grass is always greener on the other side and it is important to re-evaluate what the Lord has blessed you and your family with before saying, you wish you had someone else's life. 

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