Two Pink Lines
If you consider the age of 19 still a teenager, then that was me. Sitting on the bathroom floor, staring at a pregnancy test, and feeling the floor sway beneath me.
I had just completed my first semester of college, and was planning to go abroad after summer break. That in itself was breaking from the norm and felt drastic for me. Growing a child….that was unfathomable.
How’d I get here though? Let’s rewind.
I met Casen the first day of seminary in my senior year of high school. (Seminary is an early morning optional religious class.)
I was writing a missionary and Casen knew that. So during our first four month of senior year we became friends...then best friends...and then I unknowingly fell for him.
As you may have guessed, over a year and a half, I no longer was writing a missionary. I wanted a future with Casen, but we both knew we were young, lived hundreds of miles apart, and felt no rush to get married. We want to “find ourselves” before we become united. Hence, he was planning to go into the Marines and I to Europe.
I laugh at this now (and you can too), because that certainly didn’t go as planned.
It’s also important to note that all throughout my life, I was very involved with my church. I went to almost every activity, class, event, choir meeting… the whole nine yards. Not to mention, my father was presiding bishop for the majority of my time in highschool.
The Fall Out
So when news broke about an unexpected pregnancy, you can imagine the ripple. The shame, whispers, guilt, and judgement was thick.
This isn’t meant to undermine the wonderful support I did receive. So many people showed up for me, and I can’t thank them enough for that.
But for the majority of the time, it was lonely. I often relate this time to a static radio. People buzzed around me constantly in whispered voices and rumors, but rarely did I personally receive feedback.
There was next to no congratulations or happy embraces which was hard for me considering a new baby is always a blessing in my mind. A miracle despite the surrounding circumstances.
But I don’t blame anyone for acting as they did. I recognize it was a scandalous situation, but there is certainly room for growth for how we react to these types of taboo life events .
Becoming a Mother
Motherhood wasn’t something I was necessarily prepared for.
It fell upon my shoulders like the first snow of winter. I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I knew that the new role would blanket my persona, adding an entire new layer to who I was and would be. But just like the first snow, it felt as if my new role came out of nowhere. Always a possibility, sure, but never expected so soon in my season of life.
This didn’t mean I didn’t feel the gravity of the situation. Oh no, I would admit to quite the opposite. Many days I sat there and listed the things I felt like I needed to become within the 9 short months before I gave birth. I felt behind. Inadequate. Scared that I wouldn’t amount to the picture perfect mother I had envisioned myself being.
Other days, I was excited and hopeful.
Funny enough, I struggled with the guilt of being happy. That somehow being excited for this chapter made me irresponsible since so many around me were doubtful that I could do it. Let alone that my marriage would last.
It was plain hard. A bittersweet time in my life. The last month of my pregnancy, I finally allowed myself to feel the gamet of my emotions. Alone in a 900 sq foot apartment, I let myself cry and feel what I was scared to feel for months prior. I let myself absorb my feelings instead of burying them. Honestly, it was a pivotal moment to my own healing.
A Miracle Moment
While the following part is especially cheesy, it was needed. I sat cross legged on my living room couch, aching from Braxin Hicks, and talked to my baby girl, Zara. I promised her that I wouldn’t be perfect, but I would do everything in my power to be everything I could be for her. On the outside I’m sure this first display of motherhood may have looked foolish. Cringy even. But it was a miracle moment for me.
I let go of expectations. I let go of my fear. I let go of so much pain and uncertainty. I finally accepted myself as I was right then because I knew that was the ONLY way I could move forward. No longer a young girl scared out of her mind, but a mother, a role model, and someone full of hope for the future.
I’ve now been married for almost four years, and have a vivacious three year old. I look back on the beginnings of my motherhood journey and I am grateful for the grace I gave myself.
Trust me, there were plenty of times I leaned on heaven as I relearned who I was and how to balance being a mommy and everything else I am. But through my faith and relationship with my Savior, I learned to love myself through periods of transition.
Motherhood may come naturally to some but it is still a challenge for most.
I’ve come to find that there’s a lot of self work that comes with being a mother. We have to evolve and trust ourselves. This is why building a solid support system consisting of your Heavenly Father, family, friends, and even our Miriia motherhood group is so important. Our evolution doesn’t not happen overnight and having people around to keep you standing, focused, and reminded that you can do it is crucial.
If you’ve made it this far…
1. Thank you. My journey to motherhood wasn’t perfect, but it is still worthy of love and appreciation as is yours.
2. If you’ve ever felt like 19 year old Tiffany, doubtful & scared, know that I believe in you. No one can be a better mommy for your kiddos than you. You’ve got this and remember to be kind to yourself along the way.
Onward and upward,