Passionate About Columbia SC
and the Moms Who Live Here

Mom By Default

mom by default

Sometimes I wonder if I’m only a stay-at-home mom by default.

Because I failed at everything else.

I don’t really recall ever wanting to do anything other than sing and write, and I’ve never really had the courage to pursue my dreams.

Everything I’ve ever wanted has always seemed too far out of reach for me so I just … quit. Tennis, track, gymnastics (okay I got pretty hurt so maybe that one doesn’t count), violin, swim team … I gave them all up one by one.

At the end of the day all I ever really wanted was a family and someone to show me love.

My Childhood and How it Shaped Me

I don’t come from a very emotional family, and if I had a dollar for every time they hugged me or told me they love me, I’d be pretty broke. I can’t walk up to either one of my parents and put my arm around them and tell them I love them. It would be the most stiff, awkward thing you’ve ever seen.

Once I got to a certain age I just craved someone. A physical touch. Someone to tell me they loved me. It’s pretty hard to love yourself when the two people who should love the most don’t utter those three important words. I never doubted their love for me, but to not ever hear it or have someone hold you … it does something to you. It leaves a big gaping hole that longs to be filled.

Life as a Teenager … Going No Where Fast

Once I got to high school I had already quit so many activities, and I was on the fast track to becoming nothing. My parents were so disappointed in my lack of interest and ambition … and I was so angry at them.

Life at home was no cake walk. On top of the lack of affection they showed towards me, they fought … a lot. Their fights were so violent and scary that it was hard to be a “normal kid” going to school everyday and looking towards the future. What future?! I didn’t see a future. All I saw was an endless black pit.

Remember that love and attention I was looking for? Well I found it alright … in all the wrong places.

Then I dropped out of high school. Yep, I sure did! I homeschooled my last year of school but it wasn’t the same. I didn’t get to walk with my friends. I didn’t get a cap and gown. To this day seeing graduation pictures and diplomas breaks my heart. It’s hard to feel enjoyment for anyone else when I’m so sad for what I lost.

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I felt so alone … all I wanted was love and approval from my family

College … Still Struggling

I went off to college already broken. I was pre-med … but I hated math and science. So I switched to English … that didn’t stick neither. I settled on Psychology … but it was just a title I declared to continue my studies.

Three different majors, and this was all in the first year. I still wasn’t seeing the bigger picture. I just don’t think I could.

After the first year I was placed on suspension. I failed every single class except for psychology. Eventually I was able to enroll in two different schools at different times to try to get my grades up. I was doing well but decided to take a break.

Well you know what happens all too often when someone takes a break … it becomes permanent.

And you know those papers you have to sign for your student loans? Yeah, I didn’t realize you had to pay it back monthly. My loan defaulted, and even if I wanted to go back I couldn’t. Any dreams I had of getting ahead were gone.

But that family I always wanted? That didn’t require a degree.

Becoming a Mother … Learning to Parent When Mine Failed Me

I’m not saying I don’t like being a mother or that I don’t want to be a mother. I can’t imagine doing anything else. But sometimes (or all the time) when I sit back and think about my life, I feel like I’m only a stay-at-home mom because I literally failed at everything else.

I feel lucky that I ended up with an amazing family and wonderful kids that I wouldn’t trade for anything. But I also feel like a part of me tries to make up for where my parents failed me.

I have a very cuddly husband and that’s hard to get used to. I’m not used to people hugging me and being there when I need someone. It’s been an adjustment. When my oldest tries to cuddle, sometimes I freeze because I don’t know how to respond. I feel like everything I do is a conscious effort to get it right because I’ve already failed at everything else.

Motherhood, my family, the love I have for my kids and the legacy I want to leave with them … I am more than a mom by default. It is my choice. I am older, wiser, and have a better understanding of the factors and mistakes that have made me into the person I am today.

I can’t fail at this too.

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