I would love for you to able to read this letter at 22, fresh out of university and going through an unplanned pregnancy. I know you can’t see it now, but the series of events related to this pregnancy will be the making of you. Well the making of more than you. A precious little girl too.
To begin, I would like you to know that being pregnant at 22 does not make you look like you are irresponsible or throwing your life away. You do not need to be embarrassed that your contraception failed, or ashamed of your choices. Do not feel the need to justify yourself to anyone. This is your life, nobody else’s, and these choices are personal to you and you alone. There is no rule book to life, you do not have to travel in your 20s, you do need to have your own house to raise a child. You do not need a certain amount of money to be able to support one. You do not even need a partner, cliché as it sounds, all you need is love and honey you have oceans of that.
Now having an unplanned pregnancy will be hard. Along with that you will have to deal with the break up of the relationship with the father of your child. I need you to know that someone ending a relationship with you is not a reflection of you, it does not mean that you did something, it does not mean you are not good enough or somehow flawed. Everyone does not have to want you or like you. YOU just have to like you. I wish I could go back and give you a hug, to tell you all the lovely things my friends have told me since. You are kind, you are loving, you are smart, you are creative, thoughtful, STRONG and resilient. You do not need a man to raise a child, and being with someone just because you have a child with them is never a good enough reason to continue a relationship. There will be a time you are happy the relationship ended when it did. Trust me. There will be a time when you are happy on your own. You will even happily co-parent your daughter with your ex. You will all move on and put your daughters needs first. The pieces will fit.
You will be scared of being a single mother. You will worry about how it will affect your child, wonder will you be enough, wonder how you will manage. In reality, being a single mother will be some of the most precious and joyful years of your life. You will come out of that era confident and full of clarity. Never again will you feel like you need the approval of others to feel secure. You will be so happy in your bubble with your daughter and your family and friends that you will consider whether you would ever even want to have another relationship. You will realise you do not need a relationship to be happy. You do not need an ‘other half’ You are whole alone. Even if you’re not really alone, as there are little eyes always looking up to you.
You once thought that being a single mother would mean that no man would ever want you again. But you have so many good qualities that make you desirable, having a child does not wash them away, if anything, your child will make them shine, and despite not needing anyone, you will find someone. And they will love your daughter just as much as they love you. They will respect you more for the sacrifices you have made, for the mother that you are. You will wear your title of mother as a badge of honour. Mommy will be the best name you have ever been called. Believe it or not, you will even have two girls calling you that someday.
You are going to make an amazing mother. The journey is going to be really tough and there will be many bumps. But you will take each one on with a heart full of hope. Have faith in yourself, I know it’s scary to take on all this responsibility and you feel so completely lost but one day you’ll look back and realise that becoming a mother is the closest thing you have ever experienced to pure magic.
P. S. You do not need to take 10 pregnancy tests to find out you’re pregnant, one or two should suffice.
27 year old me xx