I am 32 years old, and I have two sons. My oldest is thirteen, and my youngest is 10 weeks old. Being a Mother at nineteen is nothing like being a Mother at thirty two. I often find myself wrapped up in guilt for not being as nurturing, selfless, and patient with my first.
Finding compassion for myself has been something I have worked on over the last few years in therapy. I oftentimes would beat myself up over the things I could not change. My therapist has coached me to find kind things to say in times where I am being hard on myself.
“You were young, and you did the best you could.”
My oldest son is an Angel. I said that from the very beginning. He has grown up to be this kind, and gentle person. He is an empath through and through, and is always thinking about the feelings of others. I am so proud of him, and who he has always been. I received so many compliments over the years on how sweet he is. I was always told “Your son is so well behaved.”
I spent a lot of his upbringing trying to better myself. It was a long road of toxic relationships, and many different jobs all while being a competitive athlete. I took my training very seriously, and sometimes that meant he took a back seat to my very busy training schedule. I poured all of my pain, and heartache into the gym. Sweat, blood, and tears were the healing to my deep, dark pain I felt over the years.
I did all that I could for my son. Sometimes I was single, and just barely scraping by, and other times I was dating losers who didn’t deserve to be apart of our lives. My son definitely saw my pain, and had a front row seat to my many ups and downs. Anytime I was in a depressive state, I would tell him “Mommy is sad. But it has nothing to do with you. I love you so much, and being sad is okay. I will be happy again soon, I promise.” I believe that is why he became so compassionate.
My oldest always wanted his Mommy to be happy, and I always explained emotions to him. But in no way do I believe that is the right way to parent. I believe now that it is wrong to expose your children to adult problems. Kids are meant to live kid lives. They should not be introduced to the pain and suffering of the adults they look up to. I was so young, and constantly putting myself in relationships that wrapped me up in drama, pain, and tears. How can you be the best version of yourself when you can’t create boundaries for the people in your life? This is something I learned in my late twenties and early thirties.
I spent the first ten years of my sons life trying to be the best I could for him. Anytime I had a dream, he was what fuelled that dream. Anytime I wanted something, I put him in the front of my mind, and I would imagine the life I wanted to give him. I desperately wanted him to have the life I knew he deserved, and I kept fucking it up by the relationships I chose to be in, or the time I spent at the gym. That’s where I was the most selfish.
The gym always came first, because without the gym, I was left with a heavy hate for myself because I was nowhere near where I wanted to be. I had to rely on everybody around me to take care of me. If I didn’t have my parents, I would’ve been lost, and maybe even suicidal. I never felt good enough for my son, so in a way, the gym was the only place I felt I had control. I was able to control how hard I worked, and see results through my body, and through the many wins.
Boxing defined me, and everybody that knew me thought I was this badass boxer chick with tattoos. It felt good to have something that didn’t make me feel like a failure. Boxing would continue to teach me discipline, strength, hard work, and helped me become a woman who wanted to be better. Each year I grew more and more away from the destructive young girl, and into the young woman who finally got her shit together.
Here I am, thirty two years old, and have had four years of professional help to get me to where I am. Although I miss boxing, I am coming to terms with the fact that I have outgrown the fighting side of the sport. I could continue to fight, but what for? Fighting in the ring was a way for me to fight my demons. When I finally decided to fight my demons through therapy, I started to love myself outside of boxing. I started to appreciate the training side of it for my well being and mental health, and started losing the love for the fight.
I started realizing that I was in fact a good Mother despite my years of hardships. I began to unravel the pain that lived in my soul, and focused on healing properly. I sought healthy friendships, a healthy relationship, and true love for myself. I have taken on a more mature role in my sons life, and able to show him that I finally grew up and I am able to give him the life he always deserved.