“…first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage…”Childhood Nursery Rhyme
Remember the nursery rhyme?
This is one of the first lessons I learned about how to “do life”. Three very simple steps – love, marriage, baby carriage – done.
This is how I set out to live my life and it turns out, I was misinformed.
Allow me to back up.
This is what my life looked like:
Anyone who knew me through these times (the first 35 years) would have seen nothing but a disaster waiting to happen. I was quiet, shy, insecure and desperate for someone to see me.
My mother died when I was 6 months old leaving my three sisters and I homeless during one of the worst winters in Ontario history. Eventually Children’s Aid discovered us and hauled us off to foster care. The four of us were split into 2 groups; the older 2 remained in foster care until they aged out, while the younger 2 (myself included) were up for adoption.
Life was supposed to be much better with our adoptive parents, but that wasn’t always the case. Dad was an incredible man, but mom lacked empathy and compassion. It was really hard.
When I was 9, Dad had a brain tumor that changed our family completely, and not for the better. I was raped at 14, moved out at 17 and married at 20.
Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage
Love marriage, baby carriage was finally coming true for me. My daughter was born almost on our first wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, by the second anniversary, the marriage was over, so I left.
I ran straight into the arms of a man who said all the right things. He treated me with respect & dignity. I was finally loved, really loved and appreciated. We had daughter number 2 and life went down hill from there.
I suffered a broken neck (at the hands of a professional) and was laid up for almost a year. This year showed my the kind of relationship I was in and it was horrible, so this time, I kicked him out.
While trying to navigate life as a single parent, I ran into an old classmate and quickly developed a relationship. This was the worst one yet and after a year, I sent him packing.
Back to life as a single parent. My theory was “3 strikes & you’re out” so I quit. I was convinced that I would just focus my attention on my girls and die a lonely old woman.
Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage
My girls almost simultaneously got sick. The older on was struggling with a series of serious medical issues and the younger one with mental health issues. This almost broke me. It was terrifying to watch both girls struggle and feel so helpless. I was quickly burning myself out trying to be what each of them needed me to be. I was fighting everyday to keep both of them this side of the grass. It was exhausting.
Then I read a quote that said:
This became a turning point for me!! I began to look at my life, my behaviours, my choices and patterns of self-destruction were emerging.
I had spent my entire life waiting for someone to rescue me. Every time things got tough, someone showed up to save me. I had never saved my self.
It’s not our job to fix our children, it is our job to teach them how to fix themselves.Unknown
This was it!!! I was never taught to fix myself, I was taught to wait for someone to fix it for me. I was teaching my girls the same thing!! This was a massive gut punch.
This was the catalyst to my personal growth. I made the one single change that completely altered the course of my life.
The nursery rhyme wasn’t completely wrong. The first step was almost right, but the other steps can happen in any order you please.