By Latasha McGill
Being a mother is one of my greatest accomplishments. I adore my daughters and I’m proud of the beautiful young women they are becoming. Now that they are no longer children, I am enjoying this new season of my life. When I log off from work at the end of the day, I go to the gym, cook if I feel like it, watch TV or do anything else that I want to do until I go to bed. When my daughters were children, my schedule was not as carefree because I had to attend to their needs (as any good mother would).
When my youngest daughter left for college, many people applauded me for being a “young empty nester.” I heard comments like, “now, you can be grown-grown.” I have received many compliments and encouraging words for being a single mother who did my best to raise good, healthy, productive children. I am grateful for the kind words and compassion. I do enjoy my new freedom of not having all the responsibility I had for years. It’s rather nice not having four children asking me what’s for dinner at 8:00 in the morning, combing hair every night, and being a live-in taxi driver. So, yes, I am enjoying doing things for myself because I’ve earned it and I deserve it. But please understand, I went through a lot of difficult times as a young mother. Most people saw me as strong, independent, and making it happen for me and my girls. What they didn’t see were the constant shedding of tears, years of struggling, and the mental and emotional turmoil I was battling. I was a mother of four at 25 years old. I became a parent at the age of 17. I was a child having children. While I do believe I was growing up at the same time my daughters were growing up, I wish this were not true.
Social media is a hub for every aspect of life; good or bad. Lately, I’ve seen conversations belittling women for waiting until they are older to have children. I really wish people would stop policing women’s wombs (That’s a blog for a different day). I see nothing wrong with women having children in their mid-to-late 30s and 40s. Some of my high school classmates have toddlers and young children. I think it’s adorable. I feel as though I am a much better mother now because I am older, I am more mature, settled, financially stable, and more mentally, emotionally, and spiritually stable. As a young mother, I was always edgy about one thing or another because I had so many decisions to make which usually meant sacrificing one thing or another. I was constantly trying to figure out how I was going to be in two places at one time, or how can I make $20 last until the next payday. I think it’s wonderful that women aren’t rushing into motherhood. Why not travel, establish yourselves and know who you are before you become responsible for another life? I had no clue who I was in my 20s or 30s and I didn’t have the time to figure it out. Because my children needed me, and I had to do the best I could to be their mother. It is a blessing to be a mom. My children and I have a close relationship. I try to impart them with wisdom that I did not have at their ages. I teach them skills and give them tools that I learned through experience that wasn’t taught to me.
When I see women my age with children or talking about having children, it makes me smile because it’s a blessing to be a mom. Women should not be made fun of because they decide to wait to have children. Furthermore, you never know what a woman must go through to become a mother. The process is a journey for some. So, sis, if you are 45 years old at your baby’s kindergarten graduation, count it all joy because your baby will not care about your age. They will only be concerned with the amount of love you give them and what kind of snacks you pack in their school bag. (Smile)
Latasha McGill is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Tasha Mac is a mom of four adult daughters, a vegan, and a workout junkie who lives by the mantra Whole Person Healthy. It is her journey of total wellness in all areas of life. She enjoys encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring people to discover their own journey of total wellness and seek wholeness and freedom every day. Her favorite guilty pleasure is veggie chips with hummus or guacamole.