Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Let's be real.

I hope you will take the time to read this long post of mine.
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I have wanted to address a certain topic for a while now, but haven't mustered up enough courage or found the right words to say. This subject can be sensitive to alot of people and some may or may not take it the wrong way. I will do my best to explain my feelings with keeping everyone else's feelings in mind. But just know, that I have an open mind and am not suggesting one way or another, or telling people what they should or shouldn't do. I am simply just sharing my feelings.
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With that being said, I will start with an experience that I had a few months ago that my mind hasn't been able to let go of since. A girl I know (let's call her "A") told me that one of her friends ("B") was pregnant. This was an unplanned surprise to everyone, even the pregnant girl. "A" told me that "B" was planning on keeping the baby and being a single mom, and the father would be out of the picture. Long story short......"A" starting talking about how "B" always looks at my pictures with Ellie and sees how happy I am and how our situation turned out to be good and that it gives her hope.
I could not believe what I was hearing. I was in shock. I told "A" that I really wanted to talk with "B" to comfort her and be there for her (coming from the same situation myself) but most of all....let her know that yes, she might see all the happy, fun pictures of Ellie and I-because we definitely do have fun, happy times! But, that having a baby so young and especially being a single parent is not all that blissful all the time.
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Let me explain...I got pregnant unexpectedly before I was married. Ben and I looked into an adoption agency and looked through dozens of couples' portfolios. We even picked out possible parents for Ellie. I prayed and prayed for an answer with what to do with this child. I eventually came to the conclusion that I felt like I would have regretted placing Ellie for adoption. Nothing against adoption....I feel like adoption is such an amazing blessing for everyone involved. It blesses the lives of couples who aren't able to have children, and also shows incredible strength, courage, and selfless love towards the mother for placing her child for adoption. I have incredible respect towards mothers who give their child a life that they felt they could not give to their child.
Ben and I decided to keep Ellie. It was a hard decision, but we felt it was what we should do.
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I have a hard time talking about my feelings that I have had since Ellie has been born. I feel extremely blessed to have her in my life. Since having her, I cannot imagine my life without her! Children are incredible blessings and are wonderful, amazing beings that enrich our lives to another level. Of course after having Ellie, I am glad that I kept her. But who would be mad that they kept their child?
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I am telling you all of this to set some things straight. Having a child this young isn't all happy-go-lucky. Of course babies are Fun! They are cute and once you have one of your own, you will understand that you just want to take a picture of every little thing that they do. Ellie and I have alot of fun times together, and I love sharing them. BUT...that does NOT mean that raising a child at a young age, (let alone any age!) isn't hard! I have had so much help and support from friends and family, I don't think I would have been able to do it without them. In fact, I know I couldn't. Babies are extremely expensive and hard work.
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I have realized that I seem to try and convey to everyone how happy and perfect we are, maybe because I don't want people to know the imperfections or the struggles that I have because that makes me look weak, or gives people the right to say, "I told you so!" But in reality, I have realized that I need to show my imperfections, and that it is okay to have sad days and show it. I have had some of the hardest months raising Ellie; seeing all of my friends go to parties or events that I am unable to go to, or having my friends wanting to go see a movie and I can't go because I have a new responsiblity to take care of Ellie, or not being able to spend my paycheck on that cute new outfit for myself because I have to pay for diapers, clothes, day care, medicine, toys, carseats, high chairs, bottles, binkies, doctor bills, hospital bills, insurance, shoes, formula and food for Ellie. Not being able to do or experience alot of the things a normal 21 year old should experience. Not being able to sleep in. EVER. Not being able to keep my dream job.
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I am not perfect. We are not perfect. Nor do I want anyone to think that my life is perfect. I am going to start embracing my imperfections and start writing about them and sharing them. Because that is the real truth.
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Don't get me wrong, I will still post about mine and Ellie's happy times, because we have alot of them! But I don't want anyone to think for a second, that we are perfect or that it worked out perfectly for Michelle and Ellie. Because truth is, it is NEVER easy getting pregnant at a young age. I have come to the realization that neither route you take is an easy one. (adoption or keeping your child.) So the best answer is: safe sex! or birth control! or abstinence!. . . just kidding.......but really i'm not. ;)
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Back to my point. I will state again, that I have an open mind and that I am not suggesting to people one way or another-or telling people what they should or shouldn't do if they were to ever find themselves in this situation. I am simply just sharing my feelings. I want people to know that no one is perfect. No matter how much you think they are, they aren't.
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That is why I LOVE this article called "The Disease called Perfection". My amazing sis-in-law shared it with me, and it hits everything right on the spot. It gave me inspiration to share all of these things that I did. I am going to start embracing my imperfections and my mistakes and stop hiding them. I am going to be real.
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Please take time to read the article HERE.
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I hope that the more I strive to be honest and real... the more comfortable people will feel coming to me and talking with me about their problems, concerns, or feelings.

13 comments:

  1. I just had a little girl 2 months ago and you are right its sooo hard! Luckily I don't have to do it on my own and I can raise her and not work. It makes things a lot easier but like you said it takes so much effort and most days will have bad moments but there are so many happy ones! Good job for saying that!

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  2. YOUR AMAZING...Glad to see you doing better! Your to awesome not to be smiling!! Love ya kid!

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  3. hey sweet girl. i just wanted to let you know that every time i read your blog i think "michelle is such a strong person! i should tell her that." so i'm telling you, finally!
    i admire your strength and i know it can't be easy (because i'm not doing the motherhood thing alone and some days i really don't think i'm going to make it). i hope you don't take this the wrong way, but i can't imagine having to leave my ellie to put food on the table and i wish you could stay home and play (and work, work, work) like i do, because it's the best.
    your openness and honesty is really brave. i wish you all the best and i think you're doing a fantastic job as a mom! (and i wish i could be half as pretty of a mom as you are.)
    wish i could have you both over to play. :) love ya.

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  4. wow Michelle thanks so much for sharing this with us, it's so true everything you just said. Being a single parent or a very young couple raising a child is hard I see it everyday with my nephews but they are sure a blessing and I couldn't imagine having a live without them.

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  5. I love this Michelle. Thank you for sharing the struggles you have to go through in raising a child, especially as a single mom. I'm an only child and I don't have a father, it's just me and my mom; we have the most amazing relationship that parents dream about. I know her life has been so hard because of having a child at 21 years old. I really love that you got up your courage and spoke about how difficult and rewarding parenting can be. I know we have never really talked even though we went to HS together, but I honestly have so much more respect for you. Thank you for this.

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  6. Love the article - so true! and the post. :) Thanks for sharing Michelle.

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  7. I love reading your blog Michelle, you are so honest and so real. I loved this post. Thanks for being such a great example to everyone. Hope all is well.

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  8. the other day i was thinking YOUR thoughts... in a way :) i was looking at pictures (cause come on- thats what i do) and i was looking at loving couples and family and wedding portraits- all so happy and loving. then i think about a wedding i shot the other day and how in between my camera clicking away, the bride rolling her eyes, says she's exhausted and cant wait for this day to be over, etc. it made me think about how one picture can convay one thing but the that very same second- that emotion was forced or unreal. long story short, i'm glad you're being real. we could all use more of it. it is hard to convey the truth but the root of it is that you are happy. you're stressed and thrown under with the constant changes of life- i'm still wrapping my brain around it- but you're content and great mother. thats all that matters. you're stong and i LOVE that you're REAL. **LOVE YA HOT STUFF**

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  9. I love this post michelle! It is so hard to be a parent at any age, and I have so much love and respect for you and what a good job you're doing with Ellie. I'm really proud of you and how brave you've been witht this whole thing. I'm so happy that you have a blog so I can see what's going on with you and Ellie. Love you!

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  10. i love you so much :) i miss you! i'm so glad that you shared this. i will try and relay it to "B" lets run soon.

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  11. I came across you post and appreciate it...I was pregnant at 17 and decided to place my baby for adoption...then...4 yrs later I was pregnant again and not having any plans to get married. A lot of thought and soul searching went on for months until we decided to get married and keep our baby. It has been the best decision. I love being a mom and wife...yet it is hard work. Our kids need advocates to teach safe sex and talk about birth control...abstinence isn’t always going to happen we’re human....thank you again for the thoughts

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  12. I love it! bring on more Real...for all of us! Thanks for sharing. It's amazing what we can learn from each other if we would all just stop "faking it"! :)

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  13. Amen! And you have inspired me to keep it "real" as well. Love you and miss you!

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