When my daughter was born, her father and I were still together.
We had started out as great friends, and soon, our friendship turned into a wonderful relationship. That relationship eventually resulted in our beautiful baby girl.
Soon though, our relationship began to crumble. I quickly realized that the idea I had had of a happy nuclear family might not come true.
And yet, I had grown up in a single mother household, and I knew I didn’t want my daughter to have that same experience.
So I fought a good fight to keep our family together. Finally though, I knew that in order to maintain my own happiness and wellbeing, we had to separate.
During the breakup, I constantly blamed myself. Some days, I could not face my daughter, because I feared she would think I broke up her family. I had so much anger inside. This wasn’t supposed to be how my life went; I was supposed to break the cycle I grew up in, and to do better for my daughter.
Then one day, I took a step back to look at my baby girl. I suddenly realized that the love I had for her outweighed the anger I had inside. And I had to recognize that we could redefine what family meant to us.
From that moment on, I knew that I would do everything in my power to make sure my daughter experienced what a healthy family really is - even if that family didn’t fit the norm, or the vision I had had for myself.
Summary of Parts I and III: In part one of this series, Sharita shares how she discovered the meaning of being a “good mother”, and in part three, she talks about the importance of self-forgiveness, and the impact of family.