One of the scariest moments of my life was sitting on the toilet, head in my hands, waiting those tortuous three minutes to finally pick my head up and look at the pregnancy test laying on the counter.
When it was positive, I thought life was over. Even now, seven years later, that feeling of dread sticks with me. An unplanned pregnancy is no joke.
However, motherhood gave me the drive to succeed that I didn’t have pre-kids. Some people put off having children because they want to focus on their career, but I have no doubt my career wouldn’t be where it is if I had delayed having children until my 30s.
Because I had my children early, I honed in on my passions much more quickly.
Because I’ve been “Mom” longer than I’ve had a career, I’ve been able to fit work around my kids versus fitting my kids around my work.
Because I got “knocked up” at 20 , I will be an empty-nester at 40, with a few decades to do what I please without having small children underfoot.
Because my children were delightful little surprises, I’m more nimble and have been able to evolve into someone who can go with the flow.
Because I became a mother early, I got myself on the best birth control my money could buy and have been really purposeful in my health and protecting the reproductive rights of others.
Because my husband and I had kids before we said, “I do,” we were forced to take a good, hard look at our relationship and see if we had what it took to be a great family for our little “surprises.” Fortunately, we did.
Because I had a baby before I was supposedly “ready,” I leaned hard on my support system, allowing me to see my parents in a new light and develop a new relationship with them where I was no longer fighting their every suggestion, but rather seeing they had a lot of wisdom to pass on.
Being a young mom has it’s challenges. But there’s tremendous upside. It’s up to you to find that upside, and cherish the gift you’ve been given. We don’t hear it enough, but becoming a mother is a gift. We don’t treat it like a gift, but it is.
So you see, I have no regrets. I used to. Oh, how I used to wish I had waited. But I realized that all this, becoming a young mom, is part of a much larger plan. My children were no “accidents.” They were meant to come when they did. And whether or not I was expecting them, that has nothing to do with the fact that they have been an incredible blessing in my life.