I was a third year uni student when hubby (then boyfriend) and I fell pregnant with our girl. It was a very full on time in our lives, but one that I look back on now and think, “What were we so worried about?!”
One thing that I was worried about, was not succumbing to the stereotype. I was so determined not to become another young mum. Admittedly, I was exceptionally lucky that I had just happened to be in a relationship with one of the most awesome men on the planet, who when I told him that I was keeping my baby, smiled and said “OK, Let’s do this.”
And that we did. 16 years after our first drunken encounter at the Canberra Black Opal Stakes, we are still going strong and probably more in love now than we ever have been.
And when it came to work, I was determined. When our precious surprise package was 6 months old, I went back to uni. And within 2 years, had completed my degree. I certainly didn’t do it alone. Hubby had continued on at uni as if nothing had ever happened. I remember him sitting on our second hand lounge, at a coffee table that we had picked up off the side of the road, studying for his fourth year exams in a double degree in Actuarial Studies and Commerce, complete with a newborn baby being burped over his shoulder. Serious champion.
My brother moved in with us, and we organised our uni timetables around each other so that he could watch our gorgeous girl while I attended tutes and lectures during the day.
My amazing friend, worked casual teaching days, then would race to our dingy little townhouse in Canberra, to babysit so that I could make my night lectures.
And with my village working hard around me as support, I completed my degree, got a job straight out of uni, and with a three year old in full time care, proved to them all that I wasn’t just another teen mum.
And now here we are.
And then, in a casual coffee catch up recently, a friend said something to me that changed it all.
“Wow, in 4 years, she’ll be gone”.........And I was floored.
I have spent so much time proving everyone wrong, that now here I am, with a nearly 14 year old, who has known nothing else except a full time working mum who is always rushed and busy. And then someone says one simple sentence to me….and it knocks me for six. I don’t get this time back. Once she walks out that door, I can guarantee that our dedicated and driven girl will hit the ground running. Probably without looking back. Heck, she is already planning her gap year, dancing and singing her way across Europe with her best friend….No, I really can’t see her hanging around King Creek all that long once those HSC results come in.
Can you tell that I’m having a major panic attack?! A panic attack that has lasted the last four weeks!
And so with that one comment, my life has been turned on its head. It’s made us think about the next four years. What do we want that to look like? What is our main priority? What is my main priority?
When our girl was a baby, we heard the old cliche over and over again. “Enjoy it now, because it goes so fast.” And in our sleep deprived haze of broken nights, sore and leaky boobs, vomit, poo and catnaps, we scoffed.
But you know what? They were right.