live in the moment

‘Are you married? Children?’ Their faces fall. They question what’s wrong with me. Come up with creative ideas to fix my situation. Not ONE person offers a congratulations.’ 33-year-old woman explains why it’s okay to be single and childless

“I had 2 weeks to shove my belongings into trash bags and move out. While my breakup was still fresh, I met friends for dinner. They raised their glasses. ‘Here’s to being 30 and married!’ I noticed whispering, glances my way. They finished with a hurried cheers. ‘Lisa! Do you have any funny dating stories?!’ I drove home in tears, humiliated.”

‘I stood in line, filling the medication that would remove the life within me. I looked at my fiancé. ‘I’m going home and grabbing my camera.’ If I didn’t do this, I’d regret it for the rest of my life.’

“I headed to the hospital. I remember being in the room, feeling blood dripping from my body. I watched my friend’s body bleed simultaneously, signs of life, as she waited to bring her baby into the world. A life leaving and a life beginning all in the same room at the same moment. I was transfixed.”

‘An overwhelming feeling came over me. I put my car in park and ran upstairs. After 20 seconds, a faint line appeared. Suddenly, I am bawling. I told myself to calm down.’

“The timer went off. I patted my belly. ‘You did it! Well done!’ It was time to take the first step in doing what I’d been thinking about for quite some time. When the nurse walked in with those papers, I went straight to the bathroom and sobbed. I walked toward the dreaded exit. I had to say goodbye.”

‘Come feel this,’ the doctor said. I put my hand on her belly. My heart sank.’ Mom recalls daughter’s rare cancer diagnosis after thinking it was just an ‘umbilical cord hernia’

“I snapped the traditional well-check picture of my daughter sitting on the exam table, bragging about our healthy girl. We were about to walk out with a good bill of health when the doctor asked me if I had any concerns. That’s when I remembered her large tummy. He laid her down on the exam table, and his face quickly changed to reflect my concern.”

‘My daughter saw a spa day on TV and asked if we could ‘belax’ and have one too. After some contemplation, I thought, ‘Why not?’

“My daughter’s face was priceless. She squealed just like a sweet little girl you’d see in a movie when I said yes. As mothers, it can feel like we’re barely treading water. But we must also remember that our children need time to self-care too. There’s a universe of emotion going on inside their heads each day that we don’t know about.”

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