The One Thing

The One Thing: Children, Challenges, & Change

April 2, 2015
*Today’s post is a guest post, written by Bijee from The Reflections of a Good Woman.
Being young and searching for love can place you in some compromised situations, especially if you don’t even know that’s what you are doing. Growing up with a strained mother/daughter relationship, an absent father, and low self-esteem is breeding ground for… well, almost anything. By the grace of God I got none of what I deserved for the things I was doing, but at the age of 21 I did get a new responsibility, a new identity, and a new name – MOM! 
When I found out that I was going to be a mother, everything in me changed. Although there were people around me telling me that if I had a baby as an unwed, undecided college sophomore/4th year student (you do the math), I was going to ruin my life. The reality though was that if I didn’t have my baby, my life would be ruined. Without going into too many details, I was on a downward spiral and fast. When I got pregnant it felt like the brakes halted everything and then gave me new direction. 
My motivation and drive changed, I had goals, and I had some people to prove wrong. It took me awhile but not only did I finish school, I went on to get my masters and graduated with a 3.9 GPA. It was then that I discovered my love for writing. All of this, coupled with the fact that I was marrying my long time best friend, gave me a confidence boost like no other. But around that time is when things got hard again. The thing that had changed me, and had begun to make me better, was now the hardest thing I ever had to do. Parenting my daughter was a struggle. The co-parenting, the decision making, and the constant reminders and reflection of the person I was and had changed from, was looking back at me in the person I changed for. I wanted to give up, and I even tried a few times, but I kept fighting. In the midst of the struggle of parenting my daughter, I wanted to give my husband a child. He was so good with (our) my daughter but had his own struggles with it, and seeing me deal with all that I had to, I just knew that having another would be the thing that brought us all closer and seal the cracks. 
But it always gets harder before it gets easier… 
After having our son and moving into our new home, life became beyond hard – it was a blur (no exaggeration). Here was a kid who didn’t sleep, EVER, and while I know I cannot fully convey to you what this is like or how hard it really was, when I say he didn’t sleep, I don’t mean that he woke often at night. I mean – he did not sleep through the night until a month before his first birthday. He was sleepy, he just wouldn’t sleep – day or night. He, in turn, cried often because he was tired and irritable, very hard to satisfy. We were going crazy. I often felt like I was being punished for having another kid, knowing I had issues with my one, knowing I had growing to do, healing to do, forgiving to do, in parenting her. 
As I stand now, my children are 11 and 2. They have been my greatest, clearest, most revealing mirrors – both in their own way and right. They have forced me to grow beyond measure, they have shown me what a fight really is, and they have motivated me more than they will ever know. Recently, we lost my sister in law and from that loss, our family gained another child. We are the ultimate blended family. I still haven’t smoothed out being the parent of my two, and at first I really thought God was punishing me, yet again. But the more and more I pray about and through this, I realize He is increasing my territory and giving me more because of what I am doing with what I have been given.
I am not the greatest mom, probably never will be. I don’t cry on the first day of school, I don’t get mushy when they do something cute, I don’t spend every waking moment loving being a mom. The reality is, I do a lot of things wrong. I have to pray for another chance to ‘get it right’ often. I need quiet time so I put them to bed on time, every time, and sometimes early. But I love them. With everything I have. I want to be better so that they can be great. I want to be better so that they know that I tried to love each of them the best I could and gave them individually what they needed to be successful. I get overwhelmed by the responsibility, but I honestly don’t know what I would be or where I would be if I did not have each and every one of them. They have changed me in some way. They have given me a different view of the world and perspective on life. They are each my one thing.

You can follow along in Bijee’s parenting adventures (and so, so much more) here: 
*Today’s post was a guest post, written by Bijee from The Reflections of a Good Woman. If you are interested in sharing w/ Ember Grey readers The One Thing that inspires you or has changed you for the better, you can find more info here.  

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  • Emily! Thank you again for the opportunity to share!!

  • This is so inspiring! Loved your story Bijee!

  • This is so beautiful and honest. I so often worry about the mom I'll be some day but Bijee is such an inspiration with her strength and faith. Love this.

  • Thank you Carissa! Probably one of the most honest things I have written. While being in the middle of it, I find that writing about it, helps me reflect and continually grow through it. I am glad you enjoyed!

  • Audrey, thank you!
    Just the fact that you think about it means that you will more than likely do your best! and I am realizing that is really all that any of us can do. I never thought about being a mom before it happened, wasn't even sure I wanted it to happen, but God said it is so, and he is using me greatly in the midst of it.

  • Oh my gosh. I feel so connected to your second paragraph because I've lived that, too. I admire you and your faith. I'm so glad I came across your story. God bless!

  • What an amazing testimony and story!

  • I am deeply touched by your story. Thank you for sharing your challenges and how you conquer(ed) them with love and passion. It's no easy feat to raise children, not to mention when you were still in school! I really admire your courage and honesty =)

    Juju Sprinkles

  • Shayne,
    It's a rough spot to be in, but I have since learned that God brings us to these places to grow us and for his glory. I don't know how I made it through that time but I am so glad that I did. Be blessed and encouraged!

  • Thank you!

  • Let me say, I love your name!!
    Thank you for the encouragement Juju! It certainly was a hard time, but it has surely made me stronger. I am glad that it touched you.

  • Thank YOU for sharing, Bijee! xo!

  • Same, Audrey 🙂

  • Love this so much! We have extremely similar stories and I have always felt my first daughter truly saved me.

  • Thank you Bijee for the compliment! People have been calling me Juju since, gosh, I don't even remember. Maybe junior high? Anyways, thank you again for sharing this post, I am so happy to see so many responses for your story because it means you have made a difference in so many people's life =)