An Introduction of Me as a Mom

My first son Gavriel and I in 2010. Both infants to life.

My first son Gavriel and I in 2010. Both infants to life.

I was only twenty four years young when I first conceived my first son Gavriel. For some, twenty four is an age where you may already have life figured out and far from making plans to raise a family. For me, twenty four was kind of chaotic and I was still struggling to find myself. I had recently dropped out of uni to pursue my dream of becoming a chef (failing my last semester courses as a result), living alone in an old historical flat in midtown Atlanta and partying every night.

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Disconnected from my family and friends, I stumbled through this period in my life in kind of an existential crisis and waning life purpose. Underneath the persona of a carefree twenty-something socialite was just a lonely and confused girl suffering from mental illness, addiction and toxic relationships.

Then the unexpected happened. It was during this time when I found out that I was pregnant with my first son Gavriel. Although unexpected, it did not shock me. The night before it was confirmed, I had an eerie yet serene dream that I was floating in the deep blue ocean. Above me a majestic blue whale mother and her calf swam ever so slowly above me. As I observed their beauty, a sense of calm came over me and I understood. I just had this “knowing” that a new life was forming within me and that this was all symbolic of my new journey to come.

That experience taught me how powerful the subconscious mind can be. I felt as though my own mind was trying to prepare me into the great changes I was about to experience in my body. I am forever thankful to that dream. The next morning I was ready to face the next nine months of pregnancy in stride. I did not question for a second that this child was meant to be mine.

“That experience taught me how powerful the subconscious mind can be. I almost felt as though my own mind was trying to prepare me into the great changes I was about to experience in my body.”

My days of partying and stumbling through a semi-meaningless life were over. Thanks to Gavriel I found purpose, hope and strength. I cleaned up my act, worked on myself and did everything in my power to become a better mom for him. Of course this wasn’t easy and I made a lot of mistakes too, but deep down inside I was determined to be a parent he could be proud of. I had to make sacrifices that were tough, like giving up my future dreams to be a chef, but in the end it was all worth it.

Graduation day (why do I look so serious?).

Graduation day (why do I look so serious?).

The graduation cap design I created in honor of my children.

The graduation cap design I created in honor of my children.

Fast forward a few years- I gave birth to my second son Uriel in 2012 (we call him Uri for short) and I got accepted back into the university I dropped out from (fun fact- I am a proud alumni to the oldest public university in the U.S.). I graduated with honors and received my bachelor’s just shy of the age of 30.

By the way, I accomplished all of these things single working mother. I don’t know how I did it, but I did with flying colors.

After graduation I got myself into the professional world immediately. I ceaselessly looked for the best opportunities for me- always restless and determined to be “successful.” I also suffered from the need to overcompensate for my insecurity of being a single parent.

Although I know my kids would love me nonetheless, I struggled with guilt when I showed up to parent teacher conferences alone while a “normal” mom and dad couple would walk out from the classroom.

I barely carved out time for myself to achieve what two parents could so that my boys would never be ashamed of me. I obsessed over success. I survived on coffee, practiced terrible self-care and grew increasingly more miserable.

Me working alone in my hotel room on a business trip to Seoul in 2015.

Me working alone in my hotel room on a business trip to Seoul in 2015.

“ I barely carved out time for myself to achieve what two parents could so that my boys would never be ashamed of me.”

Despite all this I somehow still managed to find romance, or perhaps fate would have it that it found me. That “soulmate” relationship eventually turned into a proposal, but unfortunately this engagement to my then-fiance crumbled and ended in heartbreak.

I felt conquered. I went through the normal mourning process but this also triggered the event to which my mind, body and soul finally failed me. I found myself suffering from addiction again, high-functioning depression and anxiety, two severely herniated discs and in extreme physical pain.

Starting this blog was such a great outlet for me. It helped me to express myself better and to know myself better too. Never lose your sense of individuality- even as a mom!

Starting this blog was such a great outlet for me. It helped me to express myself better and to know myself better too. Never lose your sense of individuality- even as a mom!

I had no choice at this point to slow down. The universe, the great unknown, the gods, whatever you want to call it, worked its magic to stop me in my tracks and to just be still. So still I became. I felt all my emotions, looked inwards, reflected, sought therapy and finally decided that it was time for a change. This was my first lesson in living an authentic life.

In 2018 I started this blog to do something just for me as a creative outlet which you can read more about in this feature story of me in VoyageATL magazine. I wanted to create a blog about the one thing I was for most passionate- cooking! Over time I found myself wanting to create more than just recipes and as I evolved, so did this blog. I desired to sharing more snapshots into my life, especially my experiences in motherhood since it is such a significant part of my life. I realized I have overcome so many obstacles by becoming a mom. I learned so much from the experiences of motherhood and I realized I have so many stories I’d like to share. It became my hope to bring some inspiration to other hard-working mothers out there.

In my short journey as a mother I’ve come to learn that a good parent is really just a secure and happy human. Our wholesomeness is what brings a sense of security to our little ones. Thus this requires for all of us to slow down in our hectic and stressful lives, to be still and to take more time to know our ever-changing selves better.

Our small but happy little family today. Gavriel, 8 (top). Uri, 7 (bottom).

Our small but happy little family today. Gavriel, 8 (top). Uri, 7 (bottom).

Today I am still a busy single parent. I am still the head of the household. I am still a hard working career woman but I am a lot more of a relaxed, grounded, genuine version of me. This blog is a tool to help me maintain my authenticity.

I understand now that motherhood is not always about being self-sacrificing and being perfect. It is about being a better (not best) and happier human. It is about being painfully honest sometimes and humble enough to show them it is okay for them to face failures in life, but regardless they will always be loved and enough. It is about being able to share with our children for the inevitable which is our flawed nature, our tendency to make mistakes but the power in learning from them. Like when all us were little, our kids look up to their caretakers for forming a sense of identity and so what version we show ourselves to them is something very important to consider day by day.

I hope this blog will reach you fellow mothers (and future ones too) and provides you with something meaningful. I hope to share more stories about the most important job in the world, being mom. <3

Much love to all you beautiful moms,

Song