I always thought that I would truly feel like a woman on the day I left school, the day I started my first job, the day I turned 18. However, throughout all of these experiences although I felt like I was growing as a person, I know that I was still just a girl.
The first day I felt like a woman was the day on which I extracted myself from an abusive four year relationship and felt free. The day on which I had the courage, despite my low self esteem and no belief in myself, to walk away from something bad to start again.
I had been 16 when I entered a relationship with an older man, 12 years my senior. I was young and impressionable and seemed to believe every single line that was fed to me. Things were fun at first but then things started to go south very quickly. He was jealous and I was constantly having to defend myself, first my clothes, then my whereabouts, eventually down to having to avoid eye contact with any other male individual whilst in public. It then became physical to the point where my cheek bone was cracked.
Most people reading this will wonder why I lasted out four years in this relationship. I do not have the sort of personality to put up with stuff like this. All I can say is that until you have experienced being in this sort of relationship you cannot judge and you cannot know. I was told so often that I was worthless and I deserved to be treated badly that I came to believe it.
But eventually I had the courage to break free, to believe in myself, to find my freedom. It sounds crazy but I think passing my driving test was the nudge I needed to know that I didn’t need to be in that relationship. It is, without doubt, the best thing I have ever done.
I knew when I walked away that I was now a woman. I had experienced “grown up” things and lived some life.
A lot of people I have spoken to said that they didn’t feel any different following their wedding day. I woke up on my first day as Mrs feeling absolutely terrible with a stinking hangover – my wedding day had been amazing and I had overindulged at the evening reception with far too much wine.
However, I did feel different. I felt like me and Scott were in an elite club with only two members. I felt like the whole world revolved around us two and our little world. We spoke about nothing else but the wedding for weeks afterwards and basked in the gorgeous day we both had and our individual and joint memories.
My first day as a wife was a fantastic one.
The birth of Lenny was, of course, the most amazing experience that has ever happened to me. I felt in awe of my strength and the strength of my body. I felt so in love with this new person that was so amazing and incredible and made by myself and my husband. But that wasn’t the day I first became a mother.
The day I became a mother was the day I saw my little 8 week old babies heart beat on the monitor. From that day forward I felt protective, I felt responsible and I felt like the single only thing that mattered in the world was my baby. From that day onwards I spent the majority of my day thinking about the little person growing inside me or planning for the babies arrival, but generally just making sure that every single thing I did kept my baby safe and was in my babies best interests. Thats when I became a mother.