When I talked about my history, I didn’t mention my kids. It is because they are entities of their own, with their own emotions and sensations about the world.
That doesn’t mean they don’t play a significant role in my life. On the contrary.
They are my greatest teachers and inspiration for challenging myself.
I don’t want to blend my life with theirs. I wish for each of us to be able to stand on their own, with stability, like a tree. But because we are leaving next to each other, our roots entwine, branches are caressing, and we are enjoying the state of togetherness.
We had kids early. If we were to catch average age of first-time parents, we would have to wait for ten more years. Leo is younger than me, so he just celebrated his 22nd birthday, when he got his first daughter. I was 24.
Leo is coming from a big family. He has three younger sisters and a brother. When we started going out, he was like: “I want to be a young dad!” And I was like: “Whooooaw, slow down crazy!” But he slowly convinced me how important it is to have kids when you are at peak energy. Two years we were together, designing our new apartment when it hit me: “I want a child!” At that time I was finishing my study, and we were planning to travel to Madagascar, where I would write my sociology dissertation. He was thrilled about my sudden insight. So we sat down and discussed which decision to make. Young as we were, we decided to gamble. We said: if I get pregnant the first month when we don’t use protection, then it is meant to be. Otherwise, we’ll go to Madagascar first.
One month later I was pregnant with Lejla.
First I was so happy I couldn’t stop laughing and jumping around. When euphoria reduced, a bunch of fears came and overwhelmed me. With the first pregnancy, true introspection began. Who am I? Why do I feel the way I feel? What if I’m going to be a horrible mother? Do I even know what I am doing? What do my relationships mean? Why did relationship with my mum become so destructive? And so on and so on.
One thing that changed since then is that now I am aware we are all making mistakes. It is not the end of the world. More important is, how I am willing to change the situation when I see it is not going in a right direction. I had to learn how important it is that you admit when you are wrong and say I’m sorry. Even to a little kid. And not to repeat the same mistakes.
I got pregnant again when Lejla was eight months old. With hanging two small kids at once, I gain some confidence. I proved to myself I am a strong woman and can endure unthinkable long time without sleeping. I adore sleeping by the way.
Leo is a fantastic father, and I don’t know a man who is capable of handling so many things at once without complaining. When I turn around, the stuff I wanted to take care of, is already done. He is amazing. We created this powerful cell, called family.
Raising a child is the best way to become what you want to be.
You have to be a model. You cannot preach something you don’t practice. You have to define your values and live by them. It is not an ability you achieve overnight; you have to work on it every day and continually improve it. It is like my conscience is walking around in the form of my kids. They look at me with those all-seeing eyes, and they ask me without question: “Are you for real?” Am I?