I’m 36 weeks pregnant with our first child—a boy!—and as I prepare for the special day that I’ll meet our baby with anticipation, excitement, and pure joy, I thought it would be a perfect time to reflect back on my journey and how far I’ve come; and most importantly, the life lessons I hope to instill in our child as a mother.
As I prepare to bring a child into this crazy world, yet beautiful life, I know I’ve learned so much and have grown into the woman I am today through a journey of struggle and strength.
I look forward to teaching our son a specific set of invaluable lessons—some lessons I learned from my own mother while growing up, and some lessons that were learned the hard way.
Today, I am married to the love of my life, own a six-figure business, and love life no matter what comes my way; I have also been drug-free for over a decade (I am 33). I didn’t come from a bad family and didn’t grow up in a bad environment. Quite the opposite, actually. Substance abuse and addiction can happen to anyone. I was raised in Maine by a single mom who worked a corporate job and two part-time jobs to make sure I never went without. My mom taught me selflessness, kindness, a great work ethic, and honesty.
However, for years in my late teens I veered onto a path of partying and “having fun” while my mom went to sleep night after night not knowing if her daughter was dead in a ditch. After years of getting deep into substance abuse, my mother finally got through to me. It was a letter she wrote with a photo of her with me as a baby. This was the start of my turning point.
At almost 20, I had lost all three jobs I was working at, had stopped going to school, and had been evicted from my apartment. When I received that letter from my mom, I remembered an ambitious girl, who was full of life and excelled in school, who wanted to do big things in life—this girl had been me, and still was. I was just lost.
After moving back home and going to rehab, I started to recognize myself again. I did a lot of soul searching, found who I truly am as a woman, finished college, and started my career.
At the beginning of my pregnancy, I was inspired to pursue a dream I had of writing a book. As I battled severe morning sickness, I would wake up early every day and sit with my pen and notebook as the sun rose and the world was still and quiet. Our unborn son was my source of creativity, and in three months I wrote an entire book!
Since my son-to-be was my inspiration, I now want to thank him for giving me the strength to share my story and revisit my journey. I truly believe that my past does not define me. I have also been inspired to share some simple, yet fundamental, principles, values, and lessons that my husband and I hope to teach our son:
- Family is the most important foundation in life.
- Be kind even when no one is looking.
- Exude selflessness.
- Balance selflessness with self-value and self-worth.
- You can do anything you want in life; always dream big and achieve bigger.
- Healthy confidence comes from deep within by removing self-doubt and truly knowing yourself.
- Live life each day with gratitude for things big and small.
- Take time to find your true passions.
- Happiness comes from the simple joys in life—learn to recognize and appreciate the little things.
- Your past does not define you—always live in the moment and look forward to tomorrow.
- Your thoughts are the most powerful way to make your dreams come true.
- Surround yourself with family and friends who love you, inspire you, listen to you, encourage you, and are positive forces in your life.
- Work hard and earn your dreams.
- Always know that mom and dad love you unconditionally.
It’s not always easy to reflect back to my past, but I am grateful to now be able to teach our son these important life lessons! This reflection shows that no matter what has happened in the past, a beautiful, fulfilled life is attainable.
Tasha L. Mayberry is the author of Dream Big, Achieve Bigger: 7 Steps to Attract Anything You Want. She is also the owner of a web design/SEO, marketing, and PR firm called Social Media 22. Learn more about her at achievebigger.com & socialmedia22.com.