Name: Julia Olatunji
Year you graduated high school: 2007
Year you found out you were pregnant: 2010
Number of children: 1
The Uh Oh Moment: I found out I was pregnant 2 weeks before Mother’s Day of 2010. I was 20 years old and I went to the gynecologist to confirm my pregnancy. I was with the father of my child. When the doctor told me congratulations, I was excited because we actually planned to get pregnant. I told him via text message when I took an at home pregnancy test. His exact words were, “Riiiight.” We planned to go get a test done at my gynecologist.
The Mom Moment: I became a mother the first time I felt her kick me. What kicked me into mom mode was when I first heard her heart beat at 80bmp. I teared and promised her that I will do all in my power to give her a good life.
Any man can be a father. It takes a real man to be a dad.
Father/Dad: Currently he’s a father. As of now Trinity’s father and I are not together. I want to co-parent but it seems I’m a single parent. During my pregnancy he was not as invested as I was. I wanted what every pregnant woman wants; foot massages, belly rubs, personal time, etc. But that was out because he wanted to live his life. After she came into the world he helped out a lot; still out there enjoying his life…but when he came home he helped.
This has been tough for us for a while, but I thought that when he got himself together he would start being a dad. Unfortunately I was way wrong.
Them vs. You: I feel like education, routine, and discipline are key to life. That is exactly how my great grandmother raised me until she passed in 2001. I parent like my great grandmother lol. I actually flash back to my memories of living with her to help me parent. I remember only watching age appropriate shows and that is exactly what I do with my daughter. She only watches preschool shows and only listens to kid friendly music.
I was so scared to tell my grandmother about my pregnancy because there were already people in my family having children and she had it in her mind that I’d get “baby fever”. So I called her on the phone and she called me stupid and then asked me, “Do you think this is a game?” Then she hung up. After that I got in the house and we had a sit down. She asked me about my plans and next steps.
I was sad at first because I truly did not think it over, but then again, in my mind, love will get me pass everything, plus my child’s father had a job. Where can I go wrong?
Fearful Moment: Lowest moment of my parenthood was not having a job and my own place to live. After applying for jobs and not getting the response I wanted, I felt like a failure. My baby needed things and I wanted to get it but couldn’t.
I started a job training program by the name of STRIVE. They are great. While in there I gained my confidence back. They were the best support system because there are a variety of people there with a variety of different problems. I thought to myself if they can overcome their obstacles then so can I. I realized that I had a roof over my head and my child and I were always fed. A lot of people don’t have the support system I do and I am blessed.
Fearless Moment: My favorite first is when my daughter looked me in my eyes and she said, “Mommy, I love you.” For the first time I got butterflies and started tearing. That made me feel like everything in the world.
My strength is and will always be me. Everything I do is for my daughter of course, but how can you take care of someone else without taking care of you first.
Support System: My friends are a great support system. They never left my side and they are always there when I need them.
I only have 6 real friends and they were happy for me. Of course this meant my partying days were over, but as time went on my closest friend out of the 6, Muffin, would say, “I can’t believe you’re having a baby.” And as of today she says, “I can’t believe you have a child.”
Final thoughts…. I went into parenthood immaturely. I thought love was the key, but now I know that love is just one ingredient. You also need patience, your sanity, morals, confidence, goals, and a support system. I had an idea of what kind of mother I wanted to be but without all of those things I would not be the mother I have become. Parenting is a constant struggle that I am going to have to battle with for the rest of my life but I am strong enough to battle it and meet it head on.