On the eve of Miss 24 turning 25, I've found that I've become reflective, not just on the past 25 years of parenting, but of my life at 25 and how it compares to my daughter's. For a time I carried the feeling of failure with me, mostly because of my own actions. Looking back I can see how close I came to going into a pit of poverty, substance abuse and crime that I may never have recovered from. I do have to acknowledge that thanks to the strong desire to become a mother from very young age, falling pregnant at 19 to the wrong person was what motivated me to "get my shit together".
When I turned 25, I had a 5 year old and a 2 year old. I was in my 2nd year at uni. I had stable housing and I worked part time outside of uni. I was no longer with a violent partner, but had met the man, who while fighting his own demons, ultimately became my husband G and I had my drinking and drug taking under control. OK, I admit that I smoked marijuana on occasion, when my kids weren't there and had the occasional boozy night out, but mostly when I went out (once a week, thanks mum and dad) I drove there and back, pretty sober and my biggest fault was the fags which I gave up for good at 26. I was finally in a happy place. I liked myself, my appearance, being a parent and was proud of what I'd accomplished at uni.
Clearly to reward myself, I needed a big kick arse party. Which I had and it was really good. Nuff said.
Miss nearly 25 is in her 3rd year at uni (doing nursing too), buying a house with her partner, who is a good guy and working part time as well. Her child is furry and white and runs about on 4 legs in the yard. I think in the next few years she will make me a grandmother to an actual child though. Her and her boyfriend (D) are planning a wedding in a bit over a year. She has given up smoking, but still likes the occasional boozy night out. Her worst fault is that she is a bit "school marmish" and lectures anyone who'll listen. Sometimes I just tell her to shut up, but I don't think it helps her relationship with master 22, who is going through his own "stuff" at the moment.
All in all, she has turned out pretty well, we are very proud of her and for me personally, I think if I was that 25 year old again, we'd probably be friends.