Not everything in life is planned, but we learn to adjust. Sometimes, as in the case of 23-year-old Olivyah Bowens, that includes loving her unplanned child.
Bowens took to Instagram in a very candid post about motherhood, one few mothers are brave enough to post publicly. “No one teaches you how to love a child you didn’t plan to have,” Bowens starts off the post, setting the tone.
The caption accompanies an image that many mothers could relate to: a defeated-looking Bowens sits next to her toddler, 2-year-old Ozara, who appears to be having a meltdown of her own.
“It’s even more difficult at those times when they’re having tantrums and pushing you to a point of emotional exhaustion,” Bowens continues. “It’s confusing.”
Though you might worry this type of post will veer into a mother admitting she doesn’t love her child, it’s quite the opposite for Bowens. In the post, the mother of two admits that while she doesn’t always enjoy being a mom, “this child has been the catalyst for major growth. [Ozara] is the mirror that allows me to look into my past and see the fears still controlling me now.”
“The reality is I don’t want to be a mother everyday,” she admits. “I don’t want to feel held back from chasing my dreams and goals. I don’t want to be exhausted.” But she has important words for young mothers going through the same thing she is. “Dear mama, who is going through an unplanned pregnancy, don’t feel guilty, don’t feel afraid, don’t feel ashamed.”
“That baby chose YOU to be it’s mothers [SIC] at the perfect time. Surrender to the journey of unpredictability…”
After the post, Bowens fell silent on Instagram for two days, but returned with a much happier photo and a brief explanation. “If I can’t take care of me I can’t take care of my seeds,” she says. “I’m not quitting. I’m not giving up. But I am reprioritizing.”