Saturday morning I went shopping with my daughter and I actually had fun considering that I don't enjoy shopping -
I simply don't have the patience of trying on different outfits, receiving fake smiles from shop assistants
or being followed into every aisle by the security guard.
While I was waiting for Mbali to choose between which sweater she liked best there was a young woman who approached us and asked me
'What is it like being a mother?' she introduced herself as Ziyanda. I asked her if she was planning on having kids and realised that she was pregnant.
I told her I didn't have an answer to her question and and asked how she felt about her pregnancy.
We chatted for a bit until I picked up she was getting uncomfortable with some of the questions I was asking and as a result she avoided eye contact.
Ziyanda is a 22yr old varsity student.
While there's nothing unique about this, it brought back bitter-sweet memories for me as somebody who has been where she is.
As I looked at her and saw the fear in her eyes I remembered the fear I felt nearly 6 yrs ago when I was pregnant.
I was shit scared of what I had gotten myself into and what was still to come.
I'm not exaggerating when I say I felt like an ant all alone in the big wide world!
At the time, sleep was something foreign to me, my head was filled with a million and one questions
... How will I know what to do when the baby's born?
... What if I fail as a mother?
... Will I still be able to do all the things that my peers get up to?
... What if I don't bond with the baby? Etc etc. I was driving myself crazy to the point of suffering from pre-natal depression.
I have found that most women go through this but never dare talk about their feelings,
somehow we think appearing strong all of the time is the coolest thing to do even if it means dying a slow death inside. What a crap load of bullshit!
I gave Ziyanda my number but I don't think she'll call, I just hope she finds someone to talk to...