Ananje Fourie

I fell pregnant just after I got engaged and turned 21 years old. I know what you are thinking, I’m crazy! Since then I got married, Luca, my son, was born, I turned 22 and Luca is now 5 months old. Not your typical student situation, hey?

I’ve always had a desire to be a mom, so the moment I found out that I was pregnant, I was really excited. The timing is obviously not ideal, so I was scared too. I also knew that people are going to judge me.

My then fiancé was immediately on board and we decided to make the best of the situation. We have a really strong support system wich we are so grateful for. If it wasn’t for my husband and our family, I wouldn’t be able to cope with everything.

Being a mom, wife and student comes with a lot of challenges. It is definitely a humbling experience. Just when I think “I got this”, something changes, and I realise that I don’t! I realised that all moms feel the same way. I made peace with it and decided to just go with all the changes and challenges.

It is a strange feeling to go back to campus when I changed in so many ways. I don’t know any other students who are in the same situation as me. If it wasn’t for my support system, I would’ve felt really lonely.

I gained so much respect for moms. It really takes a lot to grow a baby and then raise it to be a respectful and loving person. For me being a mother is the most important job I’ll ever have in my life.

I never knew the capacity of love my heart could handle. I can’t explain to you how much I love Luca. I would do anything for him. He is the reason why I want to work hard and be the best version of myself.

Being a mother means to give. You give a piece of your body by carrying him/her, then by breastfeeding if you choose. You give so much of your time and energy everyday. Also, what is sleep? Imagine cramming for a test every night for months on end. That’s how it feels. I know it sounds dramatic, but the tiredness is real. At least in my case. I hear of babies sleeping through the night, but that’s wishful thinking in my opinion. Luca is a hungry boy!

Prioritising my time is key for me to get anything done. Some days it feels like I did not accomplish anything other than breastfeeding and keeping Luca happy and alive. He is a very social and ‘hands on’ baby, so when he is awake he needs constant attention. It is very time consuming.

I can get down on myself when I think of all the work I still have to do or how messy my house is. That is why it is so important to give yourself some slack. I learned to let go of the perfect image of what I should do and how my day should look everyday. That is how I stay sane. I do my best everyday and I am kind to myself when I can’t do everything all at once.

It is also important to ask for help when you need it. I know that I sometimes need a break, because if I’m drained, I don’t have anything to give. Self care is so important.

The amount of joy Luca brings into our life overrites all the challenges. We know that God has a plan with him in our lives and that His timing is perfect. We love being young parents and we wouldn’t change it for anything in the world!

Remember you have your own timeline in your life. You don’t have to get married or have children at a certain age. You don’t even have to do it at all if you don’t want to! You know when you are ready and for us it happened to be at a young age. If I wasn’t ready to get married and have a baby, I know my experience would’ve been a lot different.

Being a student and a mom is a huge honour for me.

I never truly understood the amount of sacrifices moms make untill I became one. Moms are truly amazing! I am beyond grateful for my mother. If you are fortunate to still have a mother/mother figure, I hope you gave her some love this Mother’s Day!

Photo: Suanelle Steyn