Dear Diary,

At 16, I thought I was grown. You couldn’t tell me anything! With a driver’s license in one hand and the steering wheel in the other, I took a trip into what I thought was adulthood–even if I had a curfew. At 18, society recognized me as an adult. I was old enough to smoke, even though I never puffed on a cigarette. Well, I did go through a short cigar phase in college. Not one of my proudest moments. I was also old enough to vote and made sure to exercise (and announce) the right my forefathers fought for. And at 21, I could finally use a real ID–a fake one tricked bouncers and bartenders from Pennsylvania to Michigan for several years. When I turned 30, I blew out my candles in Beverly Hills at a swanky restaurant with Bruce Willis sitting at the table beside me. 

But I didn’t really receive a membership into the grown up club until I became a mother. Before then, I still depended on people to do things for me. Not major things, like pay a mortgage or donate a kidney. Rather, move my couch, wash my car or mount my TV favors. Sometimes I would ask my father–or my man–to do something before I even attempted it. Then, I became a single mom. It taught me that I could take care of myself and another human being. I carried a baby and car seat in one hand and grocery bags in the other without struggling or complaining. I assembled cribs, high chairs and play pens without assistance. I still welcome helping hands, but now know my hands are capable of getting the job done.

Growing up I learned that life is a journey not a destination. I don’t have to be a mother, a wife, a homeowner, or any other title by a certain date in time. As a matter of fact, sometimes, growing up means returning to your childhood. Even though I’m more mature, being a mom has also allowed me to be a kid again. This week alone, I went to the movies to see a cartoon, jumped off a swing at the playground and played hide-and-go seek. But I don’t forget to get in some mom-me time. The picture posted is from a recent VIP event with one of my fave moms–my sister. 

On the 14th of every month, I’ll be revealing the truth about motherhood with 12 other writers. This month, our theme was MOTHERHOOD & GROWING. Follow the hashtag #NakedMoms, and check out the links below (coming soon!) from the other moms and find out which stories resonate with you the most!


Hey DFTM family–How did you grow as a person when you became a mom?  

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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