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A 23-year-old Puerto Rico-based doula and mother has gone viral with her Instagram post revealing the struggles of motherhood.

Olivyah Bowens, mom of a 9-month old and a 2-year-old, shared a pic of her and her crying toddler with a lengthy caption that has resonated with online viewers.

“No one teaches you how to love a child you didn’t plan to have. No one shows you how to traverse the emotional complexity of loving a child you weren’t happy about being pregnant with. It’s even more difficult at those times when they’re having tantrums and pushing you to a point of emotional exhaustion,” she writes.

Bowens goes on to talk about how she’s grown as a person because of her experiences in motherhood and she encourages her fellow moms.

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“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 its mothers at the perfect time,” she proclaims. “Surrender to the journey of unpredictability and let this new being show you a whole new part of yourself you didn’t know was there.”

No one teaches you how to love a child you didn’t plan to have. No one shows you how to traverse the emotional complexity of loving a child you weren’t happy about being pregnant with. It’s even more difficult at those times when they’re having tantrums and pushing you to a point of emotional exhaustion. … It’s confusing. When the same people who told you that you pretty much ruined your life are smiling ear to ear at your baby shower a few months later. It’s hard.. Looking at a beautiful baby and being bogged down by the thoughts of how you will take care of them and how much life will change. It’s so easy.. To project the pain of your wounded inner child onto your baby. It is the lethal cycle of undealth with trauma. … This stage of motherhood has forced me to look at my reflection in my daughter’s eyes and realize that no I don’t enjoy being a mother all the time, but this child has been the catalyst for major growth. She is the mirror that allows me to look into my past and see the fears still controlling me now. … When we heal our deepest pains we are speaking to our ancestors across the space time illusion and holding a cross-generational conversation within our dna that heals old wounds and rectifies long lost problems. Motherhood hasn’t just healed me it’s healed the mother’s that came before me. … The reality is I don’t want to be a mother everyday. I don’t want to feel held back from chasing my dreams and goals. I don’t want to be exhausted. But I KNOW this little girl has brought me face to face with things that would have otherwise been ignored in my bubble of childless freedom. … 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 at the perfect time. Surrender to the journey of unpredictability and let this new being show you a whole new part of yourself you didn’t know was there. ?#takebackpostpartum #thefourthtrimester #motherhoodunplugged #birthofamama #blackmomsblog #milenialmom

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Bowens was entering her senior year at Butler University as a dance major when she realized she was pregnant with her first child. In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, she talked about how difficult it was for her to adjust her life to this major change. “I wasn’t enjoying motherhood — I’d see photos of happy moms on social media and wonder, ‘Why isn’t this me?’ So I dug deep and realized that I was mourning my former life and feeling isolated,” she said.

When Bowens was pregnant with her second daughter, she switched career lanes and became a doula to help other women through the birthing process.

“Some people have said, ‘You shouldn’t have become a mom if you didn’t want kids, but of course, I love my children,” Bowens told Yahoo. “So many women are mentally and physically exhausted and feel alone. Yet society isn’t always supportive.”

And of course, Bowens does not only share the rough parts of motherhood. Her Instagram account, which has more than 16k followers, is full of pictures of her enjoying life with her babies in tow.

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Lately i haven’t been responding to comments under my posts. I’ve been slow to reply to emails. I’ve been avoiding my DMs. I’ve been asking myself why have I cut so much work out for myself? Why am I so passionate about breaking myths and spreading truth? Why can’t I just chill out… As I move through these shifts I realize that spreading myself too thin is of service to no one. So if I don’t respond to your comment, DM, or email in a timely manner it’s because I’ve been taking a serious look at my level of self-care. If I can’t take care of me I can’t take care of my seeds. I don’t ever want to look back and think, I should have been more present with my children then worried about my social media presence. … I’m not quitting. I’m not giving up. But I am reprioritizing. If you have a urgent message send an email. Otherwise, I’ll be taking a step back from responding immediately. Also, be on the look out for videos that answer your questions. I’ll be using the questions that people DM me as inspiration for YouTube videos. … Happy eclipse? stay growing.

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