The “Young, Wild and Free” Mom
Rosita Duran is the mom of two children; Nicolas 7 and Leonardo 2
Rosita is my cousin. We both married Ortega men, we both dated them foreverrrrrr and we both only have boys. She became a mom at 20 years old–Y E S–20, and has motherhood down to a T. She influences me daily with her positivity and outlook on balancing motherhood and selfhood. She cooks, she cleans, works out, guys–she does it all. How? I don’t know, but she’s the sweetest person on the planet so she probably does it with a smile on her face. We sat down, on a Sunday, with no help and our combined 5 children and 2 spouses for our Mom Talk. It was loud but we made it work.
Here is our Q + A:
Q: You became a mother at a very young age. Younger than most people do. How old were you when you got pregnant with Nico?
R: I was twenty years old! Right now, when I look back, I can’t believe I was 20 years old. And a lot of times I would feel ashamed or questioned about it. I used to lie about my age. But right now, I feel super proud about it. I try to see all the positive aspects of being such a young mom…
A: So I consider myself to be a young mom too but I had my kids when I was 27, but even in Santi’s class…I have three I don’t see and I’m the youngestttt mom. The youngest in his class so it was really hard for me to find my group in school..I’m sure it’s been like that for you too…
R: I’ve always been the youngest mom in the class. And it’s always been the hardest part because they’ll always ask me how old I was when I had Nico.
A: And it leads to other questions that are really not their business…
R: Yes. But it’s cool to be a young mom too, right?
A: It’s the best. You have so much energy. I always say to myself, I had three kids back to back…I’m only 31, but by the time I’m 60 which is my parents age–they’re super young and full of life…all my kids will be in their thirties. They’ll be adults and have their own life.
R: I’ll be 42 when Nico graduates from college and I’ll be able to do all the things I wasn’t able to do when I was 20!
Q: Ok so, you’re from Quito. You got married to Nicolas (her husband), had a baby immediately and you had to move to Guayaquil away from your mom, your sister, your entire life…Your husbands family became your family in an instant. What was that transition like?
R: It was really hard because so many aspects of my life changed overnight. I had to move to a different country (Rosita was living in Rhode Island when she got married and moved back to Ecuador), I had to quit my studies and I had to learn everything about motherhood because I didn’t know anything. I didn’t have my mother, my sister or my friends. One thing that was really hard for me was that all my friends were still in college partying or graduating, and I wasn’t able to do that. That was one thing that was in my mind all the time and was really hard for me. But now that I look back, it made me a stronger person and I wouldn’t change that.
A: When you were in Guayaquil and had your baby, it was just you and Nicolas. How do you feel that changed your relationship? Anyone who has kids knows that no matter how much you love each other and no matter how close you are, bringing a baby into the world, no matter what your dynamic is. And you guys went from being married to having a baby in 9 months.
R: It was challenging–I’m not going to lie. It had its hard moments but luckily Nicolas has always been a good husband and great father. He’s my biggest supporter and has helped me through the process of becoming a mother at such a young age, but it wasn’t easy. It got easier with time.
A: I feel like both of us are really lucky because even though they were raised with the Ecuadorian culture–I know I’ve been blessed with that and I can see that Nicolas is like that with you–we have husbands that helps.
We then talked about how yeah they help, yeah we’re lucky, but they’re luckier because we are kick-ass moms. D U H.
Q: I have three boys. You know this obviously. We are going to do a support group because it’s 4 Ortega cousins and we all only have boys and we all only wanted girls. People think my life is defined by the fact that I want a girl. I love my boys more than anything, I know you love your boys more than anything. I get asked all the time
“are you going to try for the girl?” (I already have T H R E E kids). How does it make you feel when people constantly ask you if you’re going to have a girl, or if you’re going to “try” for the girl as if it’s something you can automatically poof into existence? (Obviously if we could do that–we’d all have daughters guys).
R: It is something that I think about every day. I try to not think about it because I’ll be like “should I have another kid or no?” but I have that pressure. I try not to think about it too much but I do. And it’s mostly because I don’t have a girl but whenever people ask me, but it does give me a little bit of pressure. But I noticed I do the same questions to moms…”are you going to have another one? are you going to try for the boy or the girl?” so I realize that…
A: It’s innocent!
R: Yeah it’s innocent and I don’t feel bad. I just know that I put that pressure on myself.
Q: So, are you going to have another kid?
R: I don’t know!
A: It’s a huge question–not one to take lightly…
R: I think I take it not as lightly as other people do. I think of everything. Everything that comes with having another kid.
A: If I would have done that–I would only have two.
A: Well, so our plan was always three. I liked the idea of a big family. You know Santi and Joaquin are two years apart. The goal was to wait for Joaquin to be 1.5 years old (so how old he is now) and we would have started trying. But as fate had it, I got pregnant when Joaquin was 6 or 7 months old…I mean I didn’t tell anyone for like 2 weeks because I was kind of embarrassed. I was shocked, Santiago was shocked…and my grandmother had just passed away. I remember telling Santiago “this baby was sent to me by her for sure and whatever it is–boy or girl, it’s meant for out family.” I remember feeling with Joaquin devastated that it wasn’t a girl. I really, really wanted a girl. I’ve had my girl name picked out since before I was married. When I had Antonio, I felt at peace because he was sent to me by my grandmother and my life is perfect.
Q: How was your second pregnancy different than your first?
R: It was very complicated. I had low progesterone levels and then I had two bleedings. Imagine I was in a class both times and they were both very strong. I ended up in the emergency room twice. They told me that I had big hematoma that would just keep growing. And that was very scary for me because every time I would go they just wouldn’t have a reason and it kept growing. And I knew I could continue bleeding. But luckily that went away and the I got placenta previa, which was also very scary!
A: OMG I had placenta previa with Joaquin! It’s super scary. I feel like no matter what–no matter how calmly they tell you something about your pregnancy at the doctor, you’re always going to freak out because it’s your baby…and you want to protect it but you can’t.
R: And what scared me the most was that with Nico, I never had any complications. Actually during my delivery yes–my c-section was scary but during my pregnancy everything was perfect. When I bled the first time, the first thing I thought to myself was “oh, I lost the baby!” because I bled so much and it came with cramps. I had no idea what was happening, I started sweating, I went running to the bathroom and well… And the second time it happened in the middle of the same class with the same teacher.
A: How did you feel having these things and not being able to control it? Like as a mom, you need to stay active and be there for your other child because they depend on you…
R: It wasn’t easy because I was put on bedrest for a while. Nicolas helped me so much and he was the one who would take Nico on the weekends so I could rest. My mom also came to help me and my mother in law did too, so I had a lot of help. And during the day, I could be normal because it wasn’t a “bed rest” like I couldn’t get up. I just needed to take it easy. It wasn’t the whole time. I actually remember that I went to Disney with my big belly. It was just while I had the hemotomas and Nicolas helped me.
Q: Why did you wait so long between kids?
R: The main reason I waited so long was because I really really wanted to wait to graduate from college before having more kids and growing my family. And you can imagine how hard it is to go to school with kids and I knew I had to finish my studies. So I did that, and I graduated one day before Leo came into our lives. We also got married so young, so we wanted to really enjoy Nico and just our time as a couple.
A: I remember when I had Joaquin, I cried in the hospital because I was grieving it never being just the three of us again. And it was super hard for me. I felt so guilty that I felt I wasn’t ready for another baby even though I wanted one and he was planned. But I did think about that a lot. And then Joaquin was born and my love and adoration for him was instant. So I can related with wanting to really enjoy your son because the dynamic changes.
R: That happened to me too. I remember I got to the house and like before we were 3 and then we were 4 and everything changes. Your dynamic, your routine. I had to remember that like when the baby slept, I couldn’t sleep–I had to hang out with my other child so yeah the dynamic changes.
Q: Ok, so a long time ago all us boy moms got together and you told me (I even put this in one of my blog posts) about how you googled “benefits of having a son” because we were all like “what are we going to do!!!!???”. Being a mom is one thing and it’s the best thing and it’s amazing. We don’t have girls so we don’t know what that’s like, but being a boy mom is a V I B E. It’s a thing. So, how do you feel being a boy mom?
R: I love it. To be honest, I always thought I was going to be a girl mom because I’m super close to my mom and sister and she’s my best friend, so I always dreamed of having the same thing. I don’t imagine going shopping with anyone else besides my mom and sister, so I always dreamed of having the same thing that my mom had. That’s the hard part for me, I’d like to have that one day. But being a boys mom is also really nice. I love seeing my husband with them–it’s such a chaos in the house.
A: It’s such a chaos!
Q: What are the best and worst aspects of motherhood for you?
R: The best–there are so many. Watching them grow it’s so beautiful. All the small things like when Leo puckers his lips or bats his eyes, they fill you with so much love. Or like when they do something new, when they start crawling, walking, talking. Seeing ourselves reflected in them and the things they do. The way we can relate to them.
A: Ugh I agree. It’s those little small things that you see them do that–I feel like that’s what makes you want to continue having kids. I know when I look at my kids–I can’t believe that I made them. They come from me, they come from the best part of your relationship, the most love you’ve ever had between you and your husband. You made someone together and that person is going to live on way after you. And they’re going to be a whole person on Earth and create a family…I don’t know it’s so wild.
R: The worst–finding time for yourself. When you have a child it’s so hard to find time for yourself like you used to. To find that balance between yourself as a mom and your relationship! It changes so much because you have to divide your time between them too, but you’re tired. You have to find a balance between your partner, the house, the kids, your personal time. It’s super hard. And I think also, the things we live as a mom. For me, for example, my delivery with Nico was very traumatizing for me. It was something super hard and it was tough to overcome and the experience was tough. Omg, and all the things that we worry about as moms–if they fall and hurt themselves, how they’re doing in school. We as moms worry about everything.
A: I feel also like, for me the whole relationship thing was really, really tough because I feel like I have such a good relationship with Santiago, and it’s such an important aspect of my life–him and I being good, being happy and being us that it’s tough because you don’t want anything to change. But as soon as the baby is born…it’s like, I was no longer Adriana first. I was mom first and then Adriana. I don’t know if that’s right or wrong but I feel like my kids depend on me for life, for nourishment, to keep them safe, to keep them happy that like they absolutely need to come first. And it’s so hard to deal with because, like, where do you and your husband fall? I definitely always wanted to maintain that me and my husband had a very healthy and happy relationship because he makes me happy and he makes me part of who I am so it’s so tough.
R: I understand you completely. You get used to your life of when you were dating or of your life just the two of you and when you have kids, want to or not, you just don’t have the same time or even the same type of energy. It’s tough to have the same type of relationship again. And I had Nico super young. Nicolas and I were in Boston together for a year where we would go out, party, eat and have the best time and then our life changed from one day to the next. It was super hard to reconcile with that until you find a balance and honestly accept that it’s just not our time but now we have to share it. Wow, motherhood–literally.
A: Yep–that’s being a mom. But how cool that like, even though we feel like this, we wouldn’t change it for anything, because the love for a child is so incomparable to anything else that it gives you the energy and the motivation.
R: Sometimes I have this thought that I became a mom so young but at the same time I try to see how it’s so positive and I wouldn’t change a thing.
A: I also think that everything that happens to us happens for everything. And I also really think that every child we have was handpicked by God. I don’t know like, you had Nico at 20 but before you were born he was destined to be yours. I believe in fate, in soulmates…I believe that your decisions led you to Nicolas and that baby was meant for you and he’s making you who you are.
Q: Your Instagram is so positive and everyone seems so happy all the time. How do you keep that dynamic alive in your house?
R: I think it’s so funny you say the positive thing and everyone seems so happy. It’s a balance. On my instagram, I try to be positive in general and trying to motivate people to look for the positive, but I think I talk a lot about the difficult parts of motherhood as well. This is one of the things that motivated me to start my blog and one of the reasons people look for my page because they know for me it wasn’t easy. I try to have a balance.
A: Completely. I don’t mention the “positivity” aspect as something negative–I think it’s a positive! You totally have a balance but I feel like you never complain about motherhood like I do every single second, every single day. As a mom, you are positive and I look for your page to feel better. Always.
R: You think? I feel like I complain!
A: No you’re the best. I complain! But it comes naturally to me.
R: That’s true (insert laugh here)
In the end, we both know how lucky we have it. We’re not just the mom of boys, we’re the mom to our boys and nothing beats that. Follow Rosita on her instagram @rositaduranp where she can help you find your balance between being a mom and being Y O U !