I haven't forgotten – and never will

I haven't forgotten – and never will
Photo by Alex Blăjan

Something that genuinely pierces my heart is the thought of children in our society who suffer. I know myself well enough to realize that I would do anything to protect the children in my family from potential threats and madmen.

However, I often ponder what more I can do proactively to safeguard society's most vulnerable members.

At the tender age of 23, I became a single mother, living in a bustling city. I battled to juggle my studies and forge a meaningful, enjoyable, and rewarding life for myself and my son – with an emphasis on "battled". Life undoubtedly presented more significant challenges than if I had chosen a different, "easier" path.

But I've never regretted my decision to take responsibility as a young woman, as a present parent in my son's life, and as a fellow human being in society. With unwavering faith in the Swedish society and the democracy in which we live, I refused to see any limitations in my choice to become a young parent. On the contrary, I focused on the motivation that parenthood gave me, wanting to reach beyond the stars to give my son everything. With a touch of naive and almost idiotic determination, I put everything into becoming the absolute best at what I do, and aimed to go as far as I could. I would become Sweden's best rhetorician, writer, communicator, PR expert, and marketer.

Today, I am immensely proud of the person I've become and the mother I am to my son. When he looks at me, his eyes brim with pride. He has been my biggest cheerleader throughout the years. My son deserves the world and more. He has seen how I have put everything into it, my unwavering commitment and how I've managed to propel us to where I desired, succeeded in taking us where I wanted us to be.

People now complain about high gas prices, product costs, and food expenses, and I understand that it can feel burdensome at times.

But few know the weight a single mother bears when pinching every penny. Few know what it's like to deny a child the simplest pleasures because there's no extra money to spare. Not due to laziness, but because, despite fighting hard, there's still no reward to reap. For years, I survived without a warming cup of coffee in the university or a cold beer during an office happy hour. No summer vacations, while friends partied and traveled to India to find themselves. I changed diapers, took care of my child on sick-days, and devoted any remaining time to studying diligently, stretching every cent, and building the best possible life for me and my son. And I did it on my own.

Don't get me wrong, though. We created our little universe of tiny, bright moments that were uniquely ours in our humble everyday life. We relished ballerina cookies on a park bench under the sun, free museum visits, and playdates at playgrounds with friends. We discovered adventures in the woods of Slottskogen, built forts in our living room, and held little parties with blaring music and disco lights from Clas Ohlson.

Now, the days of studies and early parenthood are behind us, and I have a good job. My son and I have crossed to the other side and crafted a beautiful life and an exquisite everyday existence together. We can afford swimming lessons, dance classes, ice skates, Jumpyard, and Leo's playground. We can live happy and fulfilling lives.

But I haven't forgotten the feeling of being utterly vulnerable, with no one or nothing to fall back on. That's why it's crucial for me now to do everything in my power to give back. To help those who is still fighting for reaching the other side too.

That's why I am delighted and proud to collaborate closely with World Childhood Foundation in my professional role, working to combat violence and sexual abuse against children, and privately donating to Unicef to support children and parents in need.

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. And if we all do our utmost, we can provide the lifeline in the form of help and support for those who truly need it most.

Do you also want to make a real difference for those who truly need it?

Please donate money to society's most vulnerable members. Your help is needed now more than ever. Donate to Unicef through Swish at number 902 00 17, or to World Childhood Foundation at 90 900 36.

Make a significant difference for someone today.