low self esteem

Low Self Esteem after Becoming a Mom?

I’ve never met a woman who hasn’t had to deal with low self esteem at some point.

Between all the messages from the media telling us that our skin has to be flawless, our teeth pearly white, our hair voluminous and flowing… it’s easy to feel like we don’t measure up physically. On top of that, we’re expected to be smart, funny, charming, popular, a perfect hostess, a great cook, and physically fit.

And we’re supposed to be all of that after becoming a mom, too.

But there’s absolutely no way those expectations can be met.

Self esteem is ultimately about loving yourself the way you are and telling the media and anyone else with these insane expectations to f*** off.

But that’s not always easy to do and if a woman has low self esteem, becoming a mom will just amplify it times a million.

I know because this topic comes up often in our Young Moms Club private Facebook group.

That’s why I invited a good friend of mine, Regina Bailey, the CEO of Someone Cares and Author of “99 Excuses not to tell the Truth about my Teen Years” to join me in a discussion about some ways that moms (and specifically young moms) can improve their self esteem.

 

Like we said in the interview, we’d love to hear from you if you have any ways to build self esteem or if you’re currently struggling with low self esteem.

Leave a comment so we can chat about it!

Handling the -Ex-Factor- Blog Image

Handling the “Ex-Factor”

As much as I would love to say this blog is about the TV show X-Factor (one of my guilty pleasures)…. It’s not.

Your guess was totally right when you figured out this article is dedicated to dealing with difficult exes. I bet you a million bucks 90% of people reading this article immediately thought of someone from a past relationship when they read that title. Maybe you didn’t think of the father of your kids, maybe you did… maybe you’re a guy reading this and you thought about your crazy ex-girlfriend. No matter who it was that came to mind, this blog post might be helpful to you.

I thought about writing this because when I talked to my ex-husband today (the father of my youngest daughter) he lied to me about where he was with my daughter so I couldn’t try to pick her up early for a birthday party we had planned to go to. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s totally allowed to say “no” to me picking her up early, but seriously lying about it instead of just saying no? In my book. that’s pretty lame. Anyways, my boyfriend got irritated to all hell and does quite a bit when it comes to having to put up with a lot of the really crazy stuff my ex has pulled in the past. But one thing my boyfriend can’t figure out is why I don’t get crazy upset or frustrated when this kind of stuff happens… It’s because I have learned to “handle the ex-factor”.  Let me explain: When I went through my divorce, and for a while after, I used to get so stressed out because my ex wouldn’t want to pick up our daughter on time, he would never take the day off if she was sick, he would criticize me constantly, he would always tell me “it’s not my day” if I asked for any help aside from court ordered visitation (like when I was in the hospital), and he would constantly take out his bad moods on me anytime we would interact. I would get angry, I would bitch to my friends and family about it, I would cry, and I would get bitchy towards other people even though it wasn’t their fault I was upset. So one night, I’m sitting in a college class learning about interpersonal communication (go figure) and I decide to stay after class to talk to the teacher. The guy is probably one of the most inspiring people to walk the planet and has the most amazing outlook on life I’ve ever seen and loves to listen and help others. So I tell him about something stupid my ex did to piss me off that day and how frustrated I am ALL the time. He literally stops me in my tracks and tells me, “Why do you care?” Honestly, that caught me off guard at first. What do you mean? Of course I care! He’s a jerk! He likes to frustrate me and I get so mad when he messes with me and yells at me. Who wouldn’t care? But then I realized exactly what he meant. Why do I LET myself care? My ex is going to be a jerk whether I like it or not. No, I don’t have to let him walk all over me, but I shouldn’t let his outbursts affect my mood. Why should I let his bad day ruin mine too? And that’s when I heard the words that would change my outlook on life… happiness collage

“Acceptance is the key to happiness”

Once I learned to accept that my ex was the way he is and I have NO control over that (which, by the way, is a good reminder of why we aren’t together anymore) I can learn to ACCEPT him for who he is. I may not really like it, agree with it, or condone it. I do not have to let him trample my feelings or condone him acting like a complete idiot. BUT, I no longer let it aggravate me. I accept that the only thing I am able control in sucky situations with him, are MY feelings and reactions. So why let him ruin MY day?

So now, whenever my ex causes drama or wants to yell at me. I reply calmly and rationally. I stand my ground but I don’t lose my temper or yell back or cry anymore. Because I have accepted that he will never change, and even if he does, I can’t do anything to change him. So in 5 minutes, I’m going to move on with my life and go back to my awesome day and he can go try to ruin someone else’s mood.  *Added bonus: When they don’t get a reaction out of you, they tend to give up eventually or at the very least, you piss them off by not getting upset and that always makes me smile a little bit*

acceptance is the key to happiness

So now that you have a new way to look at things when dealing with YOUR “Ex-Factor” what do you think? Does this seem like a strategy that might help you out? Do you have other ways that you find work for you that you want to share with other people that might need the advice? Comment below! I would LOVE to hear your feedback and ideas!   🙂

juggling life blog header

Juggling and Keeping Your Sanity: How to find balance in a crazy world

Do you ever feel like once in a while life as a young mom can get a little bit overwhelming?  Or maybe a LOT?  You are NOT alone!

So many of us young moms feel that way and it’s totally normal, I swear!

Lots of teen moms feel like it’s almost impossible to find a balance while being a brand new mom, keeping up with school, planning for college, saving up for a car, dealing with relationship stuff, and whatever else life throws your way! I know, it totally sounds like a lot. And it is. BUT there IS a way to manage it all, keep your sanity and be super happy!

Here’s a few ways to help you juggle (and keep yourself from going crazy) when you feel like your life is a three-ring circus!

young moms multitaskingManage your time – You might have heard the saying “You have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce” so why shouldn’t you get everything done that you want to do? I hate to support this because I’ve tried to argue with this, but it’s totally true. It just has to do with how you manage your time! Here’s 3 time management tools that I can’t live without:

  • MY CALENDAR – OMG where would I be without my calendar. Literally if it’s not in there, it doesn’t exist in my life. (I tell people that all the time) But seriously, the 2 seconds it’s going to take for you to pull a day planner out of your purse or even just schedule it into your phone on your calendar, will save you a HUGE headache later. I was famous for double-booking myself and my kids until I started scheduling every little thing, color coding it for my own stuff and my kids’ stuff, and then even setting tons of alarms/reminders for stuff. (Ok, the color coding might be a little OCD, but you get the idea…)
  • TO-DO LISTS  I LOVE making lists. If you were to go into my phone right now, you would see a list of the kids invited to my daughter’s birthday party, a list of stuff to get done this week, another list for groceries, and a list of apartments with notes since we’re getting ready to move. I take notes for everything because when you have 100 things on your mind, trying to remember specifics can get tricky.  Don’t be afraid to make lists on post-its, phone apps, mini-notebooks… whatever you like. This way you have something legit written down and there’s no second-guessing yourself about details. Plus, it’s an excuse to carry around a super cute little notebook if you want 🙂
  • DON’T PROCRASTINATE – I used to sit there and stare at hard projects at home or work, or having to study for a big exam, and put them last because I knew it was the one that was going to be the hardest and take the most effort. So instead, I would preoccupy myself with distractions and smaller, less important stuff that had to get done eventually. But then I always ended up stressing out more than ever and sometimes missing deadlines. Attack the tough stuff a little bit at a time OR just take a chunk of time and dedicate it to powering through whatever it is that you have been avoiding. I promise you your stress levels will go down big time!

piggy bank savingsMake a Budget and STICK WITH IT-This is a super-hard one to do, especially if you’re an impulse buyer like me. As I got older I realized my credit mistakes when I turned 18 totally caught up with me and made my life harder. So, I decided to actually make a budget and make sure I followed it. I have a color-coded excel spreadsheet (yep, there’s the OCD again) but there’s apps and websites like Mint or Learnvest you can use for free! Another cool thing you can do is sign up for SaveUp and get rewarded for paying your bills on time and putting money into a savings account! How cool is that? Just make sure that you put will love the feeling of knowing where the heck all your hard earned money goes and how to make sure you can afford to take care of you and your baby.
helping young mom friendDon’t be afraid to say YES – Ok, I know we all love being independent young moms who are out to prove that we can conquer the world. While this is entirely true, I want you to remember something: You’re still human! Sometimes we find ourselves feeling like we might need help but we’re too stubborn or determined to ask. (I may be speaking from personal experience…. maybe.) So here’s the thing, if someone is willing to help you out by offering to pick up your kids from school, babysitting for an hour so you can go to take your midterm, or even offering to pick up some stuff at the store for you while they’re out so you can avoid the mission of packing up the diaper bag and the kids and spending 20 minutes loading up the entire car just to go get a gallon of milk, just say these simple little words: “Yes, thank you so much.”
I know, I know. You are fully capable of taking care of those million things to do all by yourself. I am NOT doubting you at all! But, if you can realize for a second that those people who love you and see you after you got 2 hours of sleep with a restless baby last night are trying to help you simply because you might actually benefit from it, why not let them? It’s not a bad thing to need other people sometimes. We all do. So don’t be afraid to take help when it’s offered and, more importantly, don’t be afraid to ASK for help too!

There are so many more ways to help keep your sanity and I promise to share them with you later in another blog post. But, for now, make sure you use all these tools to help manage your life and to live every day how it should be: HAPPY!

What are some tips you have for other young moms out there who might need help juggling their busy lives? Tell us in the comments below so we can all be supportive to each other 🙂

college is possible

College is Possible!

by Jenna Faccenda

One of the biggest concerns I hear from young moms is that since they found out they are pregnant, that means they have to drop out of college or that they can’t apply. Hearing that statement always upsets me.

If anything, having a baby should mean you are more determined to achieve that higher education. College is NOT an impossible task for a mom. Many have done it and you can too!

The excuses I hear from moms are that they don’t have time, or money, or anyone to watch their child but here are some fun facts that may persuade you to take that next step!

1. Most Colleges Have a Day Care Center

Yes you heard that right. Most colleges, especially universities provide a day care center on campus for students with children. The hours normally match up with the school’s hours and are available each semester and even some weeks in the summer. This is perfect for when you go to class you can bring your little one to school with you and know that he or she is in good hands. And if the convenience isn’t enough most school day cares offer a subsidized child care program where they will help pay for the child care cost for individuals with financial struggles.young mom graduate

2. The Government Pays for Your Tuition

There is money available for young moms who wish to attend college. This financial support is called Financial Aid. You apply once a year and are awarded with a Pell Grant, Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan. These go towards paying off your tuition. The best part is you only have to pay off one loan and you don’t have to worry about it until six months after you graduate! And even if financial aid doesn’t cover all of your schooling there are a lot of grants and scholarships available for parents, single moms, and young moms. You rarely will ever have to pay of out pocket! young mom graduate 2

3. You Choose your Own Schedule!

Just because you go to college doesn’t mean you have to attend a set amount of classes following a certain time. As a college student you have the freedom to pick how many classes you want to take a semester and the times that work best for you. This way you can cater it around your busy schedule! No one says you have to graduate in 4 years, now a day that’s not even the average! mom graduate

Are you a young mom who decided to further her education? Tell us how you did it!

Slowing Down Your Life

Written by Jenna Faccenda

Having a baby when you’re young is a huge game changer. It can sometimes feel as though your life is automatically being fast forwarded.

A whole new set of worries arise; buying your first home, getting married, and even landing a career. The things that you didn’t think you had to worry about until at least your late twenties and now it’s as if everything has just been thrown on your plate.

It’s as if taking care of a baby or even raising a child isn’t stressful enough.

But, here’s the good news. Yes you had a baby young and had to take on all the responsibilities of adulthood but that doesn’t mean you need to rush everything else.

Because, guess what? You’re still young!

blog - slow down your life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am here to share with you on how to hit that pause button and slow down your life.

How to continue raising your baby the right way yet act your age (for the most part), in three simple steps.

The first step is to just breathe, remember that you are young and still have a lot of years to reach your late twenties and accomplish those set goals. Look at it this way, now you just get to start saving ahead of time. Not many adults thought about saving for things like a wedding or house during their early twenties. You have the leg up!

The second step is to create a goal plan. It’s important to take one thing at a time so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Take each major situation at a time. For example, I gave myself a four-year time span to save up for a house. I chose this time period because it was when I am graduating from college. By doing so this allowed me enough time to focus on schooling. That way when I graduate I will be able to buy my first home and then work on landing my career.

The third and final step is to give yourself a break.

It is ok to act your age every now and again. Allow yourself to be a little selfish and remind yourself of your age. Go mini-golfing, bowling, shopping, cliff-diving, hey even have an old-fashioned sleepover with some friends!

It is ok! Your kid will thank you in the end. A happy mom creates a happy environment for her child.

Being a young mom just means you got to enjoy your little one sooner. Everything else can take its good old time.

 

Tell us some of the other ways you slow down when you start to get ahead of yourself?

how to feel confident as a young mom

How to Feel Confident as a Young Mom

by Jenna Faccenda

Have you ever felt like the odd one out? As if you don’t fit in?

That’s exactly how I felt when I took my son to his first gymnastics class. We were having a blast moving around and playing with things. But when I looked up I noticed something.

All the moms were talking to each other, in groups, but yet not a single mother tried talking to me. I felt like a total outcast. I had never countered a discrimination against my age until then. I started frantically obsessing over everything that I might have been doing wrong. When I would listen to the other moms talk about their husbands and what activities and things they got their kid, I felt a surge of jealousy. I felt as though I was inadequate as a mom and that was not right.

It wasn’t until I looked down at my baby boy that I realize how silly I was being.

There he was happy as can be playing with me. It didn’t matter what the other moms thought of me or how they were raising their kids, because none of that mattered to my son.

confident young mom
They weren’t the ones raising him, I was. And only I had the capability of doing what was best for him. After seeing the pure enjoyment on his face I knew I was doing something right.

The reason of this blog post is that I don’t want other moms to ever feel like I did that day. Being young doesn’t mean you are incapable of being a good mom. It’s important to feel confident as a mother and know that you are doing what’s best for your kid.

It’s important to put all of those negative thoughts to the side and look at the bigger picture: your happy baby. Because hey if your little one is happy then you must be doing something right!

Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in with other moms because of your age? Tell us about it and let us know what you did to build up your confidence!

Are you Turned On yet?

Last night in my women’s group, our theme was “Unleashing your Brilliance”. Rosa, one of the brilliant women who co-created the night began by reading a quote from TurnedOnWoman.com. It really resonated with me because I’ve felt the pressure to be the ‘exceptionally mediocre woman’ and it’s been hell to continue to act everyday in spite of it.

I’m not perfect. But I know I am “Turned on”. Here’s the quote..

“Would it be okay if your gravestone read: “She was an exceptionally mediocre woman”?

If your eulogy went something like: “She followed every rule with precision. She rarely made a mistake and was a great champion of the status quo. She never ruffled any feathers, took any great risks, suffered any great loss. She always operated within the bounds of appropriateness. She had the love and acceptance of her community, family, and friends, though no one knew her. Her life was smooth sailing because she never rocked the boat. She contained her passion, her dreams, and her danger enough that they could call her a good woman”?

For some, that would be enough. But not for you.

Your epitaph will begin: “She redefined what it meant to be a good woman.”

It will say: “She scaled mountains, in hiking boots and in heels. She started in her own backyard and then went all the way around the world. She accepted challenges with curiosity and determination. She emerged victorious regardless of outcome, knowing both the pleasure of success and the grace of failure. She tasted long hot days and cool still nights, at home wherever she found herself. She wasn’t always popular, but she was always true. She wasn’t always comfortable, but no one can say she didn’t enjoy her life. She explored her edges, increased her capacity, and lived as big as she could dream. Moved equally by bliss and pain, she played her heart out one moment at a time. She was dialed in. She was courageous. She was turned on.”

If this sounds more like you, what are you waiting for?”

So.. what are you waiting for?

I wanna know.. Are you turned on yet? Are you turned on a little? Let me know in the comments below…

<3 Danielle

How to get over Fear and go after your BIG dream

I have a dare for you.

I DARE YOU to tell me what your biggest, scariest, most seemingly-impossible dream is..

Does that already sound scary to you?

Sometimes admitting what your dream is is EVEN SCARIER than actually going after the dream itself.

Why is it so scary?

Because it opens up that part of your brain that wants you fail.

It’s easy to be ordinary.

People don’t criticize others for doing ordinary things. People criticize others for dreaming of BIG things.

They criticize because they’re scared, too.

It’s scary to take risks.

It’s scary to just jump.

But without the jump, you’ll never know the excitement of falling.

Without falling, you’ll never know how good it feels to finally land right where you want to be.

Once you’ve landed right into your BIG dream, you won’t care what anyone else thinks about where you are.

The biggest fear almost every human has is Fear of Criticism.

That’s why more people are afraid of public speaking than of dying.

The secret that everyone going after their big dreams has learned is that you don’t “get over fear”.

You just act in spite of it.

You know the fear is there and you do it anyway.

You push through it until one day you realize that the fear is gone.

And then you think about your next BIG dream.

And it seems scary.

And then you jump again.