Getting ready to help her daughter with through her pregnancy and motherhood, find out how Kristen Marie was able to write her success story as a young mom herself.
Find out how a teen mom coming from a broken home made sure to do everything she could to make sure her daughter had a better life and was able to turn her own life into a wonderful story with a happy ending!
Tell us about yourself and your family:
Happily married, my husband and I have raised my daughter together since she was 6 years old. We recently purchased our first home together in Hesperia California. My daughter, Alicia, who is turning 18 next month, will start Victor Valley College in the Fall. Alicia and her boyfriend are expecting a baby in December. It’s amazing how quickly life changes. A few months ago, all I had on my mind was purchasing her a car and her going to college. Now we are focusing on baby proofing our home!
What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome as a young mom?
As a teen mom, which feels like many moons ago, it was a completely different life for me then. I do not even know who that person was, to tell you the truth. I have three phases in which my life made positive turns. A little back ground: I was not raised in a stable, guided home. I lived with my mom and stepdad in a very violent, drug-induced home. At 14 years old, I was free to do how I pleased and didn’t think twice about my future. My whole life was centered around my boyfriend (Alicia’s dad) so after having a baby at 15, her dad, who was 18, ended up in prison for drugs and probation violations. When I delivered, luckily I was able to go live with his mother who would end up being the person and the first phase that changed my life. She showed me a strong, educated woman and that there was more to life than what I had known. However, after 2 years of supporting us she was unable to continue and I had to move back home with my mom, which is where the next turning point in my life came.
I had attempted to sign up for high school but I had dropped back out because I did not have someone to care for Alicia when I was going to school. I was later contacted by the Riverside school district and introduced to a teen parent program. Up until that point, I was a 17 year old with a 2 year old and barely 15 high school credits. At Abraham Lincoln High School I would be able to bring my daughter with me. It was such a positive experience. All of the teachers pushed me so hard and they truly encouraged and guided me, showing me that being educated would be the only way for me to change our lives. It was then that I was truly motivated to set goals and accomplish something great. I was able to complete four years of school in merely two years. I graduated only a year later than my original graduation date and, to top it off, I was able to receive a few (small) scholarships and go to Riverside Community College. I knew that I was showing my daughter something special.
Fast forward a few years and I met my husband and found my job which would be the financial and third turning point in my life (around 2002). My husband showed me that I could be loved, even with a child, and he showed me how to be responsible, pay my bills, and build my credit up so that we could one day buy a home. My work was something I was good at and showed me that I could work hard and get somewhere. I have been with my company for 12 years now, starting as order entry and working up to an Operations Manager. I love going to work and I love problem solving. I went from having ZERO dreams to having accomplished the lifestyle that I never knew existed. I am truly fortunate to have found myself through all of the emptiness and to find a support system, meeting all of the encouraging people that would change my life.
What are some things you learned as a young mom, that you wish you would’ve known as soon as you got pregnant?
Many girls end up raising their baby on their own. They either do it alone or with the support of their family. But some girls go into it thinking they will have him by their side and then are devastated when it doesn’t happen the way they intended. Structure is the best tool you can provide.
Do you have any tips or advice for staying on track with your goals and dreams?
You will always run into negative people. Surround yourself with positive people, educate yourself, stay in school , push yourself hard for your baby, and when you think you have given it all you could, push and give more!
What kinds of things do you do for fun and to stay relaxed? How important do you think it is for young moms to take care of themselves as well as their children?
I love working out and going to the gym, that is my ME time. I enjoy getting pedicures and shopping. I love seeing a glowing pregnant girl who looks happy. I did not have a “pretty” pregnancy so when I see those girls it makes me happy. It’s so important to embrace your pregnancy and dress cute. I already spoil my daughter with pretty clothes so she can look her best.
What are your favorite things about being a mom?
I love that despite my upbringing and being such a young mom, I was able to provide my daughter with a loving, stable, positive life. I love that my daughter knows she can always depend on me and that I will always be there for her. I love knowing I showed her something positive. She is my only child and I always thought of having another one but didn’t. But now I get to have a little one to spoil! <3
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What goals and dreams are you currently pursuing?
I continue to be a part of the company I work for, but I am looking forward to a home business with my husband. I am really just embracing the thought of helping my daughter and her boyfriend raise a beautiful baby girl.