It’s time to meet… me! Wanna get into the life of a YMC admin? Here’s your sneak peek into my crazy life raising two beautiful daughters.
Being an admin for Young Mom’s Club has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I am amazed every day by the stories that come in from all of our inspiring young moms, so I felt that it was time for me to share my story. I can tell you my road has NOT been an easy one, but I wouldn’t change a thing. My life story will definitely not fit into a spotlight article, but here are the highlights….
Tell us about yourself and your family:
My name is Kim. I live in Orange County, CA where I am raising my two daughters with my awesome boyfriend, Matt. My oldest daughter, Krystal, is going to be 12 this month and is a 7th grader (gulp!) while my “baby” Mia is only 6 and just started first grade this year. Matt is actually my best friend of 16 years and he is so supportive and loving that you would never know he isn’t the girls’ dad. I have had my share of challenges in my life, especially having Krystal in high school when I was only 17, but my kids have changed my life and really helped me grow up into the person I’m supposed to be.
Krystal’s dad seemed to want to be involved at first, but then was withdrawn for years and denied her. He eventually came around after getting a DNA test and definitely did his best as a father with his fiancee. Unfortunately, that bond was broken when both he and his fiancee passed away, all within a year of each other. I was married to Mia’s dad, but we divorced because he had alcohol issues and got another girl pregnant and ended up being unfaithful. He is around and sees Mia regularly, but we have a lot of struggles on having similar parenting values.
I’ve been working since I was 15 1/2 and just recently got laid off, so this is the first time I get to be a SAHM. My boyfriend insists that I take the time to focus on school and being able to spend more time with the kids since I’ve always had to put those things on the back burner to make a living to provide for my girls. I run our Etsy store part time for fun and couldn’t be more grateful that I have the opportunity to try new things right now. Plus I love being able to contribute to YMC and spend so much time getting to know so many young moms who have been through hardships too.
What were your biggest concerns when you first found out you were pregnant? How did you handle it?
I was all over the place when I was younger, getting kicked out of high schools, hanging out with lots of drug addicts, partying, and just not really caring about my future at all. I actually found out I was pregnant when I went to juvenile hall for assault and it was one of the most terrifying moments in my life. I actually told the nurse she was wrong… until she showed me the test. At that point, I was so worried about what I was going to do with a kid at 17 and I had to call my mom and explain to her why I was in jail AND that I was going to have a baby. I wasn’t even the type to babysit so I was worried I wouldn’t know how to be a mom.
My mom ended up wanting me to have an abortion or consider adoption. When she knew that wasn’t something I’d consider, she assumed I would stay with Krystal’s dad, but I knew that he wasn’t ready to grow up. She was super supportive of my decisions and helped me raise Krystal every step of the way. I am so grateful for her support and unconditional love for me and both of my kids. At one point, when I was living in my car and married to a drug addict, she even took Krystal to live with her briefly so I could feel secure that my baby would be safe until I could get back on my feet and break away from my ex.
Despite all of my fears and all of the ups and downs that have happened in the last 12 years (too much to write), I am so glad that I have two incredible daughters who teach me things everyday. I know I’m not perfect but I can hold my head up high and know that I am setting an example for my girls that I can be proud of.
What kinds of things do you do to treat yourself, for fun and to stay relaxed?
Honestly, I am a workaholic so I don’t know how to relax! When I have time away from homework, school, running errands, driving the kids around to karate, gymnastics, Girl Scouts, piano lessons, and band practice… I love to do NOTHING! 🙂 Aside from just relaxing at home, I like taking the kids thrift shopping and to estate sales (we’re girls, we love to shop!), we go to carnivals, get our nails done, and try to find offbeat places to try new things as much as possible.
My boyfriend and I do our best to go on date nights. We love to cook together when we can’t get out of the house and we try to catch a movie out when we can. If not, we usually end up glued to a show we’re addicted to on Netflix or Call of Duty Black Ops on Xbox! We like to nerd out… what can I say?
What are your favorite things about being a mom?
I love watching my kids accomplish their goals, big and small. Whenever they do something they are proud of, the looks on their faces makes me so much prouder than I ever thought I could be. Seeing them when they get along and aren’t arguing (like sisters do) is the most heartwarming feeling ever. I can’t help but smile every time I catch them being adorable when they think nobody is looking. I can’t wait to be a part of all of my kids’ life experiences, the good and the bad… and I love knowing that I did something right in life to make two beautiful, smart, and amazing daughters.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you didn’t have any obstacles, what dream would you pursue?
In 5 years, I see myself getting married to my boyfriend and living in a house. I’ll be working in my dream career as a Substance Abuse Counselor after getting my B.S.W. and getting ready to decide if I’ll go for my Master’s Degree. Maybe I’ll even own my own business by then! I see myself helping Krystal get ready to apply for scholarships and choosing a college and helping Mia prepare for middle school and crying because my babies aren’t babies anymore… LOL
I don’t feel that ANY obstacles in my past, present, or future will ever cause me to have to not pursue my dreams. Once I finish school and work for a while in my dream career and the kids are grown and away at college, I plan to retire with my boyfriend, buy an RV and hit the road! All I want to do in life is travel around the country with no limits on time and then venture out to experience life in parts of Europe, like Italy, France, and Spain. Life is too short to miss out on all the world has to offer!
What advice would you give to other young girls who just found out they’re pregnant or recently became a mom?
Don’t get anything get you down! There are always going to be critics in life but you can’t change them, so all you can do is keep your focus and make sure that you keep your head held high. If they’re passing judgement on you and you know their opinions are based on rumors and stuff that isn’t true, then don’t get it get to you!
The most important things you can do for yourself and your children is to follow your dreams, have a good work ethic, always care about other people, and remember to be open-minded and compassionate. The best way to raise children who will be successful in life is to lead by example. Even though we make mistakes in life, don’t let yourself be defined by them.