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The Spotlight is on: Lacricia Sanders

How do you defy the odds and create a beautiful family and positive home after getting married and having children young?

Lacricia Sanders explains with her story below:

Tell us about yourself and your family:young marriage pic

Hi I’m Lacricia, the spunky red head that lives in a tiny town with all the people I grew up with. I had dreams of being a famous singer or Hollywood star when I was younger, but that all changed the day I met my prince charming, Jason. He swept me off my feet and took me off the dating market 12 years ago when I was just 15 and he was 19. Seems crazy to some that we got married so young, but we wanted to bring up our daughter in a stable home filled with love. Now, 31 years old he works very hard to take care of his 4 girls, his lovely wife who keeps the household running well and his three beautiful daughters Jaylynn 11, Leah 6, and Lilyanna 3.

I am now 27 and very much still in Love with my husband and our life is great. I believe that God has supplied us with every need and even a little room to spoil. I always say I am “spoiled” but it’s not because I don’t do any work or we have lots of extra money to spend. I say that because I have a wonderful husband that does all he can to pay the mortgage and utilities and still have some strength left to talk to me and enjoy our family. I have been fighting the whole stay at home mom thing for awhile now because I feel I dont get the outside social interaction or career stimulation I need, but I am so thankful that I have been at home enjoying every important moment with my kids while they grow. Now I am a work at home mom and I proudly promote health and fitness body by vi challenge pic lacricia sandersfrom home with Visalus and the BodybyVi Challenge. I am always researching nutrition and exercise so I can help my clients. I love my job and now my goal is to become a fitness trainer and my ultimate dream is to own a gym with aerobic exercise, yoga, weight training, kick boxing and martial arts. I love natural healing remedies and believe that what you put into your body is what determines what will come out, including positivity. I am also working very hard to be a good mother and find new ways to feed and care for my children. I want to make sure I do creative things with the whole family. Remember that no one and nothing is perfect, so make the best of each day!

What were your biggest concerns when you first found out you were pregnant? How did you handle it?

My biggest concern when I first found out I was pregnant would have to be how my life would turn out. I was determined to finish school and go to college, which I did! My oldest daughter was three when I started college and work. I feel i missed out a little on her, but I am glad I can say I did do it. I was afraid we wouldn’t have what we needed, but I prayed and it all worked out!

What kinds of things do you do to treat yourself, for fun and to stay relaxed?

I Love to exercise! I do a lot of running and home exercises. I love to read and I am a decent singer! I intend on going back to school for music.


What are your favorite things about being a mom?lacricia sanders young family

When I feel that I haven’t done anything worth mentioning, my children remind me how great of a job I do with them. We have a positive home and I can see how much influence I have in their lives and it reminds me to do the best I can to keep smiling!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you didn’t have any obstacles, what dream would you pursue?

I see myself in five years owning my own business place where people can come to workout and buy supplements. I also want to go back to school for music. I will be making enough money that I can volunteer and give back to the community, afford fun activities with my daughters, take some cool classes myself, and give my husband a fun break from working so hard.

What advice would you give to other young girls who just found out they’re pregnant or recently became a mom?

I would like to tell other moms to not be so rigid when it comes to raising their kids. Have fun, enjoy each moment, and don’t forget to discipline! You don’t have to do anything like other people do, parent in your own way. Don’t get so mad at people, but stand your ground when it comes to advice, just say, “Thanks” and do it your way. Listen to your heart, that’s where a true loving relationship with your kids comes from!

The Spotlight is on: Lacricia Sanders

The Spotlight is on: Alexandra Marie Street

Take a minute to meet the Inspiring

Alexandra Marie Street from Allendale, MI, USA!!!

Tell us about yourself and your family:

Hello =)
I am a 23 year old wife, sister, daughter and mama! My husband and I met in 6th grade and have been together since! We had our son at 17. His name is Zane and he is now six years old! He is our little ray of sunshine with the biggest heart of gold!
My husband is in the Marine Corps and is a professional painter/carpenter.

I just recently graduated with my undergrads in Behavioral Science with a Sociology emphasis. I work as lifestyle/fitness coach with Beachbody and also work part time at a local salon and spa =). Life has been crazy, but we’ve always supported each other’s goals and dreams and have had a lot of fun along the way!cute pic of young couple

What were your biggest concerns when you first found out you were pregnant? How did you handle it?

My biggest concern was honestly that I didn’t like kids! Haha! No one had ever asked me to babysit, and kids just irritated me. I had no idea how I was going to be able to have my own!
On top of that, I was the child that you could say was on the fast track to success. I maintained honor roll/principle’s list status, was involved with many extra curricular activities and within the school and community. I had plans to go to college and was planning on pursuing a “normal” young adulthood. I was really scared that I wouldn’t be able to do that anymore, and was scared what my life would turn into without those things.
We at first considered abortion. Now I cringe when I say it, but I’d be lying if I said that I never considered it. I was never for it, but it’s funny how fast your views change once you’re faced with a teenage pregnancy. I didn’t necessarily want to terminate a pregnancy, but at sixteen I just wanted to be like my peers. I didn’t want to worry about morning sickness, I wanted to make all conference or state for the varsity cheer team and I wanted to go prom dress shopping. I didn’t want the responsibility and I wanted to pretend like it never happened. Most of all, I was terrified of my parents finding out.
Months passed, and if we didn’t talk about it, it wasn’t real. I really felt great, had no problems. So other than a little bump, it was easy to ignore. We kept looking and looking for abortion clinics that we could a) afford, and b) go through without parent’s consent. Eventually the months passed and options ran slim. We continued to hide it from everyone. We knew we had to do something – make a decision. The only options were out of state and at 6-7months pregnant, the only way was really surgery. This was soo out of our budget and we knew we couldn’t hide it. That’s when we decided to tell our parents and consider adoption.
Our parents were supportive but scared. Supportive doesn’t mean happy! There were many tears and worries, lots of phone calls. The main concern of everyone was as to how we were going to finish high school and still be able to go to school and pursue other dreams. After talking, we decided there was absolutely NO way that we could go through with adoption. If we had gotten this far, we could do it. We figured that just because it wasn’t “convenient” didn’t mean that we couldn’t do it. We would just make all the adjustments needed, whatever it takes. To make a long story short, everyone was very flexible and supportive in any way they could be. My parents and his parents babysat, we lived at home for a few years while we saved our money. We both worked full time and I went to school full time. Eventually we moved out on our own and continued to work, go to school and communicate to make things work.
The biggest help was support. Surround yourself with only those who are there to help lift you higher, ignore your old friends if they don’t respect your new lifestyle. You’ll make new ones. Don’t be afraid of change but embrace it.

 

“Surround yourself with only those who are there to help lift you higher” -Alexanda Marie Street –Click to Tweet this out!

What kinds of things do you do to treat yourself, for fun and to stay relaxed?

I firmly believe in taking care of yourself before you can take care of anyone! Definitely don’t take this as negligence, but when appropriate, it’s MORE than okay to reward yourself!! I like to go shopping, out to lunch/dinner or have a glass of wine with mom and sister to treat myself! We also love to travel, so we try to do as much of that as we can!
For fun, I love to work out and cook! I love to read, play piano, check out local bands and new restaurants. My husband and I enjoy watching movies together, being outside (skiing and camping) and entertaining. I LOVE to meet new people, my mom and I host a free fit club two mornings a week for other moms.
For me to stay relaxed, I have to stay organized in a few different areas. First, I can’t miss my work outs lol! They are my stress relievers and where I sort out my life and finalize my goals and dreams! I also love to read for personal development. Some of my favorites are The Magic of Thinking Big (can’t remember the author!) and How To Win Friends and Influence People. These will burst any stereotypes and stigmatisms that we as young mothers face and it’s a great confidence boost! It helps so much in relationships and helps me feel like I have control over my life. This helps me stay relaxed!!
little boy in tuxSecondly, I like to stay organized with my husband. We both have crazy schedules and sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re a couple first and foremost. We like to take minimum five minutes to ourselves, no cell phones, kids, tv, internet – just us to reconnect.
Third – I like an ORGANIZED house. Not necessarily super clean, just uncluttered. We currently struggle with procrastination – especially on school mornings so having little things in line; like the lunches ready or the dishes loaded in the sink keep me in a good mood! Haha, dirty dishes in the sink put me in a bad mood!

Fourth – COFFEE. Need I say more?

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

I love the innocence of it and the unconditional love. Kids have such a fantastic view of the world. They don’t hate, they don’t judge. Everyone is their friend immediately and they take you for who you are. They don’t care about your past or where you’re going, as long as you love them and treat them with kindness and respect. I can’t push this viewpoint enough, I feel like the world is missing this.
I love the little things, like a surprise trip to the park and how it makes their entire day. They tell EVERYONE about it and it makes you feel like the best mom ever. I love the giggles and finding out their little personalities. The sense of humor is adorable, and so genuine. The belly laughs are the best!!
I also love how we get to be big kids again!! The holidays are awesome. It’s totally acceptable to carve the BIGGEST pumpkin you can find, go trick or treating, build snowmen and put a million lights on the Christmas tree. It’s fun to believe in Santa again, and to “Ooh” and “Ahh” at all the fireworks on the 4th. Birthday parties are so exciting!
It really is all of the little things! Kids take us back to what really matters, and that’s the best part about being a mama!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you didn’t have any obstacles, what dream would you pursue?

In five years, I see my husband and I building our home, maybe with another baby. We will probably still have our two cats and dog. I’d like to be home with our kids, and able to travel. I’m not sure if my husband will still be in the Corps, if he is I don’t think we’ll be moving. I’d like to travel as much as we can!
I really don’t like to think that I have any obstacles. I realize this sounds arrogant, and I TOTALLY do NOT mean for it to be! However, I just really believe that everything happens for a reason and children, money – WHATEVER, there’s nothing hold you back. As long as you aren’t afraid to dream big and go for it, you can achieve anything. I plan to pursue my dream of helping as many people as I can. I want to be a go-to girl for young mom and men and women everywhere for whatever they need. My experiences have made me a better person and if I can do it, ANYONE can do it. I’d love to help people realize and achieve their highest potential and beyond =)getting married at a young age

What advice would you give to other young girls who just found out they’re pregnant or recently became a mom?

If you recently became pregnant, the advice that I would give would be:
1. It’s okay to be scared, mad, happy, cry, worried… all of it. No one can tell you how to feel and you’re entitled to experience it in your own way. Don’t feel bad for any of it.
2. Rid negativity in your life – even if it’s people. If you wouldn’t want to be like them, don’t hang around them. Sometimes this means the dad, don’t be afraid of that. Put yourself first and take care of yourself and your baby will always be taken care of.
3. Don’t be afraid of the stereotypes – just break them. Don’t let other people’s comments get to you. Again, read number 2.
4. Smile! Pregnancy is freaking crazy and some people love or hate it. Either way, you’ll be sharing stories your whole life so have fun!

If you recently became a mom:
1. It’s okay to feel ANY emotion too. I wasn’t immediately attached to my son. I felt like a bad mom, but this is completely normal. The bond shows up really soon! I promise!
2. It’s okay to miss your old life. It’s a huge change and you can’t expect to bury that part of you over night.
3. Don’t get mad at the little things because there will be a lot. Have a great support system and think logically, plan ahead.
4. Don’t think that you’re being held back in any way. Children are a blessing no matter how old YOU are when they show up! I believe that young moms have a baby so soon because that child is just too special to come any later. These children do amazing things and are very influential and such a gift. Embrace them and build them up, you’ll be happy you did.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Have fun! You’re going to have dark circles under your eyes, you might not shower for days at a time. Your sleep will be messed up and your friends may not call as much. But embrace this time! You are your baby’s WORLD and they think you look so pretty and are so funny even in your frumpy jammies =)
6. Take a million pictures!

 

The Spotlight is on: Alexandra Marie Street

The Spotlight is on: Stevie Degenero

Meet Young Moms Club’s Spotlighted Member: Stevie Degenero!!!

Tell us about yourself and your family:

Hi, I am Stevie Degenero. I live in Ohio with a family of 5. I am wife to Jason, mother of Travis 5, Owen 4, and Kyle 3. There are less than 3 yrs between my first and 3rd son. Having 3 little boys is a lot of work but it is also so wonderful! They are best buddies and worst enemies hahaha luckily worst enemies don’t last long 🙂

When I got pregnant with Travis I was 19 and I was in between jobs but luckily Jason had a full time job. I got a part time job as a cashier when I was about 3 months pregnant and we were doing pretty good. We had our first son in Nov of 2006 and shortly after my husband was laid off, due to the business going under. He searched for a job non stop. We flew to Vegas (where our families are) in July 2007 with our son and got married 😀 When we got back home Jason got a fantastic job at Worthington Cylinders where he still works and in 4yrs he has moved up to an assistant group leader. I am very proud of him, he has stepped up for us and taken care of us. family of five

I got a new job at Jenny Craig I worked there for 3 yrs and was laid off in 2009 when I was 6 months pregnant with my last baby. I have been a stay at home mom ever since and my husband just works all the time to make up for us having one income. It would cost about $400 a week for childcare and Jason work 12 hr shifts with alternating days it is too hard to be on opposite schedules. So, I started a little In home baking business called “Sweets by Stevie”. I make cake pops and cupcakes and sell them at the flea market/swap meet on weekends. I also do personalized birthday cakes. I am still figuring out the marketing and selling part but right now I’m just working my ass off trying to get my name out there! I love doing it and I am hoping to make some income to benefit my family 🙂

What were your biggest concerns when you first found out you were pregnant? How did you handle it?

Well, I was worried that I was too young and even though Jason and I had been together for 4 yrs, I was worried we wouldn’t stay together because we weren’t married and we wouldn’t be able to afford having a baby. Also when we went to close family we were told not to expect any help at all and actually encouraged us to have an abortion but Jason and I could never do that, we already loved our little baby 🙂

After all the heart to hearts that me and Jason had, I was reassured that he was going to be there and that we were very much in love. No, we didn’t get help and we still rarely have a sitter but we get by. I would never trade my kids or husband for anything!!!

three boysWhat kinds of things do you do to treat yourself, for fun and to stay relaxed?

To relax every once in awhile I hang out with friends with no kids and no hubby. To relax I get my kids to bed early and take a couple hours to myself to sit and watch some TV or hang and talk to the hubby. I enjoy those hours without the sound of children. I also have a membership to the YMCA where I can put my kids in daycare for up to 2 and a half hours a day and workout, swim or just hang out in the spa 🙂

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

My favorite thing about being a mom is seeing my handsome, happy, healthy boys everyday. I love spending time with them and acting like a big kid 🙂 I love how much they love me and how they light up when I just smile at them.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you didn’t have any obstacles, what dream would you pursue?sweets by stevie cake pops

In 5 yrs I hope to own a home and have a full time job. Without any obstacles, I would love to own a bakery that serves gourmet sweets by me and people come from all over to line up and get some 😀

What advice would you give to other young girls who just found out they’re pregnant or recently became a mom?

Moms to be and new moms: Take all the help you can get. If someone says, “I will watch the baby, take a nap.” DO IT! All people are scared when they get pregnant no matter how old, young, prepared or unprepared. Motherly instincts kick in and you will know what is best for your child. Hard times come and go, and being a mother is the most rewarding thing you will ever do. Read up as much as you can so that you have researched and professional advice. It makes you feel good when you know what’s going on with your children.

 

 The Spotlight is on: Stevie Degenero

The Spotlight is on: Brittany Layman

Meet Young Moms Club’s Spotlighted Member: Brittany Layman!!!

Tell us about yourself and your family:

My name is Brittany Layman. I am 19 years old. I am married with two children. I have an almost two year old little boy named Blaine and a 6 month old little girl named Brooklynn. happy young family

My husband, Taylor, is an amazing guy. I got pregnant with my son at 17 and Taylor was 16. He was more optimistic than I was. Not a lot of teen boys stick around. I had my son when I was 18 years old. At first, I was so scared of having a little baby to take care of and now I would not have it any other way. I did have some post partum after I had him.

Then when my son was 6 or 7 months old I got pregnant with my little girl. I was 18 years old and Taylor was 17. I had her when I was 19. I was so over whelmed by having two children. Before Brooklynn was born, me and Taylor got married.

I love my life. I would not change it for anything in the world.

What were your biggest concerns when you first found out you were pregnant? How did you handle it?

My biggest concerns when I found out I was pregnant with my son was; How am I going to give my child a life? How am I going to afford having a baby? I am still a child myself.

With my daughter my concerns where; Am I going to be able to handle two kids? A toddler and a newborn? Is it possible?

The way I handled it was I talked about things with my mom and I went to this place called The Pregnancy Center. They helped a lot. They had me watch video’s about raising kids and taking care of yourself and your newborn. Taylor helped me a lot too. 🙂

What kinds of things do you do to treat yourself, for fun and to stay relaxed?

teen mom with familyWhen I feel like I need to relax, I go on a walk or drive. I usually call my best friend, Niki, and talk to her about how I am feeling. For fun, I don’t really do too much. My parents help me out on the weekends sometimes by getting the kids for a few hours or to spend the night. When they do, I just spend time with my husband and we have a date night sometimes. When I treat myself I usually go get my eyebrows done or I try to go hangout with a friend for a few hours. 🙂

People say that when you have kids young that your life is over, well I will be the first one to tell you that it is NOT true. I am currently in school to be a teacher and my husband is working full time about to go get his GED.

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

I wold have to say that my favorite thing about being a mom is when my child looks up at me and has the BIGGEST smile on their face.
With Blaine, I love it when he just grabs my cheeks and is like, “I love you mommy. Love you bunches.”

With Brooklynn, I love waking up to that smiling pretty face of hers. It is just beautiful! 🙂
My children are my life. I don’t know where I would be without them.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you didn’t have any obstacles, what dream would you pursue?

In five years, I see myself and my family owning a home. I see me having a full-time job and Taylor as well. I see us being happy as ever:)

What advice would you give to other young girls who just found out they’re pregnant or recently became a mom?

I would have to say, keep your head up and stay strong. Your life is not over just because are pregnant. Your life is just beginning.

Yes, it can be stressful and hard sometimes but the reward is so worth it. You have someone so small looking up to you. Right now, You are in charge of someone’s life. You can do it! Yes, you do have to grow up quicker and you might lose some friends but those kids are worth it.

Also, If you feel like you are not ready to grow up and be a parent, you have the option of adoption. There is someone out there ready to be a parent to that child. Someone that can not have kids who would love to help you.

Also, when you need help or you feel you need a break, ASK FOR HELP!!! Do NOT be afraid to do so. I mean do not take advantage of that but when you feel like you can’t take it, or you might harm yourself or child, ASK FOR HELP! If you don’t know what to do, ASK FOR HELP!!!

Good Luck!