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teenage pregnancy statistics danielle ford young mom

Don’t be a Statistic

When I was a kid, pretty much every grown up in my life had a substance abuse problem or mental illness.

Until I was 25, the longest I ever lived in 1 place was 2 years. Nobody could take care of me for an extended period of time.

I attended 8 different schools growing up. Being the new kid became the norm and I got pretty good at it.

I spent many nights alone in whatever crummy apartment we were living in, in the worst neighborhoods, taking care of my little sisters. In the morning, I’d feed the baby and get the older one ready for school. I was 10.

I walked myself to and from middle school, through the ghetto, taking shortcuts through dirty alleyways where groups of men hung out during the day, drinking and smoking on their apartment balconies. Looking back, I know I had to have had a guardian Angel. Or incredible luck. Or something.

The only constant I had during my entire life was my grandma. During every custody battle, every move/eviction, every new drug problem a caregiver would develop, my grandma was always there to swoop in and save me, if only for a short time.

best-grandma-danielle-ford

When I was 14, I called my grandma collect from a 7-11 pay phone. I was locked out of the apartment and it was midnight. She picked me up and I slept in the bedroom that she had always kept for me. And then I just.. stayed. I officially moved in with her.

According to statistics, I should’ve been an alcoholic or a crack whore or dead.

It’s because of my grandma that I beat that statistic.

Life was smooth for a while. I was able to attend only 1 high school, I was in Honors classes, I got an under-the-table after-school job and saved up enough money to buy my first car.

And then at the end of my sophomore year, I met “the love of my life”; my boyfriend who would later become my husband, the father of my children and my ex-husband (not in that particular order).

My whole life revolved around him. I would pick him up for school, take him home from school, give him rides to and from work, ditch school to hang out with him. I only wanted to be with him.

This, of course, drove my grandma crazy but there wasn’t much she could do. I remember so many times just waiting until the moment I could speed away from my grandma’s house so I could be with him, not knowing that later all I would want is to be away from him and to have my grandma back.

2 years later, the statistics caught up with me and I found myself pregnant at 17.

I continued on following the life-plan that the statistics had in mind for me.

I dropped out of high school.(-Statistic.)

I got married and found myself in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship.(-Statistic.)

I had a 2nd child.(-Statistic.)

And I ended up divorced. (-Statistic.)

..and broke.(-Statistic.)

And then one day, I decided to stop being a statistic.

 

I knew that there were many more statistics ahead of me on the “Teen Mom Statistic Train” that I was on and I didn’t want them to come true for me.

 

For instance:

*Over half of all moms on welfare are teen moms.

*Teen moms have an average income of $23,000.

*Daughters of teen moms are 3 times as likely to become teen moms themselves and sons of teen mothers are twice as likely to end up in jail.

*and there are lots more…

 

F*ck those statistics.

 

I want you to know that wherever you are on the “Statistic train”, you can jump off.

Derail that bitch.

Get on a different train.

 

Now you tell me, how are you going to beat the statistics?

Leave a comment now.

Share your story.

And if you know anyone else who needs to read this, pass it on.

<3 Danielle

 

magical-harry-potter

You’re Magical (just like Harry Potter!)

Here’s a not-so-secret secret… I am a huge Harry Potter nerd.

magical harry potter pic(People make fun of me all the time.. whatever. I don’t care.)

That’s why I got super excited when I realized that Halloween fell on a Friday and I was able to relate a topic to it that allowed me to wear my Harry Potter costume.

Score!

So in today’s video, I’m going to tell you something that me, you and everyone else in the world has in common with Harry Potter.

(as silly as it sounds, this is one of the most important topics we’ve ever covered so make sure to watch)

 

So to recap: Your magic power is: Intuition.

..Those times when you just know that something is right or wrong..

..When you can tell someone is either lying or telling the truth..

..When you instantly jump when you see a spider..

That’s your intuition, love.

There are many times when I didn’t follow my intuition and I lived to regret it. Don’t let the same happen to you.

 

Have an amazing Friday and a Happy Halloween with your family!  <3 Danielle

P.S. If you’re as interested in intuition as I am, you’ll want to check out the book “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell. It dives way deeper into exactly how the brain works and has lots of fascinating case studies. Here’s the book–> Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

 

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!   🙂

TIOT - When Should I Tell Him I Have Kids

TIOT: When Do You Tell a Guy You Have Kids?

It’s Talk It Out Tuesday!

“When is the right time to tell a guy you have children? Is the first date too soon?”

This question was sent in by a young mom hitting the dating scene. We got lots of responses from women and even a guy’s perspective! Check out what YMC followers said about this week’s question…

FB User Aubrie Phenix

 

Facebook User Aubrie Phenix says… I’d say tell them right away, first date or sooner. They deserve to know the package deal they’d be getting. Not to mention, if they won’t give you a chance just because you have kids, chances are they wouldn’t make a very good father and it’s not someone you would want in their lives or yours anyway.

 

IG User waitingongrace

 

 

IG user @waitingongrace says… I’d tell him, but I wouldn’t bring him home to the kiddos until you’re sure he’ll stick around.

 

IG User jasminder_03


 

IG user @jasminder_03 says… Before the first date to see if they’re still interested. Why waste your time if they don’t want someone with kids? But I agree, definitely don’t introduce them to the kids.

FB User Ryan Schlotter

 

 

 

Facebook User Ryan Schlotter says… We deserve to know ASAP.

 

IG User prvncess_lyric

 

IG user @prvncess_lyric says… You should let them know soon. If he doesn’t want to stick around, don’t get pissed or upset because you should never let someone come before your child/children. If he doesn’t care about you having kids, then that’s great. But you should never introduce your kids and your date until you know for sure he’s the right guy. It’s only right.

Thanks for your opinions everyone! All of the ladies (and guy) seem to be on the same page. What do you think?

Are YOU a young mom on the dating scene who has told your dates about your kid/kids? Are you a guy who has dated young, single moms? When were you told about her children? Leave a comment below!

…and don’t forget to submit YOUR Talk it out Tuesday questions so you can be featured next and get feedback and advice from young moms just like you!

resume writing blog header

The ABCs of Resume Writing

Getting a job today is no easy task. Especially for young moms with little to no experience.

I think it’s important for young adults to have a resume they can save and update throughout the years. If you were like me when you got pregnant you truly had no work experience, but I did have other things that I incorporated into my resume. I had worked at my father’s company for years for quick cash here and there. I did have a lot of volunteer experience and even though I didn’t get paid, I still had to treat it as a job.  Both of these experiences taught me different skills that I could use in future jobs.

So here are a couple tips on how to impress people with your resume!

 

Always put your contact information. Even more importantly, make sure to keep it updated! It’s funny how many people my boss makes me call/email for an interview and the information is outdated. When you add your email address make sure to keep it professional and classy. Don’t use that middle school email that goes like softballprincess@something.com or xojanie@whatever.net. Make a new one if necessary. Right now Gmail is ideal because if companies send you documents, Google Docs have become their best friend.

Jane Doe

janedoe@gmail.com

(xxx) xxx- xxxx

 

Basics can be boring. I’ve had mixed reviews on whether to put an objective in a resume or not. For the most part employers tell me they skip it because it’s a thing of the past. Let’s say you’re applying for a secretary position. Shouldn’t it be a given that you are organized, have a somewhat bubbly personality, and can clearly communicate with people? Why waste space and make your resume even longer when those qualities could be used in your cover letter.

 

Call attention to your strengths! This is where you want to show what you’ve got. Even if you don’t have any work history you have life experience that is still super important.  I was a camp counselor volunteer. It wasn’t a paid position, but I made my experience relate to real life scenarios. Check it out:

Experience

CAMP NAME, City, State                                                                                                                                       Year

Camp Counselor

      • Planned and organized itineraries for 3rd graders as well as group events for the whole camp.
      • Made sure activities promoted health, happiness, discipline, cleanliness, safety, routine, character, and skill development.
      • Provided a good example, created a fun learning experience, and encouraged self-confidence building.
      • Worked with camp director, camp staff, and clients to iron out concerns and conflicts.

Seriously, it’s all about how you sell yourself and your “experience.” Remember only to use past jobs/ experiences that relate to the job position you are applying to.

 

Diplomas and Degrees! Now you want to add the details of your education. When I applied to my first job I had only had my high school diploma and was in my freshman year of college. I hadn’t done much in college since I was pregnant, but I tried to sell what I had done in high school. This section of your resume should look something like this:

Education and Awards

NAME OF HIGH SCHOOL:

High School Diploma

      • Awards/achievements
      • Total community service hours completed
      • Leadership positions
      • Clubs/sports you were a member of

UNIVERSITY NAME

Major B.S./ B.A, Currently enrolled expected graduation date month, year

      • Awards/achievements
      • Total community service hours completed
      • Ledership positions
      • Clubs/sports/internships you were a member of

 

Endorse yourself! The reference section of a resume really depends on your choice. I don’t think you should add a reference unless it is requested so you don’t overwhelm your references with numerous phone calls from different employers. When you are called in for an interview, I would bring in a copy of your references so you don’t have an anxiety attack during your interview trying to remember good references and stress out even more.

When choosing references I use a variety of people. I have one person who was my boss, advisor, coach, or someone who has supervised me. Next, I choose a person who was a coworker, someone I volunteered with, or was a teammate. The last person I choose is someone who has known me for a while and can vouch for my personality and the type of person I am. Please, make sure you make your references aware that you are using them. If you’re like me you don’t answer numbers from people who aren’t on your contact list and pretty much don’t bother with voicemails.

References for Jane Doe

janedoe@gmail.com

(xxx)xxx-xxxx

Name

Job Title

Company

City, State

Phone number

Email (optional)

 

Formatting counts! Now that the content section is done, there are some other rules to remember. Keep your resume and references to one page. Also make sure you use the same font style and margins. You want to have a resume that is visually appealing.

By no means am I saying this is the right way to write a resume, but this is how I was taught to write one and so far it has worked for me! If you have any other tips on resumes, please make sure to share them in our comment section. Good luck!

 

how to pay off debt fast

Pay off Debt- Fast! & avoid the #1 Mistake most people make

So let me tell you about how my ex-husband completely screwed me over and how I learned the fastest way to pay off debt.

When I was 15 I bought my first car (cash). I had worked under the table since I was 14 to save up for it. I was so proud.danielle ford young moms malchi pic

Fast forward a couple years to when I found myself pregnant at 17. I realized I needed an even better car than I had, one that was safer and would last but I had no savings, so my dad co-signed for me for a $4,000 personal loan. I sold my old car and used that money to buy an older, but reliable, Honda Accord.

Around this same time, I took out a $13,000 school loan.

Then I had my first pregnancy and baby. There were major complications with her and even though I had great insurance, I was left with $5,000 in medical bills.

Right after that, I married my soon-to-be ex-husband. If you’ve followed my story so far, then you know what a huge douche he turned out to be.

He got a credit card and maxed it out for $2,000 from buying all sorts of stupid stuff (video games, movies, who knows what else). My name wasn’t on the thing.

In one of his attempts to buy back my love after his affairs, he went out and got me a new car, an SUV that I loved. He started driving the Honda, that had my name on it.

Months later after trying to work out our marriage and him cheating, yet again, I took off with the kids and the SUV and started our new life.

While in the process of divorce, we mutually agreed that he would keep the Honda and we would switch the SUV into my name.

While literally waiting at a red light, on the way to the court house, someone crashed into me and totaled the SUV.

We had already paid off $5,000 of it and all of that insurance money went to him, because it was still in his name. Of course I didn’t see a penny of it.

So I had to go out and get a new car. I didn’t have any money to put down so I took out a $16,000 car loan.

THEN I find out that douchehead had never actually put my old Honda in his name, and that he had crashed it into a palm tree and left the scene. Since my name was still on the registration the cops were looking for me for a hit and run.

I immediately went down to the station, explained the situation and cleared my name but the car had been towed and sat in impound for weeks and had occurred almost $4,000 in impound fees.

If you haven’t kept up so far, I was $44,000 in debt so far at the age of 20.

After my divorce finalized, I sought advice from a credit expert and paid off almost all my debt within a couple years.

If I had just gone at it blindly, I would’ve thrown a lot of money away, like most people do.

In today’s video I’ll share with you the super easy way to pay off debt, and how to avoid the 1 mistake a lot of people make, which wastes their precious money in the process.

pay off debt danielle ford video

If you have any questions about this system or how you should pay off your debt, let me know in the comments below. <3 Danielle

whats your purpose

What’s your Purpose? (Hint: it’s not your kids)

“What’s your purpose?”

That seems like a pretty simple question, right?danielle ford young mom blog

It’s usually very quickly answered by moms when they immediately announce “My kids!! My kids are my life’s purpose!”

But that’s just not true. I know you love your kids more than anything in the world but your purpose extends far beyond your offspring.

In today’s video, we’ll talk about why your purpose is not just to be a mom and if you don’t know yet what your pose is, I’ll give you some ideas to start figuring it out.

I’ll also share my purpose with you which I’ve spent years fine tuning.

Now I want to know what your purpose is.. or what you think it might be?

Let me know in the comments so I can help you figure it out.

Also, here are some of my favorite books that can help you narrow down your purpose..

The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive by Brendan Burchard

Chi-To-Be by Stacey Hall

The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle LaPorte

 

Also, if you’ve gotten your purpose down and have any books or resources you recommend, leave them in the comments for me!

<3 Danielle

the golden rule is totally wrong

Yep, “The Golden Rule” is TOTALLY Wrong!

What if I told you that “The Golden Rule” which our parents and teachers have been teaching us about our entire lives, is totally 100% WRONG?

golden rule pic teen mom

It just doesn’t make sense..

I spent most of my life following the golden rule and now I feel like an idiot.

 

In today’s video, I’ll tell you exactly why the Golden Rule is wrong-o and walk you through some examples (that you’ll probably totally relate to) of how most people mess up by treating people how they want to be treated.

So what do you think? Are you like me and have been doing it wrong your whole life?

Can you think of an example where you might’ve messed up by using the Golden Rule? Or did you figure this out a long time ago?

Let me know about it in the comments.

<3 Danielle

young mother kimberly luna

The Spotlight is on: Kimberly Luna

IMG950129This mom is smart! Learn about Kimberly and her family in this spotlight article. A young mom can still have knowledge!

Tell us about yourself and your family:

My boyfriend and I had our daughter when I was 16. I’m now 18 and my daughter is just over 2 years old. We live in Riverside, California but we’re originally from South Gate, California. We moved to Riverside so that I can attend the University of California, Riverside (UCR). I’m a freshman working on my B.A. in Political Science/Law and Society. I was recognized by my high school out of all the other teen moms for being intellectual (my high school has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in California). I only missed one week of school after labor because I had straight A’s and needed to keep them; when I got back, I worked hard and kept them. I started my senior year of high school as a mom with a 4.0 GPA. I’m not attending one of the best UCs because I applied to a lot of ʺsafe schoolsʺ (schools want students who are smart enough not get pregnant). I did though apply to the highest competitive Cal States, and got into all of them, one of them being Cal Sate Long Beach but ultimately, I wanted to attend UC so I picked UCR. My boyfriend attends the University of Phoenix and is a 3rd year working on his B.S. in Criminal Justice. Our daughter is a fun, smart, know-it-all,independent little girl.

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

My biggest concern when I found out I was pregnant was, money. I tried not to stress as much because there’s always a solution to everything.

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

I don’t treat myself often, I just make sure I have my make-up done daily and wax my eyebrows regularly. I only relax when my apartment is clean.

kimberly luna teen momWhat are your favorite things about being a mom?

My favorite thing about being a mom is acknowledging that a little beautiful human has unconditional love for you.

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 applying to grad school, taking my LSATS to attend law school, or working on something that requires me to put my B.A. in use. There are many different routes I can take but what I am sure of is, that I will continue to go to school. I want to receive a degree higher than a Master’s.

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

I advise young moms to never give up. If you feel that you’re stuck, don’t stay stuck, keep on going. Break young/teen mom statistics. When a person hears or finds out about a young mom, they picture a life of ruin; it is your job to prove them otherwise. Don’t ever let anyone bring you down and settle for less. Be successful and NEVER GIVE UP. There is life past one’s obstacles.

What an inspirational story that Kimberly has to share!

Leave your thoughts below and share with your friends! 🙂

dating-scrubs-615

Don’t Date This Guy!

There are tons of different types of guys out there.. Seriously tons.

..and most of them will do just fine for dating purposes.

dont date scrubs young moms club teen moms

 

But there is 1 certain type that you should avoid at all costs, and for the love of God or whatever you believe in, never ever ever date them!

 

I’m sure you know some of the type I’m talking about and if you’ve dated them, then I’m sorry. (Don’t worry, I have, too) Shudder..

Watch the video below to see exactly the type I’m talking about…

And if you’ve ever dated one of these guys, I’d love to know your experience and what you learned from it.
Let’s talk about it in the comments.

(And if you now have that song in your head, I’m sorry.) #sorryimnotsorry
<3 Danielle