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How Kristen Marie Leimann Did It

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!

Family Pic Kristen LeimannTell 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?

Teen Mom Kristen Leimann Age 17As 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.

Young mom and daughter picI 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?Nana Rose Alicia and Myself

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.

Kristen Leimann Thanksgiving FamilyWhat 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.

How exciting to go from being a successful young mom to being able to support your daughter having a child of her own! What a great job Kristen has done and good luck with your new grandbaby! 🙂

Can you relate to Kristen’s story? You can be a successful and happy young mom too, just like her! If you have feedback for her, make sure you let her know in the comments below. And don’t forget if you have a story like hers, you could be the next featured “How She Did It” mama! Sign up HERE and don’t forget to SIGN UP for the Young Mom’s Club!

nicole rodriguez pic

The Spotlight is on: Nicole Rodriguez

If you’re a young mom facing hard times, you should definitely read Nicole’s story.

Finding out she was pregnant in one of the hardest situations anyone could imagine,Nicole shows us all that nothing can keep a tough chick down!

nicole rodriguez young mom spotlightTell us about yourself and your family:

My son Donnie is 5 months. My boyfriend Adam is my son’s stepfather. We both work very hard in order to provide for our munchkin. My son is fun-loving and makes our little family glow.

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

I knew how my son was conceived. At that time I was living with a horrible person, my ex. He was verbally abusive and would guilt me into having relations with him. He knew that my child was a product of rape and he knew that he could push me because I did not want to end up on the streets as a pregnant 18 year old girl. I was so flippin’ scared. I cried and cried and convinced myself that I would put my son with an adoptive family right after I had found out I was pregnant.

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

nicole rodriguez teen momI don’t really have time to treat myself. I watch TV now and again, but I work 53 hours a week and play with my munchkin.

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

The fact that I get to teach my son how to be the best man he can be. I get to steer my little man into his path and show him around. His smile reminds me everyday why I bust my butt working. My son is my inspiration.

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

Hopefully returning to college and living in a nice apartment to accommodate my family, as well as myself.

nicole rodriguez young mom

 

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

You have options. There is so much support with baby care and baby supplies, even baby clothing and formula. There is WIC, there are formula checks, and even government funded daycare centers. There are so many options to help and so many different support groups that can guide you. Things will only get bad before they get better. Chin up ladies! We can bear children and we can raise them as well.

 

Thank you to Nicole for sharing her powerful story. You have certainly battled with more than most people should deal with in a lifetime and are an inspiration to young mothers everywhere.

If you have comments for Nicole or felt that her story inspired you in any way, please leave a comment below! Her helpful tips for new moms are great as well, so if you have other tips to give her in return, don’t be afraid to share here!

To share your own story of success and positive advice to other teen moms, submit your photos and fill out the form for a chance to be the next Spotlight Young Mom! (and don’t forget to sign up on our email list to get updates so you don’t miss anything and to get your FREE gift)

Past TIOT - Advice for young pregnant girl Blog Header

TIOT: Advice for Young Girls who Just Found out They’re Pregnant

It’s Talk It Out Tuesday!

“What advice would you give to young girls who just found out they’re pregnant?”

When we received this question, we were so stoked on the amount of responses we got AND what amazing advice our young moms had to share! Some of these teen moms really had great things to say and I think a lot of us will appreciate or relate to this advice. Read on to see what we’re talking about…

 

bliss cruz fb userFB Fan Bliss Cruz says:

1) Try not to get overwhelmed. God won’t give you anything you can’t handle. 
2) Don’t rush it. ENJOY IT. Believe it or not, once the morning sickness passes, you will miss being pregnant & having the baby all to yourself. 
3) DONT GOOGLE YOUR SYMPTOMS & AILMENTS. It’s a horrible idea & you will end up diagnosing yourself with malaria or a calcium deficiency. Talk to your doctor. 
4) Do not watch “A Baby Story” or “I didn’t know I was pregnant” — doing so is a very poor choice. You will psych yourself out & imagine each thing that could go wrong. 
5) Talk to your baby, talk to your significant other, talk to God, talk to your friends, talk to your doctor. YOU ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE. You are literally making a miracle happen. Take some time to realize that before your miracle is complete. You have been hand picked to love & carry this beautiful little human. Be proud & be gracious. There are so many women who would give anything & everything they have to be in your shoes. Keep that in mind. 

YOU ARE GOING TO BE FINE.  it will all be ok— better than ok. It’s going to be wonderful. You are going to be a mom. Congrats!!!!

 

FB Fan Autumn Wake says…autumn wake fb user

I think Miss Bliss above here said it all! I never thought I would miss my belly, but when baby was sick in the NICU after she was born that’s all I thought. Def don’t google stuff… Ask your doctor! I was feeling a lot of hiccups when I was in the last month. Some dumb person posted something in a forum about how she had hiccups right before she had a stillborn… Wtf?!?! Even though I knew it was ridiculous I was still paranoid. Get ready for everyone to tell you 100 different things when you have the baby! One person tells you one thing and the next contradicts it. Find one person you trust and stick with their guidance… As well as your own gut!

My favorite thing about being a new parent is the secret club that parents have that everyone told me “you don’t get it until you have one.” Everyone gets so excited for you to experience this new parent thing… It’s just like everyone who is a parent gets so excited and bonds with you like you never expected.

 

christinamayhem IG user

 

IG User @christinamayhem says…

Keep holding on and stay strong! Your life is not over!!! You, and only you, know what your capable of, and that is anything you put your mind to. Don’t be discouraged by anyone. You can make a great life for you and your child! Finish high school and do something after too.

 

 

mommyandbraxton IG users

 

 

IG User @mommyandbraxton says…

Just be honest and don’t give up. Tell your parents no matter how much you think they will hate you, more than likely they won’t. Stay focused on schooling.

 

 

IG user ___kearstinleighhh

 

IG User @___kearstinleighhh says…

I am a young mom. It’s not easy. Never will be. But being a mother is the most rewarding thing a woman can do. It’s so amazing. Just keep your head held high and stay strong and NEVER give up.

 

 

stephanie mccoy fb user

 

FB Fan Stephanie McCoy says…

Nobody is ready for a baby no matter what… so take it one day at a time. It will all work out somehow. 
And take all advice with a grain of salt… nothing works one hundred percent of the time. Do what makes you happy!

 

blondebeauty92 IG user

 

 

IG User @blondebeauty92 says…

Don’t listen to anyones rude comments, keep your head up, and keep moving forward. Life is going to be harder now, but in the end it’ll be well worth it.

 

 

 

Jessica Tripod fb userFB Fan Jessica Tripod says…

1) Your life is not over once you become a mom.

2) Take care of yourself. You’ll thank yourself later.

3) Block out all negativity. Don’t allow others to sentence you to their misery. Just because someone else had a bad experience or is unhappy with themselves doesn’t mean that you have to go down the same path.

 

_mother_of_2boys IG user

 

IG User @_mother_of _2boys says…

Always think positive and keep your head up. Don’t pay any attention to the rude comments and mean things your family and friends might say. Just prove them wrong and then they will keep their mouths shut. Its not gonna be easy, but it will all be worth it at the end. Remember think positive.

 

joshuamomma_proud IG user

IG User @joshuamomma_proud says…

It’s a very hard time in life. You’ll get scared and you won’t have all the answers, you’ll feel like you’re not prepared and that’s all okay. You just have to have faith in yourself, keep your head high and don’t listen to what everyone keeps telling you. Just hold on and stay strong and remember that at the end of those long nine months you’ll be holding the most precious person in your life.

 

alliebear714 IG user
IG User @alliebear714 says…

Make sure anything you do and or decide to do for you and your baby is the best choice for you and your baby. Nobody else can tell you what you are feeling or what you are going to do. Always think positive! 🙂 Nothing will come out of being negative and if you are surrounded with negativity then find your way of shutting it out and keep your head high. Always remember, it will never be easy being a young mom. The sooner you realize that, then the less stressed you will be come when those words ring true. That is what helped me overcome all of the obstacles everybody said I wouldn’t get over.

marissaallier IG user

 

IG User @marissaallier says…

I know I’m a little late to the party… But the best advice I can give is stay positive. This is the beginning of a long journey. There’s gonna be ups & downs but it’s gonna be the best time of your life. Just know that you can do it, & when you need help don’t be afraid to ask for it.

 

 

krsmari IG user

 

IG User @krsmari says…

Be honest with your parents you need their support -try to complete as much education as possible before and after pregnancy

 

 

kitti_in_wonderland IG user

 

IG User @kitti_in_wonderland says…

Don’t ever let anyone call you stupid. It has nothing to do with your level of intelligence, it was a thing that happened that could happen to someone with a 4.0 GPA or someone with a 1.0 GPA. You are NOT stupid, you just made a mistake… everyone does. I’m 17 and 5 months pregnant and people call me stupid all the time because I have a baby. I don’t let it bother me because God gave me this baby for a reason and girls remember, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and that is so true. #proudyoungmom

Wow! After all that awesome advice, we’re sure the young mom who asked the question is feeling so supported right now! You guys freakin’ rock! Thanks to everyone who contributed and we hope that this helped lots of young pregnant teens everywhere! You are never alone, ladies!

If anyone else has questions or life issues that they might need some support with, make sure you fill out our form to be anonymously featured on the next Talk it out Tuesday here. Also, as always, feel free to comment below if you have any additional advice for young moms-to-be or if this advice helped you!

eleigh arnold pic

The Spotlight is on: Eleigh Arnold

This young mom found true love in her family life.

Hear what Eleigh has to say about being married to her high school sweetheart and raising her adorable little boy, Bauston.

eleigh arnold young teen momTell us about yourself and your family:

I’m Eleigh (Ellie)! I’m married to the love of my life, Sean. We met my junior year of high school and have been inseparable ever since! I got pregnant at the end of that next summer right before my senior year was beginning. Bauston, my son was born in April of 2013! He’s the best thing that has ever happened to us!

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

I was really worried about how I was going to finish school. I looked into online schooling and dropping out of school. Eventually I talked to my principal and she suggested I graduate early. It was difficult with no lunch hour and 8 classes, but I managed and graduated early!

eleigh arnold spotlightWhat kinds of things do you do to treat yourself, for fun and to stay relaxed?

I love to take care of my health and fitness. I just got a new job and am now able to afford a gym membership, so I joined a gym and have started a new fitness journey. I also love to spend time outside just laying in the sunshine. If the day is nice, then I’ll sit outside when Bauston goes down for a nap!

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

I love seeing Baus learn new things! He is already so smart and athletic and he’s only one. He can shoot a basketball already!! I spoil him as much as possible! I love to buy him cute outfits! Another thing I love is snuggling him in bed first thing in the morning! I go get him from his crib, get him a bottle and snuggle him!

eleigh arnold teen mom

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

I see us finished with college and loving our careers, hopefully another baby and in a great family home. My all-time dream is to be an interior designer. Hopefully I can change my major and get into something I will love doing forever.

eleigh arnold young mother

 

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

Enjoy every little moment. Every kick, every movement, every hiccup, labor and the newborn snuggles because before you know it your little one is going to be running all over the house and won’t want any momma snuggles anymore. Also, document every big moment, first teeth, first words… every month they’ll be doing something new so make sure you get it at least written down.

We just love hearing about teen moms who finish school and live out their dream life. So happy for Eleigh and her husband who are doing a great job raising their little one.

As young moms we know that time flies and our kids grow up so quickly! Do you have anything to tell Eleigh? Are you a young mom who stayed with the father of your child and lived your happily ever after? Let us know in the comments below!

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The Spotlight is on: Kaitlin Kadar

We are so excited to have Kaitlin joining the club and telling her story. This young mom’s experience with breastfeeding, school, being a teen mom, and working her butt off definitely inspired us today. Check her out!

young spotlight parents kaitlinTell us about yourself and your family

I’m an 18 year old woman from Akron, Ohio. My daughter, Emma, will be 2 on September 8th. I believe in extended breastfeeding, extended rear facing, cosleeping, cobathing, and baby-wearing. I’m a nursing student and I’m president of my class. Emma’s father is still in the picture, we’ve just been through many struggles and don’t know exactly where we are right now. My heart knows what I want but my head tells me what I need, so it’s been very difficult.

What were your biggest concerns when you first found out you were pregnant? How did you handle it?
Honestly, my biggest concern was probably getting the money for formula and diapers because neither of us had a job. So that’s why I breastfed. Jeff (Emma’s father) had gotten a third shift job and was still attending high school. It was embarrassing walking the halls with a big belly. People who I’ve never talked to suddenly wanted to be my friend and all of my actual friends trailed off. Funny how things work, huh? I ended up getting a job two months postpartum and went back to school and earned straight A’s my entire senior year, bought my first car, breastfed my daughter and pumped for what seemed like all of my free time, and I was working. I walked the stage with my class. I was so proud of myself.kaitlinl daughter

What kinds of things do you do to treat yourself, for fun and to stay relaxed?
I don’t have much spare time! I’m in nursing school I have a toddler and I’m working at a factory, there’s no time for extras if I want to do my best in everything I do. Occasionally I’ll take my daughter to go get a treat from the store, or we’ll have a picnic at the park. I guess that’s what I do to stay relaxed. 🙂

What are your favorite things about being a mom?
I feel like I was made to be a mother. I love everything. From the stinky silly toots my daughter says are yucky, to the hugs and kisses every night. I must have done something right to deserve this. I love the crazy bed head. I love the snuggles, the silly remarks from Emma, her sass, her giggles. I love how much she has made me grow. I love how much she has taught me. I’m supposed to be the teacher, but with her and me, she’s far more of the little teacher. She’s given me purpose.

young mom kaitlin

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you didn’t have any obstacles, what dream would you pursue?
In five years, If I keep on track, I’ll have my bachelor’s in science and nursing, and working on the next step which will be my masters in nursing. I’ll have my own house and I’ll work in the medical field instead of the rubber factory I work at. LOL! If I didn’t hit the obstacles I hit, I wouldn’t be who I am today… So I wouldn’t exactly say I would be pursuing other dreams, because I’m pursuing all of my dreams. Right. Now.

What advice would you give to other young girls who just found out they’re pregnant or recently became a mom?
Moms to be or new mommas… Hmmm.
To never let yourself part ways from family! No matter WHAT, you can do anything you want to do. Nothing is holding you back. Don’t put off school because you doubt yourself. That’s silly. Work for what you have and you’ll feel so much better about it. It’s much more rewarding. Oh, and do research on EVERYTHING! Breastfeeding, water birth, home births with doulas, circumcision, epidural, episiotomy, cloth diapering, formula, car seat safety, EVERYTHING!

WOW, Kaitlin is such a knowledgeable and strong mom!

Between school, working, and putting 100% into being a great mommy we are so proud to have her story to share. Wanna give her props? Have questions? Comment below!

TIOT Blog - Natural v.s. C-Section

TIOT: Natural Birth v.s. C-Section

It’s Talk It Out Tuesday!

“Those of you who have experienced natural birth and a C-section which one did you prefer and why?”

One of our Facebook fans sent this question in and we were super interested to see what everyone would have to say. With every mom having a different experience with childbirth, we just had to share the answers with you! Read about our YMC followers’ answers to this week’s question…

 

Twitter User mommaliving (inked momma)

 

Twitter Follower @mommyliving (Inked Momma) says…

Had a natural birth & it was hell. Had to use forceps & he swallowed muconium, couldn’t hold him til next day. Terrifying.

 

 

IG User rosiemonterroza

IG user @rosiemonterroza says…

I had a C-Section. I had a good experience, I didn’t feel any pain at all. Although I was going for a natural drug free birth, my daughter had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck so she wasn’t going down to the birth canal. I’d prefer to have my next child naturally, but if I had to go through a C-Section again it wouldn’t bother me. I had a smooth and pain free experience.

 

IG User xosabinalovee

 

IG user @xosabinalovee says…

I had a natural delivery with an epidural. I didn’t feel any contractions after I got the shot but I got it early so during delivery it had worn off by then. But it sure is true you forget all the pain after holding your baby in your arms afterwards!  🙂  …until postpartum! That kicked my butt!!

 

 

IG User @newyorkermom says…IG User newyorkermom

Personally it was definitely natural birth. The recovery was a lot quicker. I had a C-Section the first time and then a natural birth a little over two years later. I aimed to have a natural birth both times. I had to get the C-Section because every time I pushed, my daughter’s heart rate slowed down. After several attempts to push, I was pushed to the operating room. It was tough because although I had anesthesia given to me, I could feel the pressure of the doctor maneuvering her back up and through my C-Section. I felt cold and very nervous and too shaky to even greet my baby girl. I was knocked out and woke up in the recovery room and then transferred to the After Labor room and requested my baby to be pushed to my room. It was tough to breastfeed because she was on top of my C-Section. It was also tough to walk straight because it felt really weird to have the cut. I had to really keep it clean to avoid any infection and have a good heal. Exercising felt weird and uncomfortable too.

>>>>Then with my second I wanted to make sure that by the time I would deliver, it would have been two years after my C-Section surgery because that allows the most time for the scar tissue to heal and become strong for me to try a natural birth. The OBGYN constantly warned me of a uterus eruption from my C-Section scar but I really wanted to at least try pushing than forcing my contractions and scheduling to go under the knife. So when I felt the contractions, I pushed for the natural birth and was actually dropped by my OBGYN because she didn’t believe in my choice and my file was transferred to the on-call doctor at the Labor and Delivery Dept. I did take the epidural in case things did go wrong, I wouldn’t have to wait for anesthesia to be given to me. So when I pushed, I did need to get a cut or two for a bigger hole for him to go through. Got sewn up and was able to hold him immediately. I felt normal and was able to sit up and walk. Breastfeeding was a lot easier because I felt no pain really.

Wow, these girls really gave me a new perspective on labor and delivery! Thanks so much for your stories and I hope that these experiences shared are able to help other young pregnant moms who are getting ready to discuss their delivery plans with their doctors!

Did you have a C-Section or a Natural Birth? Have you had both and you preferred one to the other? If you have a story to share, don’t forget to 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!

10 things young moms are sick of hearing

10 Things Young Moms are Sick of Hearing

Are you guilty of saying things to young moms that they probably are sick of hearing? Did you even know you were being rude when you said it? Probably not, so don’t feel bad!

Better yet, are you a young and/or single mom that wishes people knew when to keep their comments to themselves? Here’s a list of the 10 things that you can bet young moms are super sick of hearing for the millionth time…

10 Things Young Moms are Sick of Hearing

super mom

#1. OMG, I don’t know how you do it! – Like there’s another option? There are a gazillion moms out there that had kids young or are raising kids alone. I do it just like everyone else does every day of their life; I kick my own butt into gear everyday, take help when it’s offered, and make sure I always put myself and my kids first. Sure there are days I want to pull my hair out or run away from home but everyone has those days, kids or not… don’t they? LOL

young tattooed mom

#2. You look too young to have kids – First of all, thank you. I am approaching 30 and about to have a heart attack because even though reality has made me grow up quickly, I’m still terrified of hitting actual-age adulthood, even though I’ve heard 30 is the new 20! LOL. So yeah, I probably am “too young” by society’s standards to have kids, especially one in middle school and another going into first grade. And this statement could have totally offended me, but instead I’m going to act like I do when I get carded when I buy wine (giggle, smile and walk away feeling damn good about myself).

keep-calm-im-a-single-mom

#3. So you’re married then? – Now wait a minute. Do you see a ring on this finger? (Well, I wear one now but I didn’t used to) Just because we have kids doesn’t mean we have to be married to the father. I am 100% happy for every young mama out there who found true love with her high school sweetheart and I think it’s super amazing when couples can work out a relationship with the other parent and actually be blissfully happy. But please, if you see a young mom with her kids and there’s not a guy with her, don’t assume automatically she married the guy because there might be a good reason he’s not around. If you do ask, be polite about it and don’t ever give that disapproving look followed by “Oh, I see. Well that’s OK…” after we tell you we’re single mommies. We already know it’s more than OK.   🙂

grad

#4. So much for graduation/college – Wait, whaaaa? Since when did having a kid mean your life was over? Having a child is no reason school has to be removed from your life plan! Sure it’s more difficult to raise a kid and still focus on school, but there is no way being a mom means you have to sacrifice your dreams and education to create an awesome life for you and your child. With continuing education programs, online classes and local community colleges there are lots of ways to finish school. (BTW, if you want to learn more about getting yourself through college as a teen mom, make sure to check this blog out: http://bit.ly/1qTkF8R)

pregnancy options

#5. Did you consider other options? – Yes, people actually say this. Personally, I think it’s the most disturbing question you could ask a pregnant teen or a teen mother. Honestly, everyone has their own viewpoints and moral standpoints on teen pregnancy and how it should be handled. Some people feel that adoption could be beneficial to everyone involved, some people think marriage is the answer, and others think that unplanned pregnancies shouldn’t be carried out. But here’s what should be said about the subject: NOTHING. If this young mom is having a baby or has children, she has already made a choice. It may not have been easy and she’s probably heard a million different opinions already and had to become overwhelmed with rearranging her life plans and adapting to new situations. So do the world a favor, have some class and don’t ask this question. Ever.

mom advice

#6. Unwanted parenting advice – This category is so broad, it would be impossible to squeeze all the advice we’re sick of getting on this list. If we ask for your opinion on how to do something or ask for parenting advice, of course it’s so appreciated when you give it to us! BUT (this is a big but) please do NOT volunteer your overbearing instructions on how to raise our children. If kids were supposed to be raised one specific way, the doctor would have handed out instruction manuals on delivery day. Young moms are just as capable of being incredible parents as anyone else in the world. Remember, if we need help we are not afraid to ask, but otherwise assume that we’ve got this!

Young-Moms-Resent-Being-Judged

#7. Is this your little sister/niece/cousin? or Are you the babysitter? – Well, I guess my kid must look nothing like me.  As flattering as you think it might be that we look young enough to be a paid babysitter (like #2 was), most young moms are getting tired of being mistaken for an alternate caregiver or family member. We did a lot of work to bring this child into the world and we’re still putting in work raising them, so hell yeah, you better believe we wanna take credit for that! I do have to admit that I personally enjoy this question every so often. It seriously embarrasses the pants off my tween daughter and one of my main jobs as a mother is to embarrass her, so once in a while is alright I guess. LOL.

KIDS

#8. Wow, it must be hard to meet someone – Gee, thanks. I forgot about the big red letter I wear out in public when I’m looking for a date. Meeting the “right” guy is hard, even without kids. Yeah, it’s true that once you have a kid it does get more difficult to find free time to pursue a relationship. However, don’t ever assume a young mom is “damaged goods” just because she had a child at a young age! And young moms, you better never let anyone make you feel like you don’t deserve Mr. Right anymore because you had a child. If anything, you should be even more excited about dating. A man that is willing to look at a woman’s child and accept or love that child no differently than they would their own… that’s a keeper. So technically, you can thank your kid for helping you immediately reject guys who run for the hills because you’re a parent. You wouldn’t have wanted to waste those 4 months before finding out he’s not the right one anyways.

friends

#9. Did you forget about your friends? – We’ve probably all had a lot of these conversations: “Yeah, I know… I missed Taco Tuesday again.”  “No, I can’t make it to your sister’s birthday party.”  “So what if it’s Friday? I can’t go out drinking because hangovers and children don’t mix.” So many people get caught up in missing the happiness they get out of your friendship with them that they forget that your life changes when you’re young and have kids. We know as moms, we have a tendency to have to rearrange our priorities and may not be at the center of the social circle anymore like we used to. Forgive us and move on and just know that even though you may feel like we’re blowing you off we really do want to hang out and we’re not forgetting about you. We swear! True friendships adapt through life changes. Plus, don’t forget, one day when you have kids and we want to go out, my kid will be old enough to babysit! 😉

tired mom

#10. You can handle it, you’re young – This may be true and most young moms have certain advantages when it comes to parenting. For the most part, we are more agile, have more energy, can survive on less sleep, and we have less of a generation gap between us and our kids which can make it easier to juggle life as a parent. Just remember, we’re still human and we are entitled to get tired. I don’t care how young you are, when you’re waking up every couple hours with a baby while going to school and working and still trying to mange the rest of your entire life, you end up insanely exhausted! So please if you ever see me come home with a half-dead look on my face, just remember one thing: I may be young, but right now I feel like I’m 80 so keep that thought to yourself today. Thanks!

So I think that about covers it. For all the friends and family of young moms out there, we know you mean well. Just try to remember these things next time before you say them. Odds are we don’t want to hear it anymore and we sooooo want to love you and not be irritated when you didn’t mean any harm.

And to all the young moms out there, I hope you agreed with me on most of these, or at least got a good laugh out of it! Are there other things that you got tired of hearing when you were pregnant or after you had your children? Comment below because I would LOVE to hear your stories.

genesis quintanar young mom

The Spotlight is on: Genesis Quintanar

This teen mom did everything she could to graduate high school, despite all obstacles.

Read how Genesis didn’t give up and how much she loves being a young mom!

What were your biggest concerns when you first found out you were pregnant? How did you handle it?
genesis young mom 3I was 16 when I got pregnant by my boyfriend of a year and a half, he was only 15. It was my junior year of high school and I was due on January 29th 2012. I turned 17 in December and about 13 days later my water broke and I had my son 5 and a half weeks early. He was a healthy premature baby weighing at almost 7 lbs.

After I went back to school, it was too much for me to handle so I finished my junior year at an independent studies school. After that time, I had became a single teen mother and then in a few months the father of my son came back into my sons life. Him and I are fine now and we are just friends for our son. Senior year came, and I was behind on some credits so I went to a continuation school to catch up on my first semester. I went back to my local high school thinking everything would be just fine because I was ahead on my credits and community service hours.

The drama between my ex (baby daddy) was the same and with some girls. Typical high school drama. But, my mom had gotten sick with something. She’s okay now, thank God, but I was missing a lot of school to where I wouldn’t be able to graduate. I worked my butt off the very last week to find that I passed all of my courses and hours. I graduated June 13th with the class of 2013! It wasn’t easy at all, but it was not impossible.genesis young mom

I am now 19 and my son is two years old. He is healthy and happy as can be, despite the drama I’ve had with his father and my own mother. I was kicked out of the house a few times, but I still manage to have a warm and safe place for my son to sleep and food in his tummy. My son is my world, my all. He is the reason why I am who I am today and he has made my life brighter. I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. College is being put on hold due to a few mistakes with my financial aid. I’m not working right now. But I am looking even though it’s very hard. I love my family even though things didn’t work out for me and the father of my son. We may be apart but we are always going to be a family, and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world.

What kinds of things do you do to treat yourself, for fun and to stay relaxed?
I take walks either with my son or by myself. Or I take nice relaxing baths. You have to put yourself genesis young mom 5first so you can be healthy to take care of your children.

What are your favorite things about being a mom?
Watching my son smile and laugh. Knowing that despite my mistakes and past, he’ll love me regardless. His hugs and kisses brighten up everything.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you didn’t have any obstacles, what dream would you pursue?
5 years from now I see myself in college with a steady job as well. I would still want to live with my mother so I can take care of her, but in a house not an apartment. I will also have my own car.

What advice would you give to other young girls who just found out they’re pregnant or recently became a mom?
It’s not just for yourself but it’s also for you child.

She’s chasing her goals and dreams, so what about you? Leave a comment below to tell Genesis how you can relate to her story.

ramonita falcon young mother pic

How Ramonita Falcon Did It

Supermom to three and married to her high school sweetheart, Ramonita has always put her kids first.

Read on to see how she did it, raising three kids with her wonderful husband while making sure they worked together to conquer life’s hardships and give their kids the great life that they deserve.

ramonita falcon how she did it familyTell us about yourself and your family:

I’m a 39 year old mom of 3 great kids and also a wife to my high school sweetheart of 23 years. I had my first daughter, Bianca, ten days before my 18th birthday. It was also my senior year in high school! My husband, Rene, was 17 years old and also a senior in high school. We decided being pregnant was a blessing and we were excited to become parents because we were so in love. My mom was a great help and she babysat so I could graduate with my class of 1993. I decided while I was pregnant to give my daughter a better life than I had. Rene and I grew up in the projects both to single moms. Our moms didn’t work and struggled! I didn’t want to raise Bianca that way! It was my decision to work and support my daughter together with her Dad without any assistance. Thank God we were successful. When Bianca was 3 years old, Rene and I were married. Then we had our second child Vanessa. I was 22 years old and I wanted Bianca to have a sibling. Many years later, Rene wanted a son and after some marriage struggles we agreed to try one more time. I had my son Joshua when I was 28 years old. Since we began so young, our kids have 4 and 5 years between each other. I love them all so much that I would definitely do it the same way all over again.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome as a young mom?

As a young mom, financial responsibilities are always a challenge. I wanted Bianca to only have the best so Rene and I moved out of the projects and rented an apartment in a better area of town. So, with the financial responsibilities of having a child, we now also had to pay rent. Also, going to college was put on the back burner so I could take care of my little girl and I had to work full time to pay bills.ramonita falcon how she did it mom

What are some things you learned as a young mom, that you wish you would’ve known as soon as you got pregnant?

The amount of work that it takes to care for a baby. First of all, the pain of childbirth and how hard my body had to work to give birth to a baby. The nighttime feedings, the bathing, washing baby clothes, the crying, the fevers, and the overall responsibilities of being a good mom!

Do you have any tips or advice for staying on track with your goals and dreams?

I decided to give my daughter a better life and I thought about it day and night. I had to train my mind to want and work towards working hard to give Bianca everything I never had! Today she is a senior in college and I still have goals that I tell myself everyday that we work on together.

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?

falcon young mom how she did itI would, and still do, take a daily nap once the kids have eaten and they are also relaxing. I exercise everyday and I have the kids exercise with me. For fun, my family and I go out to eat, we go to the beach a lot, we ride bikes together, we go for walks, and we go shopping together. I take my kids everywhere with me. Once a year during spring break my family has made a tradition of going to Disney World and enjoying the Florida sunshine.

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

I love making my kids feel special and taking care of them everyday. I love it when they appreciate all I do for them and they are so protective of me. I enjoy the hugs and kisses and we tell each other we love each other everyday. I adore seeing my babies happy and that truly makes me happy!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What goals and dreams are you currently pursuing?

I wish I could go back to school and finish my Bachelor’s degree. I will be approaching 20 years at my current job so I will be close to retirement. I would love to start a hobby and go to beauty school to learn to cut hair. I’m working on getting out of debt and being able to travel more with my husband once all the kids are older. Seeing the world is a dream of mine!

Wow, this woman is awe-inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing your story and inspiring other young moms to never give up and to strive to give their kids everything that they didn’t have growing up.

Did Ramonita’s story give you motivation to accomplish your goals? Tell her in the comments section below! And don’t forget if you have a story like hers, you could be the next featured “How She Did It” mama! Sign up HERE and don’t forget to SIGN UP for the Young Mom’s Club!

young mommy honour toth

The Spotlight is on: Honour Toth

This young mom has found the definition of creating your perfect life!

Read about Honour and how she has created a stable life for her and her adorable little girl that is full of success, love and happiness!

Tell us about yourself and your family:
My name is Honour and I have a 7 year old daughter named Kiarah. I got pregnant at 16 and had her a month after I turned 17. Her dad was my high school sweetheart, we were together 5 years and broke up just before she turned 3. She doesn’t remember her dad and I ever being together. In her mind it’s always been me and her 🙂honour toth spotlight young mom

I am now dating an amazing man named Andrew who loves my daughter as if she was his! We have two Pomeranians also, so our house is very full!!! My boyfriend is a welder so he isn’t home very often, so it’s mostly me, my daughter, and our pups. But we go visit dad at work when we can! When we are home without him we stay busy with outings, try to go on a mom/daughter date once a week (her choice of activity within reason), and she is busy with her gymnastics! She’s obsessed!! Every other weekend when she goes to visit her biological dad I throw Passion Parties for a little extra income and relax time 🙂

What were your biggest concerns when you first found out you were pregnant? How did you handle it?
I was 16. I was scared my family would disown me, but my mom was my biggest support system! I was scared to lose my friends… and even though I couldn’t go do everything they were doing, I got to stay home with my new best friend so I didn’t feel like I lost anything. I actually gained! I was scared I would not be able to get/finish my education, but there are so many programs and schools out there so it’s not an issue. You can still get as far in life as you want!! I was scared I would be a bad mom because I didn’t have a ton of experience with babies, but it came naturally and learning what didn’t was fun for me!!

What kinds of things do you do to treat yourself, for fun and to stay relaxed?
Well, I am a consultant for Pure Romance. So throwing Passion Parties on the weekend is so much fun! My lady nights definitely relax me… But my favorite way to relax without working is having spa nights with my daughter! We love doing our nails! I also enjoy lying in bed and reading! Nothing like getting lost in a great book! My daughter is my best friend so when it’s been a really hard honour tothday, just playing with her is my best way to relax and feel happy 🙂

What are your favorite things about being a mom?
That I have my best friend with me at all times! The proud feeling I get when she does almost anything!!! The warm feeling I get when she says, “Mama, I love you!” I love the morning with her! She is always in such a good mood! Listening to her “great ideas”, her imagination always puts a smile on my face! My favorite thing about being a mom is every moment!!! It’s the best thing I have ever done in my life!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you didn’t have any obstacles, what dream would you pursue?
In 5 years I’d love to be married to the love of my life (my boyfriend now)! I want to maybe have one more baby and seeing as I learn something new every day being a mom, I hope for that to continue and still learn new and exciting things everyday for the next five years and longer!!! I want my daughter to be excelling in grade 7 and happier than ever. A nice house with a picket fence wouldn’t be bad either 😉honour toth young mom

What advice would you give to other young girls who just found out they’re pregnant or recently became a mom?
It is hard; it is a complete life changer! But the minute you hold your baby and feel that unconditional love it will be easy to make the changes you need to, to be the best mom possible! Just know you now have a little person that will love you unconditionally and should be your best friend for the rest of your life! Enjoy EVERY moment! Even the hard times because they grow so fast and you WILL look back and laugh at all the moments you DID want to pull your hair out at the time. Being a mom will be the most rewarding thing you ever did in your life! Remember always listen to others advice, but only do what you feel is right! No one knows how to raise your baby but you, but the advice is helpful. Don’t ever look at having a baby as an end to your life as you know it, it’s just a new chapter and worth every change you’ll ever have to make. Yes, you will have hard days, but just take a deep breath and stare down at your little angel and it will make any problem better and you WILL smile through it 🙂