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teen mom julie langridge

The Spotlight is on: Julie Langridge

Meet our brand new young mom Julie! She is such a positive teen mom with a great support system, you’ll love reading her story.

Tell us about yourself and your family

I am 17 years old and about to graduate high school. My daughter Andie was born on March 10th and is now just over 2 months old. She makes me smile every day and even though her father and I were nowhere near ready to raise a baby, we are doing the best we can and have no problems loving her!!

julie langridge spotlight young mom

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

I found out I was pregnant just after Christmas. I was already 22 weeks in and had no idea! It was a huge shock to my entire family and I cried for a very long time, but with my boyfriend firmly by my side I went back to school with my head held high. It was difficult to be the talk of the school, but all of the staring and rude comments died down after a while. Only two months later my little girl came into the world (two months premature) and all of a sudden what seemed like the end of the world was the beginning of a whole new adventure.

Julie Langridge baby teen mom

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

My parents have been great helpers with Andie. When my boyfriend and I need a break or just a night to ourselves they have no problem helping us out. He and I go for walks and talk about whatever is going on in our lives. We have date nights to ourselves and it really helps us keep our sanity and makes our love grow stronger.

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

My favorite things about being a mom are just beginning as she is still so little. Right now just knowing that she needs me and cares about me puts a huge smile on my face. Also putting her in little outfits is lots of fun! 🙂

Julie Langridge teen mom pic

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 remodeling houses and making people proud of where they live. I hope to go to school for interior design! Also I see my little family living in our own house and feeling great. Andie will be 5 years old and be having a blast at school!!

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

Try not to focus so much on the negative aspects of being a young mom. Think about all of the beautiful things you and your child are going to do together. Also you will have a lot more time to spend with them as oppose to everybody else. Changing your attitude and getting excited about your new baby will make a huge difference in your life, trust me!

What kind of support have you gotten since becoming a teen mom? Is the dad around to help support you and your child? Do your parents help out at all? Tell us all about it below in the comments.

welfare-video

Should you get Welfare?

“I know getting on welfare is bad.”young-mother-danielle-ford-welfare-pic

“People look down on anyone who gets welfare.”

When I meet with a young mom for the first time, one of the first things I ask is, “How are you going to afford the baby?” The responses above are some of the comments that come up when that dirty word “welfare” is mentioned.

If you’re debating getting help from the government or just trying to do it on your own, then watch this video to help you decide whether or not you should get welfare..

If you’ve ever been on welfare, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.

xoxo <3 Danielle

The Spotlight is on: Natasha Isenhower

Young mom family TashaYoung Mom Natasha Isenhower tells us about her life as a loving mom. Meet this sweet family of young parents and cute kids!

 

Tell us about yourself and your family:

We’re an average family, just a bit younger. I recently turned 20 and my fiance is 21. We’re a family of five, just trying to figure out how to keep us all together and happy. The oldest of the three boys is actually my step son, but I love him as if he were my own flesh and blood. I’m a stay at home mom and my fiance works full time to support us. We often forget how young we are, because we live such a calm and ʺboringʺ life compared to everyone else our ages.

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

My biggest concern was that I didn’t know if I was worthy of being someone’s mother. I was also worried about getting attached to the little baby growing inside, only to have a miscarriage. It didn’t seem real for a long time.
I handled it pretty well, actually. Before I found out I was pregnant with my first, I was going no where in my life. I didn’t care, I guess. I was failing nearly every class, I was burning every bridge with family and loved ones. But the day I saw those two lines on that pregnancy test, I turned it all around. I contacted every teacher and asked what I could do. I got a job after high school, I saved up money for a deposit to our own place, we worked together to provide everything ourselves.

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

I don’t really allow myself time away from them. I feel lost without my boys. I’d much rather go somewhere as a family, than alone or just with my fiance. We love bringing them to the zoo, underwater world, the park and on little adventures.
I take my time to myself and with their father at the end of the day, once they’re all asleep. We’ll cuddle up and watch a movie together, catch up on each other’s days, etc. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Natasha young mom coupleWhat are your favorite things about being a mom?

I love watching them grow and becoming their own person. I love being their first example of a friend. I just love it all! Well, minus the smelly diapers 😉

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

I see us settled in our own house, making it our home. I see both my fiance and I in college and working to better our lives for the three little boys who depend on us. I’m already pursuing my dream, by being their mother.

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

Pay no mind to whomever you feel is judging you. I was so focused on everyone else and what they thought for the longest. At the end of the day, your child, you and whoever else is involved with good intention is all that matters. Not someone who will kill to see you fail.

This is her story of being a happy young mom, what’s yours?

Leave her a comment or share how you relate 🙂

 

 

The Spotlight is On: Leanna Bruce

This stylish single mom tells us her story and lets you know you can do it too! Hear how Leanna Bruce is an inspiring young mom!

 

Tell us about yourself and your family:

I am a newly single mom. I was in an abusive relationship and left.
My daughter is 22 months old and the light of my world. She’s allergic to chocolate, and may possibly have asthma.young mom Leanna
I am 23 years old, and a hairstylist. I am in school to own my own salon one day!

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

My biggest concern was how could I afford to take care of such a small human?
I got a job, as did her father. he travels for work renovating tmobiles.

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

I treat myself to a new hair color, and get my nails done.
Mama has to be pampered too!

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

I love watching my daughter grow and learn. I love her faces when she discovers she can do something new.

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

In 5 years I see myself in my own salon just making a good life for my daughter and I.
If I could pursue a dream it would to be a platform artist… basically the BEST hair stylist are this.

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

Don’t give up, sleep when you can, take the help.

No matter what anybody says, you can do it.

 

Great job for sharing, Leanna! Love your young mom story!

Let her know how much you liked her article by commenting below 🙂

Want to be a Spotlighted Young Mom? Share your story here.

The Spotlight is On: Molly Sharp

Being a teen mother can be very difficult, but this young mom is staying positive and pursuing her future. Listen to how Molly Sharp is overcoming obstacles and raising her daughter.

Tell us about yourself and your family: I am a very young mom. Probably younger than most. I had my daughter at the age of 14. I am a single mom and have always done everything on my own. I have no idea what it feels like to have a family since my daughters father has never stuck around. My daughter will be 3 in December. Her name is Rylie Mae. She’s the biggest accomplishment of my life and she is what keeps me going. Although I am a teen mom I work my hardest to keep us happy and healthy and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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

How I would graduate and how my friends and family would look at me. I lost a lot of friends which wasn’t a big deal to me because my family was very loving and supportive. I didn’t give up in school and I will be graduating in 2014 🙂

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

To treat myself I like to get my hair done but it only happens about 4 times a year. For fun I go out to eat with my friends and to stay relaxed I like to go on runs or car drives.

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

Its rewarding. Seeing my daughter smile and laugh and be the smartest toddler I know makes me feel good like I’m doing something right.

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

In five years I want to be almost done with college living on my own with my daughter and just being healthy and happy. I don’t expect too much.

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

I would advise them to always think of their child before themselves. Don’t do something you wouldn’t want your child doing. Also, if your child’s father doesn’t seem to be interested.. DO NOT give your child his last name. You will regret it in the long run!

A great story like yours is encouraging to other teen moms. Being a young mom with positivity is a great influence!

If you enjoyed this story and would like Molly to know you wish her well, please do so in the comments below! 🙂

How Paola Seminario Did It

Think that having children young means that your future is out of your hands? Think again!

Supermom, Paola Seminario, shares with us her most personal stories of raising her kids as a young mom, how she fought through the tough times and learned how to create her own reality.

Tell us about yourself and your family:

I am a single mother of two amazing and beautiful children. I got pregnant with my son when I was 18 by my very abusive, demoralizing and addicted then-boyfriend. When my son was just one year old, I decided I had had enough of the lies, stealing, abusive words and physical fights, so I left him. A month later, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I decided not to go back to him and raise my children on my own.

Because I was young, naive and lost, there were a great deal of mistakes and bad choices that I made along the way. My children suffered for it and I beat myself up for making bad decisions. I felt as if I was never good enough for anything. I felt like I was not educated enough. I didn’t make enough money. I didn’t deserve love and I suffered from many great depressions. Of course this took a great toll on my kids, as I self medicated and searched for my self worth.

inspiring mom storiesThrough the years, I hung on to my kids for dear life. They were the one thing that was worth fighting for; the one thing worth waking up in the morning for. I HAD to find a way to improve my life and my circumstances so that I could give them the life they deserved.

Through the years, I encountered so much hostility, rejection, and judgement as I desperately struggled to find my way in life and be the best mother I could possibly be. My kids went with me through all the pain and hardships. However, there was one thing that I did so right, and no one will ever take that away from me. Every day I told my kids I loved them 1,000 times a day. Every day, I showed my kids I loved them, and I smothered them with hugs and kisses so they would feel how much I loved them. No matter how much we struggled or how many obstacles we faced, they have always known they were loved.

As time went by, I learned how to change myself from the inside out in order to be a better person and, more importantly, the best mother I could possibly be.

My children are now in their late teenage years. They know more about life than I would have liked for them to know at their age. However, they have grown to become intelligent, independent-thinking, loving, compassionate, beautiful young adults. Every day I love them more and more. Every day they make me proud to be their mother.

In spite of all of the struggles, we have made it so far as a loving imperfect family. Contrary to what the world told us, that we couldn’t make it… we did. We still make mistakes and we still make the effort to grow as individuals and as a family. I believe in my heart that we are a success story, in spite of it all.

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

There are so many challenges I faced as a single mother. For me, I struggled with destitution, depression, self medication, and self destruction, on top of being judged and put down by those that were outside looking in.

I did eventually get a handle on my life and start loving myself.

I learned to listen to myself, not what other people told me I should be doing as a mother.

I learned to cut people out of my life that were toxic, so that I could be a better person and mother. I didn’t want my kids around them after all.

I learned that no matter whatever mountains were in my path, I could either move them, climb them, or go through them.

I learned that LOVE – for my children and for myself -is the single most valuable resource I could have.

I learned to cut people out of my life that were toxic, so that I could be a better person and mother. I didn’t want my kids around them after all.

I learned that no matter whatever mountains were in my path, I could either move them, climb them, or go through them.

I learned that LOVE – for my children and for myself -is the single most valuable resource I could have.

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

I wish I had known that I didn’t need a bunch of (toxic) people in my life. In fact, what I really needed was to surround myself with people that were loving and kind and supportive. (I had far too many toxic people in my life and by allowing them to stay in my life it was really hard for me to be the best mother possible). mom and daughter pics

I wish I had known that it was ok to make mistakes and I really didn’t need to beat myself up for them. Instead, I could use them as learning tools and make better decisions the next time around.

Finally, I wish I knew the that boundaries and discipline were ways to show my kids that I loved them. All too often I would cave, when I looked into their eyes, and let them off the hook when they broke the rules. That made it much harder when they were older.

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

Write them down and look at them everyday. Create a vision board .

Make decisions based on your goals and dreams. If something is aligned with your goals and dreams, go for it. If not, then toss it. This goes with friends, boyfriends, jobs, and pretty much anything you can think of.

Believe in yourself. When you have big goals, big dreams and big ambitions, and someone tells you to be a bit more “realistic”, say screw it and CREATE YOUR OWN REALITY. Surround yourself with others that also believe in you. Remember that the most inspirational people in the world also had a great deal of people that never believed in them and they chose to believe in themselves and surround themselves by others who believed in them. If you don’t believe me, check out Oprah’s story.

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 check off bucket list items every chance I get, especially when I can do them with my kids. Some of the things we’ve done include swimming with sting rays, visit the Grand Canyon, jump off a cliff. It’s so powerful and invigorating when you do something outrageous.

I also love to engage in outdoor activities: hiking, surfing, you name it.

I love to read – mostly psychology, personal development and inspirational books.

Volunteering and doing pay it forwards – this keeps me humble and compassionate.

Finally – just pamper yourself, workout and eat healthy 80% of the time. You need it. it is so important for you to take care of you. If you are not at your best, you can’t give the best of you to your kids.

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

I love that I know what unconditional love is. I love waking up each day and looking at my kids and really truly falling in love with them every single day. I love seeing them grow and evolve. I love reminiscing about when they were little. I love when they do something completely selfless, compassionate and kind and knowing that I had a part in that.

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

In five years I will be a successful, professional inspirational speaker and social media catalyst for positive change, with a global impact. I will be married to a wonderful man that loves me unconditionally and supports my vision of making a positive impact on the world. I will be enjoying the fruits of my labor with my family. <3

Thank you, Paola, for sharing your story and advice so openly with us!

Do you have any questions for Paola or want to thank her for being an inspiration to the rest of us young moms? Let her know in the comments below.

The Spotlight is on: Melissa Monk

Is it possible to stay positive and focused while mothering as a teen? 18 year old young mom Melissa Monk is proof that you can help others while raising a beautiful daughter!

 

Tell us about yourself and your family:

Hello!! my name is Melissa! I am a young, hard-working, single mother to a beautiful baby girl named Mackenzee Ryanne, 10 months old.
I fell pregnant at 18 by my boyfriend of five years and I couldn’t be more excited! Then reality set in and of course he spilt. So now it is just me and my baby girl living out our dreams. I am currently working full-time in a clothing store while I finish school to become a 911 dispatcher!!

My daughter has always been my number one priority. Mackenzee’s dad became very abusive mentally and physically after she was born and I had to make the hardest choice of my life to leave him. Though I do miss him and I wish things were different, leaving him was the best possible decision I could have ever made for myself.

I am currently involved in helping to create a teen mom support group with my church!! I really want to help teen mothers who are struggling feel like they are worth something, and that their children are always a reason to continue to fight for what’s right!! I am also trying to become an advocate to help prevent teen pregnancy! young mom picture

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

I was really worried about my daughters father being able to let go of his horrible drug habit. He has a horrible addiction to smoking pot and drinking beer. I never noticed it as a problem until I was pregnant. I honestly handled it in the worst way possible at first. I used to nag him and yell at him and try to control him and then I realized that I cannot change him. The best decision I made was just walking away from him.

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

To treat myself, I take a bubble bath every night after my daughter has gone to sleep! and once a month I buy something for myself since I spend majority of my money on my daughter!

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

I know I’m not a perfect mother but I do know I’m a good one. My favorite thing would have to be the love and trust my daughter has for me shows daily when the first person she looks for when she wakes up is me. When she’s playing with her toys and abruptly stops just to make sure I’m still within sight and smiles as soon as she sees me looking at her already. When she’ll crawl over into my lap and snuggle up to me. I know I’m doing something right. And she is so oblivious (obviously) to how much happiness she brings me, how much she helps me on a daily basis and doesn’t even know it. I love her so, so much. Yes, I do get overwhelmed sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. It just means I’m human.

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 working hard as a 911 dispatcher, living in a house with my daughter and possibly a husband. I want to be happy, healthy, and over all just settled!

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

My advice to other young mothers would be to just keep fighting. It is so hard being a young mom but the ending result is so amazing! there is hope for us young mothers. If you always put your child’s needs and wants first, and you make sure to also take care of yourself, then you will be happy. Let go of all of the negative in your life and embrace this journey that you are on!! Do not let peoples rude comments and stares get you down because no other person on this planet has the right to tell you that you are not worthy of being a good mother!!!

So glad Melissa shared her inspiring young mom story with us!

 If you liked this article about this and would like to say hello, please do so in the comments below 🙂

 

Are you Turned On yet?

Last night in my women’s group, our theme was “Unleashing your Brilliance”. Rosa, one of the brilliant women who co-created the night began by reading a quote from TurnedOnWoman.com. It really resonated with me because I’ve felt the pressure to be the ‘exceptionally mediocre woman’ and it’s been hell to continue to act everyday in spite of it.

I’m not perfect. But I know I am “Turned on”. Here’s the quote..

“Would it be okay if your gravestone read: “She was an exceptionally mediocre woman”?

If your eulogy went something like: “She followed every rule with precision. She rarely made a mistake and was a great champion of the status quo. She never ruffled any feathers, took any great risks, suffered any great loss. She always operated within the bounds of appropriateness. She had the love and acceptance of her community, family, and friends, though no one knew her. Her life was smooth sailing because she never rocked the boat. She contained her passion, her dreams, and her danger enough that they could call her a good woman”?

For some, that would be enough. But not for you.

Your epitaph will begin: “She redefined what it meant to be a good woman.”

It will say: “She scaled mountains, in hiking boots and in heels. She started in her own backyard and then went all the way around the world. She accepted challenges with curiosity and determination. She emerged victorious regardless of outcome, knowing both the pleasure of success and the grace of failure. She tasted long hot days and cool still nights, at home wherever she found herself. She wasn’t always popular, but she was always true. She wasn’t always comfortable, but no one can say she didn’t enjoy her life. She explored her edges, increased her capacity, and lived as big as she could dream. Moved equally by bliss and pain, she played her heart out one moment at a time. She was dialed in. She was courageous. She was turned on.”

If this sounds more like you, what are you waiting for?”

So.. what are you waiting for?

I wanna know.. Are you turned on yet? Are you turned on a little? Let me know in the comments below…

<3 Danielle

The Spotlight is on: Brooke Coleman

Not even a mom yet (Pregnant!) and already an inspiration for young moms. Brooke Coleman shares her story and plans for the future with us.

Tell us about yourself and your family:

My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year now and he has been my best friend for three years. We love and support each other very much and are very excited for our little angel to be here! (Due date: Oct. 12 2013) We live with his two moms who are very supportive but we are looking for our own place and hope to find one soon!

teen mom picWhat were your biggest concerns when you first found out you were pregnant? How did you handle it?

I was very nervous about telling my family, my father in particular. Once I told him, he told me I would either get an abortion or I would be ruining my life. We didn’t talk for a few months but are now working on our relationship again. It made me very sad to see my dad react this way but I am glad we are trying to figure it out together now.

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

I love to do my makeup and get dressed up for no reason at all! It makes me feel good about myself. I also really enjoy writing and I do it almost daily:)

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

I love feeling my baby kick and seeing my baby on the monitor. I am so excited to find out the gender and to meet my baby for the first time!

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

I see myself graduating from the University of New Brunswick (via Humber College) as a nurse (RN) and hopefully finding a nursing job to support me and my family!

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

There are going to be days that are good and most certainly days that are bad but don’t let anyone tell you what is right or wrong. Don’t let society bring you down, do what you need to do for your family. Being pregnant is not an illness, go to school, pursue a career and make a life for yourself and your family. Never hesitate to look for programs and help in your community, help is out there!

Thanks so much, Brooke, for sharing your inspiring story. You’re going to be a great example of a young mom.

If Brooke’s story inspired you or you just wanna leave her some love, tell her in the comments below 🙂

10 Things I wish I could tell my 15 year old self

Now that I am older (27), I have learned so much. Of course, like everyone else, there are things I wish I could redo or change.

But we learn from our mistakes right?

It’s so true- but maybe I can help you with a few pointers, so that you can heed my advice 🙂

These are the 10 things that I would tell my 15 year old self, if I could go back in time..

1. Don’t try so hard to please others. In the end, you are on your own in your feelings so do what you feel is right and don’t get so bent out of shape when people tell you what to do, just say “Ok” and go about your business. Sometimes its good to listen to others, and other times you just need to trust your own instincts.

2. Stay calm and carry on. Just take what you learn and catalog it to return to it when needed. Don’t dwell on mistakes just learn from them. No one is perfect. Other people are so focused on themselves they probably won’t take as much notice as what you think. Don’t worry about what other people are doing, just go after what you want.

3. Follow your dreams. This one is so important because you are going to look back at your life and say “Why didn’t I?” I would much rather work harder at accomplishing goals instead of saying “I wish.” Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it! If you want something bad enough, you will find a way and no one is going to be able to stop you.  Be passionate and you will succeed.

4. There will always be haters. There will always be someone a little better at things than you. Just push forward and maybe one day you will be ahead of them. Hey, it can happen if you believe in yourself! You can do anything you set your mind to. It sounds cliche’ but its so true! Don’t waste your time worrying, but bettering yourself.

5. Focus. If you want to learn something, teach yourself, don’t wait. Do it now! You want to do something? Then go for it! Take one skill at a time and perfect it, then choose something else to master. Trust me, you don’t want to go after it all at once.

6. Take your time in life. Don’t rush into extreme life decisions, especially intimacy because this is an event that could change your life forever. You have plenty of time to experience things and you aren’t missing out on anything if its stupid. Just because  “everyone” is doing it, doesn’t make it cool. Be young and enjoy it, but make wise choices that you know you won’t regret.

7. Say what you mean and mean what you say. This is a learned skill that will take some time because you learn new things everyday and your opinion changes so much, that its best to just not say anything unless you are completely educated on the subject matter.

8. You are an awesome individual. We are all different and you have unique qualities to offer the world. Don’t let what you see from other people make you think you are any less. You don’t know what other people are thinking or doing to get what you are seeing. You may desire what others are doing are have, but just be happy for them and remember to focus on daily bettering yourself. You have value that you can share with others, it takes time to find.

9. Be yourself. Your appearance, attitude and style are all your own, so own it! We are all a little weird and that’s OK, because there is no such thing as “normal”. Don’t be afraid to stand out. If you like something, then that makes it cool in your eyes. You don’t need validation from anyone else, because you already confirmed it in your own opinion. Trust me, there is someone else out there that also thinks so. Don’t try to be like everyone else. You don’t have to shop at the same places or like the same things. You have so much to offer the world, help them see it through your eyes.

10. Don’t assume you “Can’t”. Remove this word from your vocabulary. Take chances and step out of your comfort zone. You just might surprise yourself! You are ultimately in charge of your destiny. Make your life what you want it to be. There is only one you and you only have one life to live, so make it fantastically memorable.

note to self pic young momsSo those are mine.. what about you? Is there something you wish you could tell your 15 year old self? Let me know in the comments below…