My husband was browsing through his computer yesterday and found this, my written statement for my Master’s program application. I wrote this as I was trying to convince the coordinators why I would be a good fit for the program and what I hoped to get out of it. Three years later I can say, “Yes. I did all that reading and research and studying and writing for ALL the right reasons.”
I discovered I was pregnant my junior year of college. Having a child was the biggest shock of my life and I was in no way ready for what it entailed.
As a young mother, there is so much you are unprepared for. I had to get my life in order in a matter of months, but I did it, thanks to an extensive support system. I still graduated on time, and with a 3.7 GPA.
But even with my support system, I still felt out of place and alone. So I created a website, www.theyoungmommylife.com, to inspire other young mothers who had the same struggles. I would talk about how different I felt from my friends, how motherhood was much harder than I imagined, and even air out my fears about not being up for the job.
At first, I didn’t have many readers. But as I kept writing and posting, the site began to grow. Two years later, I now have close to 10,000 readers a month.
On my website, I encourage young moms to use my blog as a support group of sorts. But I often get personal e-mails from readers where they ask me questions about their family structure and how to solve various problems in their lives. At this time, all I can do is offer encouragement and push them to make what they feel is the best decision for themselves and their family. But I would like to have a stronger background in child development and family studies, in order to offer more support and guidance to these mothers. This is where the Masters in Human Development and Family Studies comes in.
As the site continues to grow, I am getting offered speaking engagements and collaboration opportunities with large nonprofits. I have built relationships with the Massachusetts Alliance on Teenage Pregnancy and the Filicide Education and Prevention Association.
I was a keynote speaker at the National Crittenton Foundation’s annual meeting and reception in March in Washington, D.C., and participated in its Hill Day, where I accompanied Crittenton agency directors on several Congressional visits to advocate for policy changes that affect young mothers.
My ultimate goal is to create a nationwide support group for young mothers. It would be a single place to connect them with basic needs resources, but also meeting groups, daycare recommendations, job opportunities, and networking events. It would be a place for young moms to learn and grow, surrounded by the support of women who are in the same stage of life. There would be monthly workshops, book clubs, babysitter referrals, etc.
I would be able to build workshops and resources for mothers that delve into larger societal issues, not just those of my own personal experiences. I could offer support beyond what I know and tap into what modern research suggests in terms of building strong families and parent-child relationships.
In short, I would like these moms to be empowered and ready for this phase of their lives. I believe that a stronger background in family studies (as well as possible certification as a family life educator) would help me reach these goals.
My graduation ceremony was amazing and I was fully present as I walked across the stage. I felt so…grown! LOL. I set a goal and I made it. It took longer than I thought and many, many, many tears were shed but I was DONE. I was grateful to have my family there as I got my degree, as they held me down when I felt like giving up!
You all helped push me and motivate me over the past three years as well, so I want to say a huge THANK YOU to you as well. Thanks for supporting me.
Now off to look at PhD programs. (Just kidding.)