I Had A Baby At 20 But That Didn't Stop Me From Graduating And Showing My Daughter Anything Is Possible
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I Had A Baby At 20 But That Didn't Stop Me From Graduating And Showing My Daughter Anything Is Possible

My daughter is happy and healthy.

I Had A Baby At 20 But That Didn't Stop Me From Graduating And Showing My Daughter Anything Is Possible
Taylor Edwards Photography

Being a young mom, for the most part, is something no girl ever sees coming. At first, you're scared. You're scared of all the unknown things that you are about to experience, you're scared of the things that you have to give up, you're scared of a child taking away every ounce of freedom that you have earned up to this point.

I was only 19 years old when I found out I was pregnant. That is a very young age to have to grow up within a minute.

But I did it.

I did it and I never looked back. I told myself I had to go into beast mode if I wanted to be the best mother to my baby, and the best mother is what I was going to be.

August 21, 2017, my sweet daughter was born. Instantly, everything I had ever worried about was washed away. I knew everything was going to be okay from that moment on. Let me be the first to say, it takes a village to raise a child. My daughter's father and I could not have done it without our family and friends who are always willing to help us at any given moment. We had no idea what kind of trials were ahead of us but we knew we were not going to face them alone.

Being a young mother has taught me a lot. I have found strength in myself that I never knew existed. When it was time to go back to school, I gained so much anxiety because I had to put my daughter into daycare. “Ugh! GERMS! She barely has an immune system!" (Also, may I add that it was over $600+ a month).

I was struggling. Mentally and emotionally, I was in an unhealthy place. I was a waitress, a full-time student, and a mother around the clock. How could I be working three to four days a week, going to school five days a week, and taking care of my daughter?

Here is the trick:

Nut up. Do what you have to do.

And family. Always family. (I may mention them a lot just because they always came to my rescue). I had a mother and three sisters who set great examples for me as mothers. I had HUGE shoes to fill, but I was ready for the challenge. I knew I could always rely on them for help. Even to this day, they never turn me away or be judgmental. They help me to the best of their abilities and I am immensely grateful for the impact they have on me as a mother.

I was so stressed at 20-years-old. I was going through some things that no 20-year-old should be going through. I was majoring in Surgical Technology, which required me getting up at 5 a.m. four days a week to be at the hospital until 2 p.m. I was stressed beyond my capacity. I would be in my room doing homework while my daughter was playing in the living room. I missed out on some silly moments because I knew I had to graduate.

And so I did.

I graduated from the Surgical Technology program in May of 2019 with my baby girl in the stands! I gave a big “hell yeah!" to all those nights that got me there. I did it for my baby girl. She needed a mama who was going to be successful, and I was not going to fail her by any means.

I wanted to make sure my daughter was well taken care of, but I missed my friends. I wanted to go dance with my girlfriends, I wanted to go eat dinner without having to worry about if my child shit herself, I wanted to have a regular 20-year-old life just for a few hours. But you know what?

I did not have that life. That is not the life I had anymore and that is okay.

Luckily, my mother and father were so understanding and let me have those nights every once in a while. I believe it's healthy to have those nights where you are young with your girlfriends. It doesn't matter if you're 21 or 35, everyone needs their time to laugh and have fun. No one can change my mind on that.

With being a young mom, I find, comes with a lot of judgment. “Oh look at her, giving her daughter fruit snacks at 8 p.m. Why isn't she putting her daughter to bed?"

Well, Susan, shit happens. Shit. Freaking. Happens. And that's okay. That doesn't mean I am uneducated on raising my child, that doesn't mean my child is on my schedule instead of her own — it just happens to be our current situation. (Not that it's any of your business, though).

I am now 22 years old with a 2-year-old daughter and I have conquered so many things. I am not afraid to admit that my daughter saved me from a bunch of reckless decisions. She saved me from a lot of demons I was battling, she has shown me unconditional love, and she has brought me closer to God. He knew I needed her in that exact moment and for moments to come. I am living a life that I am so blessed to have and it would not be possible without her.

My daughter is happy and healthy. What more could a young mom ask for?

To all my other young mamas out there:

We are powerful. There is nothing in this world like a happy mama. Be that ray of sunshine that you want your child to be. We are a team. Go beast mode and never apologize for being the awesome, young mama you are!

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