Start Before You’re Ready; Getting Pregnant at 19

Did you read that title and think What is she talking about? How can you start if you’re not ready? Well, I’ll tell you.

When I was 19 years old, I found out I was pregnant. I was terrified and overwhelmed and didn’t know if I could be responsible enough to raise a tiny human let alone keep it alive. I didn’t know how my boyfriend of less than a year would react, or how my parents would take the news.

I think it’s safe to say that I was terrified. I didn’t know how to raise a child, and if I’m completely honest, 11 years later, I’m still making it up day-by-day and just trying my best.

After a lot of tears, a lot of confusion, a lot of second-guessing and a lot of consideration of what would be best, not just for me, but for this life growing inside of me, I decided to keep my baby, regardless if anyone would be there to walk my journey or not, and trust me, the news was not welcomed gratefully by everyone.. at least, not at first.

Once I made the decision to bring this life into this world I also made the decision to always try to be the best parent and role model I can be. If I decided to bring this life into the world, I was going to try my absolute best to provide everything I can to help him grow into a good person to have all the tools he needs to be kind, respectful and happy.

Let me just reiterate, I had NO idea what I was doing, but let me be clear, despite the difficulty, despite the stereotypes, despite the sleepless nights and stress, having that baby was the best decision I’ve ever made. It completely changed me as a person in ways I didn’t expect.

I’m not saying that anyone should choose the same path I did, I just did a lot of soul-searching and consideration and I took the path that was best for (and I believe, meant for) me.

My point is, I made a decision. A decision. I didn’t agree to try until it got hard, I didn’t agree to only stick around for the happy moments and the good times, I made the decision to bring a human into the world and provide everything I could and try my best with whatever my “best” was at the time. I was not ready. I was living with my parents, I hadn’t even been with my boyfriend for a year, I had minimal savings and being the youngest child myself, I didn’t know how to raise a child or what it required of me.

I just took each challenge as it came, and yes, they’re still coming.
I cry when it gets too much.
I feel overwhelmed about 99% of the time.
My work and chores are never done and I can’t just take a sick day off.
I don’t get the luxury of resting when I am unwell.
Living in my house with 3 boys and my husband, I feel outnumbered and like the black sheep and I have meltdowns regularly, but despite all of this, I have never been more driven, I have never experienced so much love in my heart, I have never appreciated my own parents so much, I have never been more grateful and I didn’t know 11 years after making that decision, that it would be the best decision of my life. Even on the difficult days, even when I’m stressed and overwhelmed, I wouldn’t trade my life… I might want to escape for an hour or two, but trade it in completely? No way, sister!

I’ve heard so many people say “Oh I do want kids, but maybe in about 10 years, I’m not ready yet.”
Trust me, you’ll never be ready for kids. EVER.

Or I hear “Yeah, I do want to launch my new business but I just want to do X first.
Sounds like procrastination to me..

Here’s another common one “I’d love to do that, I just don’t have the time.”
Hmmm, is that really true or are you making excuses to excuse you from starting to excuse you from potentially failing?

Most things in life happen to us without warning. You don’t have time to prepare for these moments, you just get thrown in the deep end and have to work out how to swim when you’re in the water.

Of course, yes, it’s great to be prepared and lay solid foundations, and I’m not for one second saying you should act recklessly, but are you laying solid foundations? Or are you falling into the trap of letting time slip away from you and finding excuses to never live your dreams?

It’s great to plan for the future you want and it’s great to build safety nets in case of a tragedy, but are you really doing those things? Or are you procrastinating? Sometimes you have to make the decision to run and jump into what you want rather than just dipping your toe in to see how it feels. Sometimes going in slowly is more painful and uncomfortable.

What are you holding yourself back from? Where are you making excuses?

Write down 5-10 things you’d like to be, do or have.
Now pick 2 things you’d put at the top of your list. One that you’d love to do and seems a little out of reach and one that seems a little more likely. What are you actively doing to make these things happen?
Also, where are you making excuses to not do them?

Brainstorm all the ways you can possibly think of that would help you get a little closer to being, doing or having these two things.
Now pick one thing you can do for each of these things right now and do it. Right now. No excuses. Get the ball rolling. Start the momentum and start before you’re ready.

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