How Being A Young Mom Gave Me Direction

When I found out I was pregnant with Ellie, I realized I would never again have downtime in my life. Selfishly I thought, “crap. I’m 21, how am I going to have a baby when I haven’t even lived my life?” Looking back, it’s kind of funny. Funny because having Ellie changed everything, not only giving me purpose to live my life, but also giving me the drive to finally create a trajectory for my career.

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I was working as a part-time manager at a major cosmetic retailer. Getting up at 6:30 every morning; trying not to wake the baby in the bassinet; scanning the fridge to ensure enough milk there; trying to make-up my obviously exhausted appearance. While this was a fun job, it was by no means gushing with integrity and passion. I’d be biting my tongue talking to rude customers while popping into the office for a relieving pump every two hours. I came to a point where I just couldn’t handle it. I wanted to make a step towards a career in my field of study.

After knocking out summer classes, accelerated fall semesters and an unexpected CLEP test, the most expensive piece of paper arrived on my doorstep. “You did it,” I thought. Although not feeling as rewarded as I had hoped. Was it because it was missing a $300 frame job? Or because I was sick of matching foundation on scaly-skin women while directing others to the ever-so-obviously marked salon?

Well, by February I had decided it was the latter. I didn’t suffer through unappreciated internships, sleepless nights, countless papers, intimidating professors and patience-testing projects to not do something relevant to my job. But what, what could I do? My credentials highlighted fashion, but I was a young mom now. How could I afford to travel, attend lavish parties and fabulous fashion shows? After a while, I realized I would have to make my mark in the world in another way.

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So I tried to keep blogging. I found myself with less and less free time while my infant grew bigger and bigger. One day I got a huge break when I discovered a job posting as a Copywriter for Zulily. After a very interactive interview process, I left behind my life in Pittsburgh to discover fulfillment concocting snappy descriptions for products featured on the site.

Fast-forward to today and I find myself in the midst of starting my own business, while planning a life-changing move (more to come on this later) and watching Ellie enter the 11 month of her life. It’s hard to believe how quickly everything changed. But the reason that I worked to make it all change is simple: my sweet angel girl.

If you would have asked me three years ago where I saw myself in the future, the answer would be simple: New York City, perhaps working for a brand or agency pedaling my talent to the point of exhaustion. That’s all changed now. Instead, I see myself in a six-bedroom farmhouse with enough acreage for a large garden and chickens, with room to spare for dirt bikes, bonfires and plenty of frisbee.  You see, as Ellie gets older, I become more aware of how everything I do will shape who she becomes.

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I want to raise a smart, driven, independent, courageous, free-thinking, creative, loving, happy and thankful daughter. I don’t want her to think having a baby at a young age is easy, because it isn’t. I want her to know that it is worth it. It is worth going through that change to not only bring new life into the world, but to change your own so drastically. When she asks people about what I was like when I was younger, I want her to feel proud to know I pushed myself to the limits of sleep and sanity to provide a stable, loving, positive environment for her.

As she gets older, my vision becomes more clear. I just want to be a good mom. I just want her to respect me and love me for sacrificing everything for her. And to know I did it gladly, proudly, boldly and happily.

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