Katie – Young Moms program

I got involved with the Young Women’s Resource Center about three years ago when I was 16 and pregnant. I attended the Childbirth Education classes that were taught by Diane, one of the perinatal specialists at the YWRC. At the time I was very shy, especially about being pregnant, but very much interested in learning about pregnancy, birth and becoming a mom.

I found out I was pregnant when I was 16 and a junior at Urbandale High School. Unlike many of the other teen moms I have met, I had and continue to have a very strong support system that consists of my mom, dad and my brother (when he wants to help out). They have been there for me since I first learned I was going to have a baby.

I was a navy brat from Connecticut; however, my parents grew up in Iowa and had met in Newton. Eventually my family moved back to Iowa to be close to our extended family and to start a life back in the state of Iowa. We love it here.

My son, Kael, was born in December 2011. My life has been very stressful. I would be lying if I said it was easy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I returned to school after Kael was born, and I graduated in May 2013. It has gotten much easier since I graduated as I no longer have school to think about. With that out of the way I can focus on being a mom and working. I get by trying to make ends meet as much as I can. I work approximately 30 hours per week, making sure the money I earn pays my bills and buys things for my kids before I fill the car with gas or buy something for myself.

I became pregnant again and gave birth to another son, Jude, this past August. This time I am much more confident as a young mom and am focused on raising them and fulfilling my dreams.  I would love to go to college to become a veterinarian, but because of the many years of school it would take and the difficulty of the classes along with being a full-time single mom, I have instead set a goal of moving up the ranks into higher positions at Hy-Vee, where I currently work. One day maybe I will manage a store. I also want to move out of my parent’s home and have a place to raise my sons.

In my spare time away from work I like to play with my boys.  Although, if I had more time to be away from them without feeling guilty, I would love to go to a football game or a bonfire to hang out with some old friends. Usually my day starts very early, getting the kids fed and dressed and completing typical parenting and household chores. I will soon be going back to work and will be taking the kids to childcare and working anywhere from 40-50 hours per week.

I participate in the Young Moms program at the Young Women’s Resource Center to learn all I can about parenting and working towards self-sufficiency. I enjoy the connection with other young moms and find they are a good support system as well.