Jessica: Shocked Teen Mom Defies Stigmas

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Name:

Jessica Gooding

I got pregnant at:

17 years old

I am now:

25 years old

My initial reaction was:

Shock.

People in my life reacted:

IN SHOCK.

My biggest challenge has been:

The stigma behind being a young single parent. I am a firm believer that good parenting has nothing to do with age. It all comes down to perspective and individualism. You can never really understand a perception until you are directly involved.

My biggest accomplishment has been:

Being able to provide for my daughter comfortably, obtaining an awesome position that I love, finding myself and learning what is really important in life.

I love being a young mom because:

I have defied the negative stigma attached to young parents, not solely because I worked hard to get more for my daughter, but mainly because I have always known that there is no "right" way of doing things in life. There is only the way that works best for you and for what you personally value. Energy is a plus as well.

[also see: Why I Love Being a Young Mom]

I struggle with:

Time management. I work full-time, I am a student, an intern, and I occasionally volunteer with some pretty great organizations. I also have a group of amazing friends and a great family that I love spending time with.

I wish all young moms knew:

That you can do WHATEVER you want! You have one life, live it! Figure out what makes you happy and run with it.