When I came across this blog, I was immediately drawn to it–Tales of a Young Mamma? Yup, right up my alley. What kept me interested, however, was this young mamma’s free spirit and easy, real approach to mothering. Not to mention, she is determined to keep her love of traveling a priority, even with two small children. Love that! Read on for my interview with Darlene and be sure to check out her blog!
Can you tell us the story of your “two lines?”
For my first “two lines,” I was definitely in denial about being pregnant. I was 20 and a sophomore in college finishing up finals week before heading home for Christmas break. I mentioned to my friend about not feeling good and being late and she drove me to a Christian Planned Parenthood-type facility where I was given two pregnancy tests because the first one was inconclusive–how’s that for nerve wracking?
Once the second one came back positive, I about had a heart attack. I immediately called my now- husband, then-boyfriend and told him. His reaction was actually better than mine; he went straight into “planning” mode to figure out what we were going to do. We ended up transferring schools to be closer to family (2 hrs away instead of 10) and lived in married student housing until Jasper was born. After he was born, we moved back out to Colorado so Drew could finish school. A lot of changes and moving went on the first year!!
Our second “two lines” came after months of trying to get pregnant. Every month I was convinced I was pregnant only to not be, so when my husband just had a feeling, I decided to check again and was shocked when finally the two faint lines showed up! It was definitely a different reaction having a planned pregnancy, and at first I felt guilty that my reaction was so much happier the first time around.
You recently became a mom again—congrats! How’s it been adjusting to life with a newborn?
It’s a huge adjustment! Going from having a very independent four-year-old to starting all over again is taking some time to get used to, but now, 6 weeks in, I think we are finally starting to get the hang of it.
What’s been the hardest part about being a young mom?
I think the hardest part for me was 100% giving up my freedom. I went from a college student with a very part-time job to a stay-at-home mom. We were 700 miles away from family and Drew worked 50-60 hrs a week while taking 18 credits, so I was alone all day and night with this very dependent newborn. I tried joining mom and me type groups when he was younger, but in the area of Colorado where we lived, it is very unusual to have kids before mid 30’s. All the women in these types of groups were in their late 30’s and totally saw 21-year-old me as an infant and I used to let that get to me.
Oh gosh this is harder. I absolutely love being a young mom—my mom had 5 kids before she was 30 and she was always so much fun and had all the energy that none of the other moms seemed to have growing up. I wanted that for my kids and luckily, have been able to give that to them. I think being a young mom has helped me not to take things for granted. We have had to sacrifice so much of ourselves and I think because of it appreciate it all so much more.
I’m fascinated by your traveling—what plans do you have to travel with the two kiddos?
Traveling is one thing I’m not willing to sacrifice! We went to Sweden last summer as our last big trip before baby (we weren’t yet pregnant but trying) and now we have already started a traveling fund for our next big vacation. We just have minor road trips this summer planned, but we are already saving up for a Sweden/Norway trip for next summer with both kiddos. I can’t wait for Tindra to get to experience Sweden with us as well!
What’s next for your in life as a young mamma?
I’ve put school on hold for now (pursuing my degree in early childhood education once class at a time) to focus on these beautiful babes of mine, but I know I will finish eventually. Priorities change (as you know!) with kids, and enjoying them to best of my ability while they are still young enough to actually want to be with me is my number one priority (editor’s note: love!). School is very far down the line of my priority list right now and at first I was ashamed to admit that. I had been so school and career driving that I forced myself to continue when Jasper was young. Not because it was as important to me, but because I was afraid others would see me as a failure. I was afraid they would say having a baby ruined my future and plans. I finally started to see that it’s okay to admit that goals change. I no longer dream of being a kick-ass attorney like I used to, now I dream of library trips and baking with my children with traveling whenever possible to show them the world, and I think that’s okay as well. Becoming a stay- at-home mom wasn’t me settling or giving up my goals and dreams; it became my new dream after Jasper was born and I consider myself very fortunate to be able to do so.