Surprises: Love Notes by Joanne

I've been going back and forth and back on forth on what to write as my first blog in my series Love Notes, and the topic that came back into my mind and heart over and over again is my story of being a young mother. We often get random Facebook messages from friends, families, and sometimes strangers telling us how much of a fun family we look and how they hope to one day be parents just like us. It brings me to tears when I hear this because where we are now was a HUGE surprise!

I found out I was pregnant with Airis at 20 years old. SURPRISE, I was having a baby. I'll be honest first thoughts weren't emotions of excitement, they were thoughts of being scared shitless. I just started my career as a hairstylist, Jonathan was working at Starbucks as a supervisor, we had nothing except for a small room we rented in a house we lived in with his sister. "How were we supposed to be able to raise this baby with the income that we have? We're not ready. What are we supposed to offer her?" These were the thoughts that were going through my head. I had no idea what to do. There were no signs of a baby in my life forecast during this time so needless to say I was slightly unprepared.

It's true what people say when they tell you "Everything changes when you have a baby." But a lot of times people say it with a tone of negativity. Why, who knows? I know that a lot in my life has changed when Airis was born. My outlook on life, my views, and my determination to be able to accomplish my dreams all changed for the best.  Without Airis, I don't think I would've been the person I am now. When she was born there was just so much more to live for.  I dreamed harder, I lived more, and I learned to laugh sincerely.

Since Airis was born I've accomplished a lot. My career as a hairstylist reached heights in a short amount of time. I began to travel in the first 5 years of my career as an educator for a company called Rusk. It was amazing. I had never dreamed of doing something near that before my daughter was born. Then in 2007 Jonathan took the craziest leap of faith and quit his job to pursue his passion and start our business. I could definitely say that we would've never pushed ourselves this hard to make something amazing from absolutely nothing without our children.  So does "everything change when you have a baby?" Yes, it does change.  You have so much more to dream for not just for yourself, but for your children.

Becoming a mother is one of the most scariest things I've ever done, but I wouldn't change it for the world.  It has made me a stronger, wiser, and a better woman. So for all of those women who are currently pregnant or dreaming of a family in the future, it's okay to be scared of the idea of becoming someone's parent.  Just remember that the scariest paths in life are the ones we learn from and are typically the most rewarding.