“She’s never going to finish school now”
“How is she going to support herself and her child”
“I mean let’s be honest, she’s never going to make anything of herself now”
And these are just the statements heard. Being a young mother can be a hard, judgmental, overwhelming journey. One that many women have to embark on alone. The reality is that some young mothers do indeed seldom complete their education and tend to have low paying jobs. But with focus and determination anything can be accomplished.
Let’s be honest, women are amazing. Beyonce said it best: “Strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business”. This woman right here is the epitome of that statement. From the moment I met Kelsey she has never let being a young mother stop her from achieving any of her dreams or aspirations. From being a student (masters), to a head coach (track), to now a business entrepreneur and throw the mother cap on top of that; this women literally does it all. Starting a business is just her current way of breaking the young mother stereotype.
Aysia: When did you become a mom? What’s your labor story?
Kelsey: I became a mom 6 years., actually 5 and 3/4 years ago. I actually had a pretty easy labor. At about 2 am I started with contractions then at about 6am I decided it was probably time to go into the hospital. Little Mya came at 11am. I went all natural except for the little something they put in my arm to calm me down. Besides that, it was honestly really simple and flawless. At that moment my life was changed. It caused me to change some of the things I was doing and forced me to be a better Christian. I even recently got baptized. So yea, little extra than my labor story there haha.
Aysia: No,no! I love it. That’s why I always start off with that question, I feel like people are more likely to open up for the other questions because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love talking about their birth? So, you had Mya as a junior in college. You were an athlete and a student at the time. How did you make it through school being pregnant and a new mom?
Kelsey: Man, that was so hard. First, being pregnant during school was hard. Especially because I was a track athlete. I had trained super hard for our season in November. I expected come January, to have the best season I ever had. And then, I got pregnant right before my season actually started. So I wasn’t able to compete, I didn’t spend as much time with my teammates, there were a lot of rumors going around and on top of that, I hadn’t even told my family yet. So for the first like 4/5 months of my pregnancy, I was really lonely. Then I had Mya September 2nd. I took one week off but that was the first week of school. So by the time she was 2 weeks I was back in school full time. I was pumping at school, I was emotional and I wasn’t even fully healed. I was legit walking around school with tucks in my underwear. At the same time it was so hard to be away from my new baby.
Aysia: Man that was a battle early on! Speaking of battles, how did you battle with finding the time and energy to get through school while having a newborn?
Kelsey: Whew! Honestly, I didn’t have the time ha ha but I just kept my eye on the prize as they say; to graduate. Not graduating was NOT an option. And shortly after having Mya I was back to training. There wasn’t really a moment that I could rest and take the break. So I just kept pushing. But I had a job to do for my daughter. As I said before I changed my life when she was born. I wanted to lead by example. Graduating from college was just one of those examples I wanted to set. To this day I’ve had people say about “well you missed out on so much”, but honestly she was so young I don’t think I missed out on anything. Continuing school was one of the best decisions I could have made for me and my daughter. And now I have my masters degree and I’m just chillen! Haha working, reaching my goals and now spending so much time with Mya.
Aysia: I know that’s right! Masters!! So now that your babes a little older, how do you juggle her activities and yours all week and manage everything?
Kelsey: I have 3 calendars that is color coordinated. I plan my days by weeks. So I look at the big calendar and see everything on it and then I try to make sure at least 3 days/ evenings that we have nothing going on. Because I don’t want to get to wrapped up on activities that we miss quality time with each other. She does gymnastics, swimming lessons and all these random things. And so do I! But 3 days a week is a hard stop. It makes the week doable to have those bonding times scheduled in. Just me and her, and sometimes her dad.
Aysia: I think I’m going to definitely have to get the calendars rolling. You know kids and their sports. And I cannot wait to get that started. On top of all you guys’s current activities, tell me about the business you’re starting.
Kelsey: So I never thought I’d be a teacher which is my profession now. I got my undergrad in kinesiology. I thought I was going to be some sort of athletic trainer or something in sports medicine. But this opportunity to get my masters in developmental phys-ed came up. It was an amazing opportunity because it got me prepared for this next step. I’m starting a fitness center for adults with disabilities. This has been something on my heart since I was 18 years old. It’s amazing how God reveals parts of the plan when your ready. In the summer time I rode on the buses with individuals that received rides to different locations and activities until they were 21 and I remember asking the driver what do they do when they become 21? And the bus driver said they either go to a group home or they stay at home. And that just didn’t work for me. Being that fitness is my passion I got so inquisitive on what they do to stay active! And learned they honestly they didn’t do much. And just by asking that simple question, God revealed part of my plan and purpose.
Aysia: Why individuals with special needs?
Kelsey: It’s a very special group of people. And God placed this love on my heart for individuals with special needs. I truly think this is my purpose. God made me for this. I want to be able to contribute to His kingdom and I feel like adults with special needs are highly neglected. Everybody in the world has a place; homosexuals, blacks, whites. And I just want to create a space FOR THEM that screams, we love you and we genuinely care about you.
Aysia: What is your long time goal with this business?
Kelsey: My long term goal is to ultimately have locations all over the world similar to an LA Fitness or Lifetime. Now world is stretching it, haha, which set your goals high right?! But mostly in multiple states. Because these individuals ALL need this space.
Aysia: What advice would you give to young mothers who need the push to keep going and to follow their dreams?
Think of your kids and set an example. One day I’m going to be able to talk to my daughter and tell her all the sacrifices I made. We’re going to be sitting in our house and I’m going to be able to say, you being a good daughter and being flexible with other people allowed mommy to pursue her dreams. WE made this happen.They may not notice the sacrifices now, but when they get older they’ll know. They’ll understand. I can’t wait to say to my daughter mommy did this, all by herself. (Now yes, I have an amazing support system but I did most of it). I don’t want to tell her to pursue her own dreams while I didn’t do it myself. I want to be able to have examples and show the sacrifices. When you keep your kids as the focus, it gets easier. And keeping God number one of course! His guidance goes above things you can ever imagine.
Also, use your support systems! I know as a mom one of the hardest things is to leave your child. But, I had to leave my baby sometimes. In that time she got to know her family. As they say, it takes a village to raise a family. And with the help of my village and her dad’s village she got to build relationships and experience things that are irreplaceable. It’s just another sacrifice you make. And at the end of it your going to look back and see all the statistics you beat because you made a few sacrifices and just grinded.
Aysia: That was amazing advice. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story! I know so many people benefited from it. As always, ending it light what’s the funniest thing Mya has ever done?
Kelsey: Well she’s funny all the time so I can’t pick just one. But I’ll pick one that you know too! She started a new school and she’s in the city now so she’s exposed to a lot more hip hop. She came in one night with her du-rag on and started that song “I just want a rolly rolly rolly with a dab of ranch” and she had her du-rag on. It was hilarious.
Aysia: Honestly, that was the funniest thing she’s ever done for me too. Too funny!
See ya later!