The Truth Behind Family Goals

Im 22 years old and the picture you just saw, Tyler and I in sweats, Ella freshly bathed, the three of us brushing our teeth, getting ready for bed so we can snuggle in and watch Moana for the third time today, that is what I call a fun Saturday night. We are absolutely content with a night in, we love it. There is nothing more important or perfect than this stage of life for us, the family life, but let me tell you it wasn’t easy to get to.

For those of you who do not know, my boyfriend, Tyler and I met in college. Our college years treated us well, maybe a little too well. We were huge partiers. We had this carefree lifestyle that wasn’t always smart or safe . A day in the life of Jessler (as Tyler’s mom likes to call us) included waking up with most likely a hang over, rolling into class just as it started, post class workout, followed by Chipotle or Wendy’s 4 for 4, immediately accompanied by a nap, then binge drinking into the early hours of the next day, going to bed to do it again, (sorry Mom). We did whatever we wanted, when we wanted. If we wanted to travel, we went. It didn’t matter if it was three in the morning or if our funds were low we would just pick up and go. Nomads with no intentions. We were in a constant state of moving always one event after the next. Something new to try. We had a lifestyle that was absolutely careless. We moved back home our Junior year of college fumbling around life a bit, the only thing we were sure of was each other. Tyler had just got his foot into the trade work world and I was serving deciding what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Fast forward a few months, Tyler and I get into stable jobs and we decide to get our first place together. It was located next to bars, it was close to work, we were set or so we thought. Eight days after moving in we found out we were pregnant. We knew we had to do an immediate 180. Our lifestyle was no match for a baby.

I have slew of people who are in our lives that don’t even understand all the changes we had to make to accommodate raising a child. And on the other hand, I get a ton of people who tell me we are “family goals” and “you guys are such good parents”, which means the world to us because it was the hardest thing either of us have ever had to do, become parents. It was not as easy as rolling over and saying OK! time to be a completely different person! There was tears, there were fights and there was some really, really low points. Its hard when you’re a young parent, one side of you desperately clings to the fun life you and your friends all share, its what you know. It’s what you have been anticipating for the future. Then there’s the other side. The side you want to jump to, the side that’s houses more love than you can ever imagine, that let’s you become a family, to grow as an individual and together as a couple. It is truly hard to make that leap. Some days you wake up, you look at Snapchat, you watch all of the fun you’re missing out on, all the fun you used to be apart of. Then some days it’s easy to see yourself leaving it all behind, like when you hear the baby’s heartbeat flutter for the first time, you know you’ll do anything for that little person living inside you. Some people don’t ever make that leap though and some make it half-assed. Other people fully commit to the leap. Tyler and I were all in, we leaped fully. We knew we wanted not only to be parents, but GOOD parents. We knew we wanted to love our little girl unconditionally, to teach her, nourish her and protect her. We knew in order to provide her with the life she deserved we as individuals needed to change. We cut toxic habits, toxic people and toxic places out of our life. We lost out on 21st birthdays and a whole lot of parties. We lost friends.  We lost vacations we had planned.We stopped getting invited to events. At times we felt isolated.  And if we did get invited somewhere I felt like no one wanted to talk at gatherings because they found it uncomfortable. It was like I wore this big sign on my head that was endlessly screaming HEY SHES 21 AND PREGNANT DO NOT ASSOCIATE. No one understood what we were going through so they didn’t say anything at all. It wasnt easy as a couple to get through either, both of our lives had to change so much it was difficult to adjust to the others shift. But together we helped eachother through.

What we gained, couldn’t even begin to compare to what we lost. We gained so so so much love, we grew individually and together, we became closer with God and closer with our own families. We weeded out the people who didn’t need to be in our lives and left stood were the friends who truly cared for us. It’s honestly is better that way, we don’t have time or the energy to entertain half effort relationships. That’s the truth behind “family goals” at a young age, if you want the family lifestyle you have to be 100% committed to it even if it means letting go of your old life. We went from being party bingers and borderline alcoholics floating through life to a set of amazing parents to a beautiful baby girl. I say that with the utmost confidence as well. I believe its important to recognize your strengths and Tyler and I’s number one strength is being a family unit. If we had a second chance, we would chose the same path again in a heart beat because this is the best stage of our lives by far. We still enjoy a good night out with friends here and there but I always cherish these kinda Saturday nights because we worked so hard to be here. Now I have to go, Moana’s calling.