In our new blog series, meet the women behind our #WeAreWeCan campaign. We asked these brave and inspiring women to tell us about some of the challenges and struggles they've faced, and share their stories with us. Our hope is that by talking about our experiences as women, we'll recognize that we are not alone and we can help others who might be struggling with similar issues. WE ARE strong, and together WE CAN overcome anything.
For our #WeAreWeCan campaign, we sat down with Morgan Mitchell, age 21, to hear her story. Morgan is a single mother who works two jobs to provide for her young daughter. Though she says some days are difficult, she's proud to be an example to her daughter of love, hard work, and dedication. Below, read our conversation with Morgan and watch her video to learn more about her inspiring journey.
In your interview, you told us about your experience as a single mom. Could you share your story with us and tell us about some of your struggles?
I got pregnant when I was 19 and had my daughter, Ava, when I was 20. At the time I got pregnant I was attending Utah State University and was planning on majoring in Social Work. My daughter's dad (my boyfriend at the time) lived in Ogden. I moved back to Ogden and dropped out of school to work full time to save up for my baby on the way. Looking back on it, it was all so fast and crazy. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, my mind/body seemed to automatically go into overdrive to be able to provide everything I could for my daughter. When I had my baby, I went back to work when she was just 6 weeks old. When my daughter was about a year old, her dad and I split up. My mind kicked into that "overdrive" feeling again. I got a second job to be able to pay for rent, daycare, groceries, etc. It has been extremely hard at times. Sometimes I catch myself seeing so many moms that get to be home with their kids and enjoy every single moment with them. But then I quickly go back to the person and example I want to be as a mother and it makes me truly soak up the time I do get with her with so much gratitude. Growing up, my mom was so independent, working her hardest for my brother and I. It taught me so much. It taught me that I truly want to show my daughter that she can DO and BE anyone she wants to be as long as she puts her mind to it. There will be hard times, but when I come home and see the smile on her face, I know that it is ALL worth it in the end.
How have you found strength, hope, and joy as you've been shouldering the stress and responsibility of being a single mom while working two jobs?
My strength, hope, and joy comes from my daughter. Every ounce of it. There is nothing like a mothers love. It truly does take over your heart and makes me want to be that person she knows is strong. I never want her to look at me and know I'm struggling or know I'm "sad." I want her to look at me and know that we ARE getting through it because we have each other.
Have you found support from other women and single moms?
It has been hard because I am a young mom. I don't have a lot of friends who are even moms. There have been times where I felt very alone/isolated and like no one understood what I was going through. I felt like there were so many people my age who got to go have fun and spend their paycheck on clothes or something for themselves. It was very hard but also extremely humbling at the same time knowing that my hard work went towards something for the life I created—that was always so amazing to me. I found a lot of support through my mom. I couldn't have done it without her example of work ethic.
What do you hope you are teaching your daughter as a single mom?
I hope I am teaching her independence. Love is not shown in how many toys she has or how many clothes she has, it's shown in acts of love. I want her to know that I never gave up—I never for a second thought it was "too hard." I always see her beautiful face in everything I do for her. Every day I tell her, "You are brave," "You are strong," "You are kind," and "You are respectful." I want her to be confident in knowing that she is those things and that she IS so special.
What advice would you offer other single moms who are working hard to make a better life for themselves and their children?
NEVER GIVE UP. I know how hard it can be and how lonely it can feel. I know some days you feel like no one understands. Look at your child/children and know that it all is going to be okay because every day when the sun comes up, you have that beautiful face telling you, "Morning, Mommy!" That is why it's worth it.
Who is a woman that inspires you and why?
My mom. I have never seen a woman's work ethic like hers. She has shown me time after time again that you don't give up. She is the most amazing and strongest person I know, and I truly would not be where I am today without her.
If you could go back, what advice would you give your teenage self?
Live a little! I remember always being so worried about tests, homework, and friends that I never really enjoyed the one free pass I got. When you're a teenager, it's your time before adulthood to just HAVE FUN!
What do you love about your Fawn Design bags?
My favorite thing about my Fawn bags is that they are SO easy to clean. The material is unbeatable and it is PERFECT for every occasion. I am such a sucker for Fawn. Hands down, my favorite company and now getting the experience to see the people behind Fawn just made me fall in love even more.