We are switching it up this week with some fresh mama inspiration part 1. Annie Hartigan is here with us and we had a fun Q & A about her motherhood journey. Annie and I met when our kids were about were 3 years old, at the town library. She is the sweetest, most open and honest person I have ever met and we instantly hit it off despite our 10-year age difference.
When I was in my early 20’s my only worry was where and when the next social outing was. Annie has had to overcome becoming a mom at age 19, an abusive partner, and divorce all before the age of 23. She as clawed her way through on-going custody battles for her son, trauma after trauma, and also never ever gave up fighting for her dream to become a signed recording artist.
Annie now advocates for domestic abuse, body-image, and self-worth by writing music about her experiences. Being a divorced, single mom, has inspired her to help other moms out there find their worth, go for their dreams, and never take anything less than what is the best for them and their children.
Annie will be on the podcast coming out in the end of June so keep an eye out for her live interview.
Annie Hartigan Q & A
What changed when you became a mom to your son Lance?
Becoming a mom gave me a whole new meaning to my life. It was the sole reason I finally had the courage to leave my abuser and it was the drive that pushed me to believe that no dream of mine was ever too big. I knew I wanted to not only give myself a better life but a better life for my son as well. We both deserved better and I made it my number one mission to make sure that nothing would get in the way of that even if it was going to be hard as hell.
You were a really young mom navigating impossible circumstances. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey?
Five years ago you probably wouldn’t recognize me. I wasn’t signed to a record label or singing at shows. I didn’t do a modeling campaign for Khloe Kardashian and I sure wasn’t the mom who could confidently take part in photoshoots wearing nothing but a bikini. The life I have now is a lot different from the life I use to live.. but the biggest difference between the two is that now… I’m actually living my life the way I want to, the way I always dreamed of living.
At 19 I was pregnant, married and living hundreds of miles away from everything I’ve ever known. The one person who I loved more than life was also the same person who tried to take it all away from me. I’ve experienced a lot in the past 28 years of my life, but five years ago was when I changed the course of my life.
Everything I have ever dreamed of doing is now my reality and some days I can’t even believe that to be true. I fought so hard for this, and I’m still going strong and still climbing the latter of the life I want to live because instead of dwelling on what was or other opportunities that I missed while being in my previous chapter I decided to rewrite my story from the ground up because I knew in my soul that my destiny was much greater than just moving forward.. I wanted to leave a lasting impact on this world and set a positive movement for generations of women to come.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I never expected to be divorced a month before my 23rd birthday but when you’re face to face with rock bottom there is no where to go other than climbing yourself out of the hole you’re in. I didn’t wake up one day and magically become healed.. or have everything that I have now in my life. healing for me was never just done in a day, week, month or even year.
Step by step I worked through every trauma I experienced and despite being hit with every obstacle imaginable.. I kept moving forward even on the days I swore it might kill me. I worked hard and never gave up, when opportunity knocked I took it even when I was unsure if the opportunity would even follow through. I didn’t think a young mom with a baby would ever get as far as I have.. statistically speaking it was a one and a million chance. But I was determined to find my light again and discover who I am as a person and I decided that simply just existing on this planet wasn’t enough for me.
I couldn’t control the cards I was dealt with.. but I wanted to prevail and I wanted to do more. I chose to write personal songs about my life and sing them for others who can relate to things I’ve gone through especially if those people find themselves in a dark place. I wanted my music to tell where I came from and not just where I am now. I chose to take part in photo shoots that would show other women that mom bods are beautiful so that they can be confident in their own skin too and most importantly I wanted to publicly speak about my survival story so that others who have similar experiences know that they aren’t alone.
You now you have mastered being a single mom, and have a the career you always dreamed of. Would you say these past experiences made you stronger?
There was nothing else that could possibly try and destroy me like the previous chapter of my life tried to do. Experiencing the lows of the low and navigating challenge after challenge on my own without having anyone to step in to help me push through made me a force to be reckoned with and because of how I chose to deal with my unfortunate circumstances by not throwing in the towel and giving up I made sure that nobody would make me question my own worth ever again or my capability to defy the odds of being a divorced single mom.
What advice can you give other moms out there going through divorce, unhappy in their relationships, and still having huge dreams of their own?
I want other moms to know that they aren’t alone. That there is always a light at the end of the tunnel even when you think you’ve hit rock bottom and think there’s no way out. It might not take you a day, a week, a month or even a year to find your light again but I promise you that you will. You need to tell yourself “I’ll get through this, I’m strong and this is not the end of me.” You are braver than you know.. and it will surprise you what you’re capable of once you tell yourself that you’ll get through it even if you don’t believe you will.
Connect with Annie! You can find Annie here! Follow her motherhood journey, enjoy her music, and be inspired by her work as a women’s advocate.
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Each and every motherhood journey is unique. Even if we are going through similar circumstances, our own personal experience is different. By sharing these stories, you give power and encouragement to other women to do the same.