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BadAssMom Of The Month

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Name: Valerie Jones

Age: 33

Kids: Dylan 13, Wyatt 10, Saila 6

Lives in: Atlantic Beach

Dream: To own a bakery

Tennessee born, Florida raised...

I was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee which is just a little south of Nashville. My mom homeschooled my older sister and I until I was in fourth grade. My sister is 5 years older than me, and still to this day is my rock, and best friend. I am so grateful for the time I was allowed to stay home and learn with her. I went to school in Tennessee from fourth grade until sixth grade. When I was 13 my mom and I moved to Jacksonville Beach. It was her lifelong dream to move to the beach, so when my sister left for college, my stepdad at the time took a job in Florida. I started 7th grade at Fletcher Middle School, attended Fletcher High School for two years, and graduated from the Marine Science Center in 2005.

After high school, I packed up and moved back to Nashville for a year. I dated a guy there and at 19 I found out I was pregnant with my oldest son Dylan. We moved back to Florida so I could be near my family and friends again, and at 20 years old my first baby boy was born. I was young and terrified, but looking back now I know he was the best thing I ever could have asked for. He changed my life.

My friends and family would tell you that I’m a little undecided and live life by the moment, but I get that honest from my free spirit, gypsy mama (she taught me well, live a life you love and forget what anyone else thinks) I’ve moved back and forth to Tennessee over the years never really being able to decide where “home” is. When Dylan was one I reconnected with an old high school sweetheart and we later were married and had two more children together. Wyatt is now 10, and Saila is 6.

We spent 11 years together raising a family at a young age. Unfortunately this year we divorced, but I am happy to say that we get along and co-parent very well. I now have my kids 50/50 and it has been a major adjustment.

I went from working in business development to being a stay at home mom to chase after my baking dreams shortly before the separation. When he moved out last year I knew I couldn’t survive on my baking alone so I jumped in and started working again. This last year has been without a doubt the hardest year of my life.

I am currently working four jobs and raising three children. I am still actively pursuing my dream to own a storefront bakery as much as I can on the side.

This last year of life at 33 years old, raising kids alone, and trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel during a pandemic has been nothing short of exhausting, but it has also been a blessing. I have learned what I am thankful for, I have been amazed at how my “tribe” has shown up, lifted me up, and been there with no questions asked. I have realized how precious every moment truly is that I get with my children, and I have seen how difficult it is to start from the ground up, alone.

I am dedicated to seeing the beauty in the pain, living life to its fullest, and enjoying the small things like walks on the beach, roller skating with the kids, and enjoying music together. This last year has really opened my eyes to just how quickly life can change, and that stressing over things you cannot control will only dim your light. I’m a firm believer that kindness truly matters, and that everyone you know is battling their own storms. As for now, I’ll continue to work hard, love my babies, and never give up on my dreams.

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain!” - Dolly Parton

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