Don’t you love social media? We do! You connect with so many different people throughout your life and find the things that you have in common and that unite you as people – in this case, moms.
Lisa went to school with Scott and Scott married Ashley. Recently Lisa and Ashley connected via Instagram cause they were having babies at the same time! Got that?! We love how this whole social media thing works!
Ashley recently went from being a full time working mama of one to a stay at home mama of two. We were curious to hear her thoughts and she happily obliged. She is honest and we love that here at Momfaming.
Please welcome Ashley into our Mom of Fame!
Tell us about yourself and family!
I’m Ashley and I’ve been married to Scott for 9 years this July (woah!). We recently had our second child, Grayson, who is now 16 weeks old. He has an older sister, Ellie, who is just over 2 years old. We also have a large dog, Tugg, who is our biggest baby and a large fluffy cat, Puffin, who loves all the attention Ellie gives him! I recently quit my job as a research coordinator for a large multi-site concussion study to be a stay at home mom; I’m incredibly grateful to Scott for working to support us all and so lucky to have this opportunity! We are still trying to find our groove but we’re learning to embrace the craziness!
What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?
My husband was recently told “the days are long, but the years are short” and that really resonates with me at this point in my life. When Ellie came to the hospital to meet her new brother, I literally couldn’t believe how grown up she looked. I don’t know where 2 years went! And now that I’m a SAHM, some days are LONG but I know there will come a day that I wish for the days when I had two babies still. I’m trying to savor every happy moment, take deep breaths in the not so fun moments, and repeat this saying throughout. I will definitely pass this along to other parents!
I’m trying to savor every happy moment, take deep breaths in the not so fun moments, and repeat this saying throughout. I will definitely pass this along to other parents!
How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?
It’s SO much harder than I imagined it would be. In a good way, most days, but I could never have imagined the emotional load it would carry. Having such extreme love and joy for these adorable tiny humans, but also frustration and annoyance when the same adorable tiny humans are being defiant, throwing a temper tantrum or crying inconsolably for an unknown reason – trying to keep cool in hopes of providing a good example for them is so much harder than I could have imagined!
What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?
I think I’m a good listener – I really try to listen and engage with Ellie when she’s talking to me.
I’m present – I try not to be on my phone if I don’t have to, and involve Ellie in whatever I’m doing. We’ve been allowing a lot of screen time right now with how needy a baby is, but even then I regularly interrupt her to ask questions about what she’s watching or what she wants to do when we are done.
Lastly I’m affectionate – I want my kids to feel loved, so I make sure to say it and show it as often as I can!
Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.
Nights where I have to put both kids to bed by myself are overwhelming right now. Grayson wants to nurse-sleep on me all evening, so trying to get Ellie to bed with him crying in the background has been really hard. It makes me short tempered with both her and Grayson and then I feel guilty after they’re asleep – it’s the worst.
Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?
I do feel a bit invisible these days – like I only exist to take care of the kids. But I feel like now I am better at appreciating the small things. I also used to be super independent, to a fault, and having kids is helping me realize that accepting help is not a weakness but a necessity 😉
What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?
It contradicts what I said before, but independence. I want my kids to be confident that they can tackle things on their own. That being said, I hope that my new found appreciation for help softens it a bit so they learn to be independent but accepting of help as well!
You recently went from working mom of one to stay at home mom of two. How has the transition been? What do you miss the most? What have you gained?
Oh man, I’m still trying to come to grips with this one. I wouldn’t change a thing but it has been so hard. I’ll try and put it into words, but it’s gonna be a lengthy description!
I have always worked, and I left a job that I truly loved and gave me a sense of accomplishment. I had reached a point, though, where I felt guilty every time Ellie would do something new and I’d realize that she learned it at daycare. I am SO grateful for her daycare center, we loved them and so did she, but the mom in me wanted to be the one helping her learn all of these new things. Most notably, we were having a snack one day after I had gotten home from work – something like cheerios or raisins, there were a lot of them out in front of her – and she counted to ten. TEN! I couldn’t believe it. So, in talking with my boss about maternity leave, we worked out that I’d come back part time. However, as my maternity leave came to an end, I just couldn’t imagine being away from both of them . I talked with my boss more about what my part time schedule might look like and we just couldn’t find an arrangement that worked for both the job and my family. I should note publicly that I have… had… the best, most understanding boss in the world – another reason it was a really hard choice to leave. But ultimately, it made the most sense financially and emotionally for me to stay home!
What do I miss the most? Everything! Haha, but seriously. I miss having a quiet drive to and from work. I miss having adult conversations that have nothing to do with kids. I miss having clear solutions to problems. I miss having definable goals. I miss having an income. I miss my colleagues. I even miss my office. So, everything.
What have I gained? Also everything! One of my colleagues sent me a very sweet email after I announced my departure, and it said “you are taking on a much harder but far more rewarding position, one that you and your family will benefit from.” I take such comfort in those words, and I already see the truth in them. Now I get to see all of the things Ellie is learning and I’m the one who she can come to when she needs me. I’ll be here when Grayson rolls over for the first time, when he says his first word, when he takes his first steps.
I am so lucky, even though it’s easy to forget during times of frustration and sometimes I do question whether or not I made the right choice quitting my job. I also know that not every mom has the option to quit her job to stay home. I’m incredibly fortunate to have a partner who supports us so I can be the one to raise our kids. So, to sum it all up, I’m still struggling a bit as I try to find our new normal, but we’ll get there and I know I won’t regret it in the end!