Mom of Fame – Ashley

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!

Mom of Fame – Colleen

We both met Colleen in college (Go State!) when she was dating (now married) to one of our friends. You could tell, even then, that Colleen was always meant to be a mother. She graduated from MSU with a degree in education and continued on to become a teacher.

She, honestly, makes things look easy, but as she can attest, it’s not. She is married to someone in law enforcement which makes her schedule a lot harder than most moms. The unpredictability of that schedule has her leaning on herself and her tribe.

Now she has a beautiful four year old and (almost) three month old daughter. Things may be hard and are sure to get harder, but anything you throw at Colleen she’s got. That’s why we were so excited she wanted to share her story. Welcome to the mom of fame club, Colleen! You deserve it!


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?

Not really advice, but one thing I heard over and over again was “The nights/days are long but the years are short.” At the time, in the throws of a sleepless first year with a baby who was constantly getting ear infections and never sleeping well (I mean never) when you’ve got to survive on four hours of sleep or less (you know that lack of sleep is legit a form of torture, right?) and work your full time job, you want to punch those sweet old ladies who say that in the face. But then she’s four, and going to school, and tells you to leave her alone when she’s upset and suddenly it dawns on you that you wished the time away and you’ll never get that time back.

Those days are very hard and it’s very real and acceptable to be frustrated. It goes by in a blur of sleeplessness. So, I’d give that advice but with a twist-Don’t wish it away. Try to take just a few minutes every day or night, just enjoying that creature you created. It’s ok to be frustrated, exhausted, etc…but don’t wish for them to “just get older so they’ll (insert your goal here).”

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

It is much much harder than I had ever expected. I always see other moms and think they make it seem so easy and I feel like a hot mess. It’s amazing, but it is not a cake walk. I realized no mom has it all together 100% of the time, no matter the outward appearance.


What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

1. A sense of adventure. I am pretty good at realizing what will be fun for my mini me. I try to embrace and encourage her adventurous spirit.

2. A sense of humor. Sometimes if you can’t laugh about it, you’ll cry. And a lot of the times, a four year old does some pretty wild and crazy stuff that you’ve just gotta laugh at.  Newborns and babies too.

3. A sense of flexibility. You’ve gotta be flexible. Once you think you have your baby or kid figured out, they go and do something completely different.

Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

When we brought our second daughter home from the hospital, it naturally took a while for our oldest to adjust.  She was tired and not getting the attention she was used to getting with a parade of visitors who usually play with her, just wanting to see the baby. One of my favorite times of day with my oldest is bedtime. I love giving her a bath, reading to her, singing to her and saying goodnight with tons of hugs and kisses. Baby 2 also loved to eat nonstop during the exact time as bedtime and would scream and fuss if denied. It was a crazy couple of weeks but we eventually got it worked out and most nights bedtime is back to being a calm and sweet moment.


Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

I think when you have a child you lose a certain sense of self. Where before it was easy to have girl’s night out or do something on a whim, with a child it makes everything much more scheduled. Life becomes about that tiny human or humans more than anything else. But I’ve gained much more. Mostly, I’ve gained an understanding of the deepest love possible. I never fully appreciated my own mother until I became a mother myself. Now, I understand how deep her love was and is for me. I never loved so deeply or was loved so deeply. It’s such a deep, instinctual love that takes my breath away.

What do you want your child(ren) to learn from you?

I hope my girls learn to be fierce, independent, and adventurous. Life is too short to sit on the sidelines.

Being married to someone in law enforcement must be hard while raising two little girls and working yourself. Do you have any tips and/or advice for moms in similar situations? How do you handle everything?

I will not lie, it is not an easy life being a LEO momma. You often are the only one on duty morning, noon, and night. Having a schedule helps keep me grounded. As I prepare to go back to work, I’m working on establishing a schedule that lets me get everyone ready in the morning (including the dog) as well as an evening schedule that gets everyone fed, bathed, and in bed. I can’t rely on him being able to do these things because of the nature of his job.

Another important thing is don’t be afraid to do things. Don’t feel guilty about going to a birthday dinner for a friend just because he can’t come with you or to take the kids places if he’s not available. They understand the nature of the beast and you can’t deny your kiddos or yourself opportunities just because he has to work on a weekend or a holiday. Speaking of holidays, establishing unique traditions or celebrating on alternative days are necessary evils.

Lastly, find your tribe. You will need them. They need to be the kind of people who don’t care that you will always have your children in tow. Better yet, find people who will occasionally watch your kids on a weeknight so you can go on a date. Sometimes that’s all you get. Your tribe is essential.