I am Ashley and I am a wife, mommy, writer and encourager to walk boldly and intimately with the Lord, the only place where true life is found.
Can I just be really honest with you for a moment, I don’t consider myself to be very “mom-ish”. Perhaps I am in the wrong spot, but I somehow have a feeling one or two of you may resonate with me.
While I love my two boys who are 7 and 4, I don’t feel like I came into this world intrinsically equipped to be an outstanding mom. From the get-go, with my first pregnancy, the comparisons began. So many of my friends were pregnant at the same time that I was, which was lovely and all, except that they seemed to be skipping through the pregnancy daisies looking like a beautiful swan with a tiny baby bump popping perfectly from their torso. I, on the other hand, looked more akin to a swollen, acne ridden, heartburn attacked, oger. When I looked in the mirror who I once was seemed swallowed by my new spread nose that I was certain would never return to its original form.
Pregnancy aside, I was hit hard with post-partum right out of the gate which I had no clue I was struggling with and boiled it down to the fact that I was just a horrible human being. I didn’t know how to be a mom, all I wanted to do was cry and sleep. I failed at breastfeeding, failed at adjusting, failed at most everything and self-hatred quickly set in. Why couldn’t I be a good mom? Why did it look so easy for everyone else? How can I be blessed with a child that I am certain I have already ruined for life and he had only just gotten here? It felt like it took every fiber of my being just to get from one day to the next, trying not to crumble under every disapproving stare.
For me, motherhood started out as pure survival, and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. My husband was the gift from God that has never stopped giving. That man saved my life by getting up with both my babies every night and dragging himself to work every morning after. But I didn’t feel helped, I felt guilty. Guilt upon guilt heaped upon me, brokenness and helplessness, feeling happy.
I will never forget one evening sitting in my room crying and my husband came in to check on me. I told him I was sure that he and my son would be better off without me, and my two years old came running in and plopped on my lap and began to sing “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” It was as if God was having to remind me that He loved me, that He would see me through, that He was not as appalled by my lack of parenting as I was.
Little by little the Lord spoke freedom and life to me, albeit through a very long and arduous process. And by the time my second son was one, I began to grow up in my motherhood, to bloom and bud, just ever so slightly under the light of letting God love me. I knew my ability to become a good mother was going to be directly related to my dependence on God and allowing Him to love me. I am not one that will ever be a creator of a craft day or a Pinterest birthday party. I may never be a room mom or win prizes for excellence in motherhood like I might define as blessed with being real “mom-ish” but I am convinced that God has chosen me to be my kids’ mom. I pray for all I lack I will be a mom who never gives up on herself or her children, who teach them that life is worth fighting for, and God is the healer of the broken. I pray I can be the mom who is quick to ask for forgiveness or encourage a clapping for Jesus when He answers our impossible prayers.
We may not be perfect mom’s, but we are the perfect mom for our children. Be you, that’s who they really need.
Confetti + Crumbs: What is the best thing you enjoy about being a mom?
Ashley: The best thing I enjoy about being a mom would be watching them be themselves. Just how different and unique they are from each other and how much they can be like myself or my husband as well.
Confetti + Crumbs: Something your children do that makes you smile?
Ashley: My oldest son has such a quick wit and he is always making us laugh with his smart jokes or comments and my youngest newly four years old is a little charmer, always asking me if I am ok and saying things like “yum, mom, this is delicious! Thank you!” at the dinner table.
Confetti + Crumbs: What is the last thing one of your children have cried about?
Ashley: My oldest cried because he lost privileges for having a bad attitude and my youngest cried about having an accident in my bed but was worried I was mad at him.
Confetti + Crumbs: What would be your tip for a first time, mom?
Ashley: Give yourself as much grace as you can. It’s hard, you’re tired, they need you for everything and it’s OK to just do your best and ask for help. Try not to compare yourself to others and believe God has given you the kids that needed you to be their mom.
Confetti + Crumbs: What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
Ashley: Not having an instruction manual on how to raise each individual child. Little do they know we have no earthly idea what we are doing and are worried often we are scarring them for life.
Thank you, Ashley, for sharing your beautiful story.
Join us next week for another amazing Naptime with Confetti + Crumbs.