Mom Boss.

What does this even mean? I see it constantly, and for whatever reason I don’t feel like it applies to me, yet I can’t even tell you what it means! Since becoming a mom I have gone through a process of falling in and out of inspiration. Losing the motivation to do anything that I love, like writing, drawing and reading, and instead taking all my spare time to literally do nothing. For some reason that becomes my go to because I’ve been going going going all day long, that anything, even if it previously brought me joy, no longer is restful. What is that about? Why does motherhood need to be something that strips you of your identity?

I have struggled with this, oh have I struggled with this. Does taking a stand for myself mean I am neglecting being a mom? Is it okay for me to pursue my dreams from the pre-baby days? I am enrolled in the Academy of Art Graphic Design program to start end of June, this has been a dream of mine for so many years and I never thought I would be able to do it! On a whim I decided to look into it and saw that it is totally doable and went for it, but ever since that day I have been riddled with guilt about it. Is this the right time, am I doing the right thing? Then “mom boss” pops into my head.

Being a mom boss is being the best mom you can be. It’s pursuing your dreams and loving your babies. It’s being a loving wife and still being yourself. It’s not losing who you are once you have a baby, but it’s folding motherhood into it. It’s embracing the chaos and knowing everything isn’t going to be perfect, but it’s yours and so it IS beautiful and perfect! I am in the process of becoming my own mom boss, I want to turn this blog into more than just my personal diary, I want to graduate with a graphic design degree, I want to have lots more babies and I want to love the person I am in the midst of it all.

“Mom Boss” to me is saying that I am worth it, not just my baby and not just my husband, but ME. That without taking the time to pursue myself, I won’t have anything left to give to my family. So I am taking a stand for me, and pursuing my dreams, diving into my passions and bettering myself through little things every single day. I am the boss of my own life and I won’t let motherhood swallow me whole. I am a mother, yes, but I was Ashlee first and she doesn’t deserve to be forgotten in the midst of the night feedings and diaper changes. So here I go, one day at a time, taking back who I was, finding joy, becoming a better person and of course, being a Mom Boss.

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Lots and lots of types of days.

Swiftly the days go by, one after the other, until an entire week is gone, just like that, and what do we have to show for it? For some it may be an extra pound gained, or a wrinkle earned. Maybe it’s a project completed or a deadline missed. For me it is a baby growing and a husband working. It’s an apartment slowly coming together. It’s dinners had, and coffee dates attended. It’s a church service listened to and a birthday celebrated. It’s family time and movies watched. It’s a glass of wine after baby goes to sleep and a cup of coffee when he wakes up in the morning. It’s all the giggles and all the cries. It’s tears shed and moments remembered. It’s dreams dreamed and steps taken to achieve them.

It’s a whole slew of things, something new and different for every person. As a mother time is a heavy burden, each day holds a weight not previously felt. Each day your baby is slightly different, one step towards childhood and away from infancy. Each day is a day to either succeed as a parent, or a day to disappoint. Parenthood creates a magnitude to life that is not easily ignored. You are the one responsible for shaping a life. You are the caregiver and comforter. You hold this little one so securely in your arms, there is no way to forget or walk away from it’s heaviness, and it scares and excites you at the same time.

Each day passes, one after the other, creating memory books in our minds. There will be bad memories along side the good. The days where patience wasn’t in abundance, and days where love was overflowing. Motherhood has brought me to a place of reflection, a place of significance. My days are no longer my own, but ours. Right now it is me, my sweet Sailor Brave and my loving husband. Like they say in one of my favorite movies, “There will be lots and lots of types of days”,  let’s not lose even a single one to impatience or anger, but let’s be pursuers of love and joy and laughter. Let them be ones for the memory books, the ones you put on the shelves for others to read. I want my babies to remember life with the fondest of smiles, knowing that there were more good days than bad, and that their mother never ever stopped loving them, not even for a second.

 

Mom Bod.

This is an ode to the mom bod.

The bod that created and carried a baby for 9 (nearly 10) months.

The bod that stretched and ached and swelled.

The bod that went through hours of painful labor.

The bod that eventually delivered (be it vaginally or surgically) a baby.

The bod that gained pound upon pound to nourish the life growing within it.

The bod that postpartum will bleed and ache and force you into granny panties and maxi pads, all while you learn how to be a mom.

The bod that will go without sleep, night after night, and possibly a meal here and there as it nurtures and loves that sweet babe.

The bod that doesn’t think of it’s own comfort but gladly gives of itself to feed that babe, be it breast milk or formula.

This is the bod of a rock star woman.

A woman that deserves to be told that she is amazing, and capable and beautiful.

That bod is gorgeous, even with a few extra pounds and stretch marks.

That bod deserves leggings whenever it wants, coffee whenever it asks and that chocolate from Trader  Joes.

This bod made you a momma, so own it, love it, and stop wishing away those completely perfect imperfections.

Missing It.

 

 

This week I was hit with this deep sense of missing. Missing the days where life was seemingly carefree, and my biggest anxiety was whether I was going to wake up with a pimple or if my hair was going to cooperate. Nowadays my anxieties are a little more complex. I’m massively aware of money, the future of not only me but of my baby and my husband. I sit and think of budgeting strategies, possible career paths, vaccinations, diaper rash and teething gums. My thoughts are no longer about what movie I can’t wait to head to the theater to see, or who I can hangout with on the weekend. My life is full of bigger things than that, and yet, I miss those days.

For some reason I came up with the idea that it was wrong of me to miss the pre-baby, pre-marriage days. Those days are filled with some of my greatest adventures (literally and metaphorically). I spent the beginning of my twenties traveling the world and living in Australia. I spent my free time alone at Aussie cafes, writing like crazy, listening to music and drinking iced coffees. My weekends were filled with quick trips to my favorite neighborhoods, crammed in someone’s small car, still marveling at driving on the wrong side of the road. Windows down, hot summer days, music blaring and so much laughter I can still feel it in my gut. Those days were some of my best yet and I don’t feel bad saying it.

I have been immeasurably blessed with “good ole days”. I have memories that still bring a smile to my face. Getting married was not me filling a void, and having a baby was not the answer to my problems. Those are things that add to my already overflowing memory bank of joy. Those are the beginning of a whole new set of golden years. A whole new set of summer days and endless laughter. As a mother it is exhausting to feel not only the weight of your own anxieties, but the pressure of what society says is proper and right for a mother to feel. I am a mother, and a wife, and I am telling you it is okay to miss those days. Remember them as the blessing that they are; don’t linger and wish yourself back but thank God that he gave them to you to hold on to.

My heart is not stuck on those days, but it remembers them fondly. On days where things aren’t perfect, the baby’s crying, and there just isn’t enough coffee for your tired eyes, remember that as much as there are always better days behind you, there are far better days ahead. That’s the blessing of motherhood and of life, it keeps plowing forward, stacking memory upon memory for you to savor as you move along with it.

My 5 Things.

IMG_76265 things that blessed me this week, an experiment in finding joy in my everyday.

After months of job hunting and prayers, Chris got his first paycheck at a job that he loves! Such an incredible answer to prayer!

We put a deposit down on an apartment in our desired area, perfectly within our price point AND the unit is being completely gutted and remodeled, meaning if everything works out (prayers appreciated) we will be getting a “brand new” apartment!

I ran into a good friend I haven’t seen in over a year while grabbing coffee with Sailor one morning. Not only was it a sweet surprise but she was incredibly encouraging and really pushed me positively to start putting more time and effort into this space!

My sister-in-law Alex came home for a surprise little day and a half visit! She is a flight attendant for United and loves to pop in every now and again, which is great for me! Lots of laughs, games and family time make me a happy lady!

And lastly, Sailor has been taking naps EVERY day this week! They last at least an hour and I am so stinking proud of him!

I plan on making this a weekly project, giving me time to reflect back on the good of each week, instead of lingering on the bad.

Yours, Ashlee

Lick Him Like an Ice Cream Cone.

A few weeks ago I was roaming through TJ Maxx (the usual) and this older woman came up and asked me the normal questions about Sailor. She wanted to know how old he was, was he my first, the basic questions I get asked on a regular basis, but before she walked away she said the sweetest thing, “Lick him like an ice cream cone, because before you know it he is going to be off to college.” I’ve heard a variation of this many times, the encouragement to soak up these stages of infancy because soon enough he is going to be grown and independent. Of course you tell yourself to enjoy it all, to not forget these sweet moments, but there was something about the way this older woman imparted this little nugget of sweetness that has left me thinking about it even weeks later. It has made me stop many times these past few weeks just so I can snuggle my boy.

The metaphor of an ice cream cone is perfection to me, you can’t eat it fast enough before it starts to melt all over your hands, yet you want to savor every single lick! It’s delicious and fleeting. The same with my baby boy, he is the sweetest thing and I want to savor every single moment with him. This morning I sat while he slept next to me and thought about all the things that I don’t want to forget about these last 5 months with him:

How surprised I was when they told me he was nearly 9 pounds (8lbs. 14oz.) at birth.

The first time he really latched on and nursed, I have never felt so needed or necessary in my entire lifeProcessed with VSCOcam with lv02 preset.

How he has always been so sweet in the mornings, smiles, laughs and kicks since the day he was born.

Our first trip together when he was only 1 week old, he was such a good boy it was like he knew I needed that extra helping of sweetness.

His eyelashes.

The way he sucks on his bottom lip.

The satisfaction and love I feel when I’m the only one that can get him to calm down (even if in the moment I can get frustrated).

How he calms right down when he hears someone sing to him, especially his Auntie Alex.

How he is honestly so sweet to just about everyone he meets, giving the biggest smiles and giggles to total strangers.

How even with a look he can make me so so happy.

 These are the moments, the ones we wish away so easily thinking of the next stage instead of savoring it all. Licking it up like an ice cream cone. My greatest realization is that this is my last time being a first-time mom, all of this will be different with the next one (whenever that is) and I will realize how sweet this season was, and as hard as I try I will miss it. My sweet boy is growing fast, and I plan on holding on to each moment because you don’t realize you’re in the good days while they’re happening, but I sure am going to try.