Who is Ashley?

This is a huge question- one I am still trying to figure out the answer to. I guess if you had to label me then I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, wannabe writer, and lover of all things pretty. At the end of the day (yes) I am just a normal stay at home mom turned blogger. BORING! Just kidding- I’m much more than that. This girl gets around, let me tell ya. I am an Alabamian, born and raised. I moved to New Jersey to be with my now hubby and the rest is history. Three kids and many more years of college later (though I only have my bachelors degree) I am here…writing to the universe and praying that someone listens.

Before I make this into a complete mom blog by going into all of the minuscule details of cleaning up unusual amounts of feces around my house or what its like to do more loads of laundry in a week than most dry cleaners, I want to talk about me. I purposefully named my blog Living Ashley because after you become a mom, it is way too easy to lose yourself. It took me awhile after having my first son to realize that I had to find hobbies and that I had to find happiness in the things I like to do. With each child the guilt and burden of motherhood has seemed to soften. Not to say that being a mom is horrible and burdensome, but it does come with its own set of obstacles. It’s difficult to go from being a self serving INDIVIDUAL to being completely subservient overnight and that is EXACTLY what new moms do. They tell themselves that they have to be a better cooker, cleaner, companion, and everything else under the sun the second they hold their little bundle of joy. Confusing right? Instead of soaking up the happiness of the moment, women instead use the joyous occasion to overly criticize and obsess over themselves. I know I did. The day I had my son is the last day of my youth and the first day of adulthood. Even though I welcomed a new person into the world and felt so much joy, I also deeply resented the fact that another person (the young, careless, naive Ashley) was gone. In a lot of ways my whole way of thinking was so completely absurd. That was just the beginning of an uphill battle of becoming an adult. Heck, most men don’t even acknowledge the fact that they are dads until the kid can drive much less change their whole personality. Please note, however, I am not saying that all dads do less than moms. My hubby is a rock star and I’ll write more on that later.

All I am saying is that women should not feel pressured to change who they are just because they have children. I was twenty-one when I had my first son. 21!!! That’s the legal age to drink in America- therefore it is also the age of degeneracy. Yet there I was being a mom and killin’ it. I must admit I was very impressed with how quickly I got my act together, but I was also so lost and confused. For example, how was a twenty-one year old mom supposed to dress? I remember going through the summer that year wearing only bermuda shorts that hit just above the knee. What was I thinking?! I’m not allowed to wear sexy clothes anymore just because I’m a mom? I also felt extremely confused about my friends. Was it okay to be friends with people who don’t have kids, fellow twenty-one year olds, or even the people I went to college with? In the end, I probably over analyzed everything (which I have a tendency to do) but it had me thinking that I wished more moms had told me its okay to just be *me*. Why aren’t more moms less afraid of judgment and more open about the true ups-and-downs of motherhood and growing into womanhood? That’s why I started Living Ashley.