Ashley Shoulders: Self-care Matters for a Mom
I had the absolute pleasure of shooting Ashley of MelaninMomma I was given a peak into her life as a new mom and she's letting me share it with all of you! Pictures right below the interview.
Ashley! We decided to shoot photos because youʼre absolutely gorgeous but there's more to you than meets the eye. Youʼre a mother to a beautiful baby girl and work at the leading tech company of the world.
Q: Tell me, what has been the biggest transition for you after having your baby?
A: Becoming a Mother is a grand monumental transition in itself. It changes you. It changes what matters in your life and how you can be the best you, not only for yourself, but for your child. Everything is bigger than just yourself. I once heard the beautiful Kerry Washington speak about motherhood, and how she likes to think of herself as her daughter's "Ambassador to the world"! What a perfect way to put it?! I want to be my daughters guide to the world, while allowing her to come to her own conclusions about the things and experiences around her.
However! The biggest and most challenging transition for me after having the baby IS transitioning to single motherhood just a few months into my life after baby. It truly takes a village to raise a child. Its scary as hell ! Yet rewarding and so joyful. Nothing has made me feel more full. I'm grateful for my support system. That doesn't mean I don't struggle with moving past that void you have when you don't have that one single partner there to emotionally share this beautiful journey.
Q: How do you find time to focus on self care?
A: 18 months in, and my concept and true understanding of "self care" and it's importance has changed significantly. Self care is more about quality of life! I'm a mother now so time is of the essence! I pretty much have to schedule out time for myself. This way, I am obligated to set up the day and child care so that I can commit to myself.
This time can look like anything. It's all about feeling good and recharged. Decompress. Sometimes solitude is what's needed to feel recharged and I'll head to the farmer's market, get a mani or get a quick bite to eat alone. Other times, I need to laugh and hang with a good friend and just be around someone I love and trust. Other times, I want to veg out & binge watch a show on Netflix. Or to simply enjoy a treat without having to 10 little fingers in it!
Q: What is your favorite treat to yourself ?
A: Hanging out with friends & making new memories. Makeup and mani's !
Q: If you were going to give a single mom advice, what would it be?
A: Girl! You are MORE than enough. You are EVERYTHING to your child.
With that in mind, take care of yourself & never feel guilty about. Whatever you may need to get you through the day, take it. As a mother, you give so much of yourself that it becomes foreign to actually consider your own wants and needs. But that is okay, become acquainted with yourself again! It is necessary! If you are at your best then you can BE and GIVE your best self to your child. And that is the ultimate goal. They're watching.
Q: What life lesson do you want to make sure your daughter learns from you?
A: I'm going to be really cheesy right now and reference a Disney movie! But come on, I'm a mom of a 1 yr old, cheesy things are a regular part of my life these days.
Adrienne's current fav movie to watch is MOANA.
In Moana, her mission is to cross the ocean and restore the heart of Te Fiti, who is the island goddess of life. Because the heart was stolen from her she turned into a fire wielding beast, Ta-Ka, who instead of breathing life into land and sea like Te-Fiti, Ta-Ka striped away life, to where the inhabitants were no longer able to thrive off of the land. Ta-Ka was ruining Moana's island. The ocean chose Moana to restore the heart of Te-Fiti.
Well Moana was true to her purpose, restored the heart of Te-Fiti and was able to reach TaKa at her worst and bring Te-Fiti out, with love and compassion and ultimately restores the heart.
I want to teach and demonstrate to my daughter to be strong and close enough to God to never allow the unfortunate life experiences she encounters CHANGE her heart and how she loves. I want her to learn from them, grow wiser and not bitter. Don't be a Ta-Ka ! Haha.
Too often, people let their trauma's morph them into something they are not.
I want her to stay as pure as the world allows a pretty black girl to be.
Stay close to love.
Stay close to God.
And to always remember WHO she is.
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