It’s Monday, and after a special edition of MM last week, we’re back to our regularly scheduled interviews this week! This week’s MM Mama is Ashleigh T.!
Ashleigh and I were in the same 5th grade class! We became fast friends then and were friends all the way through high school. When we went to different colleges, we lost touch a little bit, but through life circumstances, we have been reunited over the past year and a half or so and it has been so sweet! She has a sweet one-year-old named Turner that is absolutely precious, and it has been so much fun walking through having little boys together so far! We can’t wait to be able to hang out with the “T” family more soon! Ashleigh is kind, caring, and so funny. I have loved getting to be her friend through the years!
1. Explain your “motherhood journey.” Including your kid(s) and their age(s)
My husband and I met on September 17, 2012 at 12 pm at the University of Montevallo Farmer Hall. We had been set up by a dear mutual friend. We talked for a few hours about life, dreams, and well…babies. We discussed the desire we both had to adopt hours after we first met. Our relationship blossomed quickly, and we were married on July 19, 2014.
On August 15, 2015 I had a “gut” feeling to take a test. Without any symptoms or any reason to think it would actually turn positive, I took a test for the fun of it. Three tests later, we jumped in the car and purchased more tests for those also to turn out positive.
I had a very scary pregnancy in the beginning. My hormone levels were not increasing as they should, had a uterine tumor that was causing issues, and doctors had tried to prepare me for the worse.
Fast forward nine scary months filled with fear and doubt by doctors and too much googling, I gave birth to the most precious baby boy on April 6th, 2016. Turner Stephens Thomas, (now ONE YEAR old) came into the world via an emergency c section a few weeks early and spent his first few days in the NICU. On the day he was released to go home, I held my son wire free for the first time in what felt like an eternity. I was in awe that his tiny life had been entrusted in the hands of my husband and me.
2. What is the biggest lesson (or 2 or 3) that you’ve learned from being a mom?
Mommin’ ain’t easy. Turner’s first few weeks at home were tough. I had the mindset that “fed was best” and told myself that I would try nursing and if it didn’t work, well then; it simply wasn’t the end of the world. The day after we arrived home from the hospital, with the stress of everything that had happened and trying to heal from a major surgery, I was not producing anything to satisfy my son. We put our boy on formula and to this day I wonder if things would be different. Letting go and realizing that in the big picture not everything is my fault has been my biggest lesson.
Lesson two would be that, after seven ear infections and a pretty extensive surgery our son surpassed doctors’ expectations, and I now know that doctors don’t know everything. My faith has grown so much in the last ten months, and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for my little family.
3. Share one (or 2 or 3) funny or sweet stories that make it all worth it.
Sometimes I jokingly wonder if Turner can read our minds. He often comes to snuggle or give kisses just when we need them making, our day so much brighter.
4. What do you think the biggest challenge of being a mom is?
My biggest challenge of motherhood is feeling sufficient. I am a recent graduate and have my first teaching job. I teach fourth grade ELA at a small town school about twenty minutes from home. I love and adore my 43 students and consider them “my kids,” but when I am home my time must be devoted to Turner. I often wonder if I am doing the right thing but God gives the perfect signs at just the right time telling me that I am. I know I must move forward and give my job my all in order to provide for my family. Being a mother will always be a top priority so finding balance is something that I will continue to work towards in the midst of this crazy thing we call life.
5. If you could write a “job description” of being a mom, what would it say?
Hours: 24/7, 365
Pay: kisses, squeals, and unmeasurable amounts of joy
Description: Worry endlessly, give it your all, run on caffeine and limited sleep, clean lots of vomit and poop, LAUNDRY galore, kisses, tears (from both the parents and baby), hugs, & laughter
6. What’s something from your family growing up that you think affects your parenting or the way you raise your child(ren)?
Growing up my parents were very involved with everything I did. My grandparents were also extremely involved, and some of my fondest memories are those that were spent with my extended family. Turner sees my parents pretty much every day and sees my husband’s family at least once a week. I pray he cherishes the time with his extended family as much as I did growing up!
7. If you knew someone who just found out they were going to be a mom, what would be your two pieces of advice for them? A practical tip and a piece of wisdom.
As cliche as it sounds, enjoy every single second. It goes by way too fast and stay off google! Don’t google the good, bad, and ugly because it fills you with unnecessary fear!
Take time for you and your spouse or significant other before the baby comes; in a good way, things will never be the same.
8. Anything else you want to include?
Life is precious and you have been chosen by the Father to raise your child. Lean on Him and there is no doubt that good things will happen!
I love how Ashleigh talked about the stress and pressure of breast feeding and how she chose that “fed is best.” There is so much pressure and disagreement about how babies should be fed, and most of the time we don’t applaud moms for simply doing what is best for their family and their child. I also love how she talked about her faith growing while Turner has surpassed doctors’ expectations. Isn’t it amazing how the Lord answers prayers?
Thank you for answering my questions, Ashleigh!! Your words were encouraging and honest.
What was your favorite thing that Ashleigh said? Do you have a question you want the Motherhood Monday moms to answer? Comment on this post or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Know a mom that needs some encouragement or that would like the Motherhood Monday posts? Send them a link to this post! The goal of these posts is to reach out, encourage, and empathize with moms all around.