I am so excited about this new blog series... each month I am featuring a group of strong, real women and their very own, personal Motherhood Stories on my website as part of a blog series with the intention of inspiring others. Those who are about to embark on their own journey into Motherhood while also connecting local Perth Mum's who may be going through the same experiences, the beauty, the tears, the chaos and the messy!
I first met Ash around 18 months ago when Hamish was 4, maybe even 6 months old at their in-home lifestyle session. It was on this day I met her with a 6 month old on her hip that Ashlee told me they were expecting again, already! So naturally we bonded over motherhood, our boys and kept in touch over instagram! I have since worked with The House Family another three times and will do so again this weekend updating their family portraits at the beach! So naturally sharing Ashlee's Motherhood Story with you today seemed timely!
Ashlee has also started her own business Ninon Designs! I'm telling you these beach mats are AMAZING! I have one myself. So make sure you check out their website too. I don't know how she does it all, Ash is an incredible Mother and her insta stories are hilarious, she is definitely keeping it real and I just love that! I know you will love Ashlee just as much as I do so grab a coffee or brew your favourite pot of tea and read on if you would like to learn a bit more about Ashlee's Motherhood Story...
Tell us about your children?
I’m a Mum to two beautiful boys who are thirteen months apart in age. Hamish is two and Zachary is one.
Tell me about your journey into Motherhood? Did you always want children and is it what you expected?
I’ve always wanted a family and I always said I’d have baby’s before I was 30. However, I never expected I’d have back-to-back babies - but here we are. And, I LOVE it!
What has surprised you most about Motherhood?
I think motherhood is full of beautiful surprises. But what still surprises me the most is how one moment they are in your tummy and the next moment they are here and breathing air. Like how!?
Tell us a little about your birth story? Did it go to plan and was it what you expected? How do you feel about it today?
Hamish’s birth was an unexpected c-section. It was beautiful, and I wouldn’t change it as I believe it ultimately led me to Zachary’s birth; a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). The most empowering and healing moment of my life. I love birth and everything about it. I think it’s one of the most profound moments in a woman’s life. I didn’t love pregnancy but birth and the newborn stage I’d do over and over again.
What has brought you the most joy in this season of Motherhood?
The simplest of things, like being able to be home with my babies and getting to watch every moment. I’ll never ever take this time I’ve had with them for granted. It’s true what they say, the days can seem long but the years go by so quickly.
How has your relationship with your Mother changed since you became a Mother yourself?
I think I’ve always had a good relationship with my Mum, but I definitely appreciate her a lot more now. She’s empathetic, patient and loving. Motherhood has also made me appreciate my mother-in-law too. Being a Mum of boys, I know the extent of the love I have for them and it has made me appreciate how much she would have loved and still loves her boy; my husband.
What would you say is the biggest differences between your childhood and the one you are creating for your children?
My parents split when I was 7 and whilst my childhood was still wonderful and full of love I always longed for a solid family unit. I always dreamt of meeting someone I knew I could spend the rest of my life with, and I was lucky enough to meet that person when I was just 17. Our life isn’t perfect, no ones is. But it’s the life I always dreamt of living.
What societal pressures on motherhood do you feel most? (ability to work, judgement, housework, body image, always having it together etc)
Definitely the ability to work. I’ve always worked. As soon as I legally could, I worked at Maccas haha. And then I had a few different jobs whilst at school. Even through University I managed to work 3 days a week in an admin role whilst completing my studies. I finally finished my degree in Marketing and landed myself a job I loved. I got to travel and learnt so much.
To be completely honest, what I really miss is the double income.. and I don’t mean that in a money hungry way, I just took for granted the pressure it relieved when I was working too. But we have decided for the moment, being home with our babies is more important than our bank balance. I do look forward to returning to my career ‘properly’ once the boys are in school.
Who do you turn to for advice?
I’ve got a few close friends with children around the same age. It’s been a godsend.
What are you most proud of in your motherhood journey so far?
That my boys are happy, confident little people. I also feel immense pride when Hamish (Zach’s a bit too young) is polite. I appreciate a good set of manners and it makes me so happy when I see how polite H is even when he knows I’m not watching.
Are you employed? Tell us about your work and the challenges you experience juggling work and family. How do you overcome those challenges?
Yes. I’m a corporate marketing professional in the oil + gas industry. I went on mat leave when I had Hamish but started back casually doing a few hours from home when he was 4 months old. I obviously then fell pregnant again so took some more time off. When Zachary was 7 months old I started back in the office one day a week. I’ll probably add another day this year, because, well bills...
I also started a little venture on the side in late 2019. Ninon Designs. I design + sell beautiful vibrant neoprene beach and picnic mats.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’ll be 39! I see myself with three children (although I change my mind daily about a third haha) and I’ll be well and truly back at work full time. I also see myself with a coffee table in my living room and a beautifully styled house again.
What life lesson or important value do you want to teach your children?
Integrity. I hope my boys will always act with integrity. Even when people aren’t watching.
What is your best piece of advice to other Mothers?
Back yourself. No seriously, just trust yourself. You know your children better than anyone.
What are your hopes for your children?
I hope my boys will be happy and confident in themselves. But I also want them to know what it’s like to not be either of those, and to have empathy and show kindness. I hope I’m able to raise genuine, respectful & loyal men who challenge the stereotypes that are in front of them.
Above all, I hope they always trust and follow their own moral compass in life.
What is your go-to meal for busy mums? Please feel free to share the recipe
Josh does most of the cooking in our house! But a few tips I have are stocking the freezer with ready made meals for the boys. We also buy all our meat in bulk + freeze. This saves us HEAPS $$ + we always have meat on hand. Lastly, I always make a double batch of spaghetti bolognese + freeze half to use in lasagne.
Melissa Sprlyan Photography specializes in newborn portraiture in Perth, Western Australia. Melissa Sprlyan Photography also specializes in maternity and family lifestyle sessions in the Perth metropolitan area including Fremantle, Rockingham, Mandurah, Scarborough, Joondalup, Yanchep and Perth Hills. If you are looking for a newborn session in Perth I would love to begin planning your newborn portraits in the comfort of your own home.
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