This is My Year

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The past couple of years have been hard. I’ve cried myself to sleep, gave birth twice, started antidepressants, questioned everything, lost touch with some people, and wondered what I was doing with my life on more than one occasion. I admittedly haven’t been my best.

Sometimes you have to hit “rock bottom” to know how much you’re really capable of.

I decided on my 29th birthday, roughly a month after my second son turned one, that this was going to be my year. The feelings of overwhelm and insufficiency weren’t going to have a hold of my mind anymore. I wasn’t going to blame anyone else for the way I was feeling.

This started by forgiving myself

Never finishing school has been a dark gloomy cloud hanging over my head. I’ve been so resentful towards myself for not making school a priority before I was married or had children. Having a career was something I wanted but I didn’t put that desire first. I was finally ready to free myself of those feelings of disappointment. There was no way I could move forward with me living my best life without this step.

I’m currently enrolled and attending interior design school. It gives me life to have a creative outlet and some pretty exciting things to look forward to in the future. As a stay at home mom for three years, there aren’t many people saying “Great job on that project Ashley!” And as silly as that sounds, the recognition of me excelling is nice.

My overall health was going to take priority for the first time in my life. Yes, I’ve gained and lost and gained and lost and gained and lost. Weight that is. Overall my mindset toward my body and my relationship to food was an issue I needed to stop in its tracks. I‘ve had negative self-talk for years. My kids deserve to see their mom at every stage of her life as a strong, confident woman. A beautiful one that loves herself from the outside in.

I started going to the gym, journaling, attending church regularly, and (most importantly) asking for help when I need it. This could look like me telling my husband that I need time to myself to get a pedicure. It could be having a girls’ night. Messaging my inlaws to watch the kids while we have a (much needed) date night. By giving myself permission to not feel guilty about taking time to myself to recharge, I developed a new sense of self-worth.

The lies I continued to tell myself for years kept me in this bondage state of mind. My mind was so clouded with negative thoughts that I had a hard time even cleaning up our home. I didn’t feel I could do a good enough job. Now, I start my day with words of affirmations. Just three simple sentences starting with “I can, I am, and I will” makes a big difference in my life.

Not every day is the best day, but it started with a few small changes to my lifestyle and thinking. These changes can be so beneficial to every person wanting to live up to their full potential. I won’t allow the negative thoughts, I won’t give up on myself, and most importantly, I will support other moms going through the thick of it. I know how it feels to be alone.

Motherhood is the hardest job I’ve ever had and I used to teach three-year-olds for a living. It’s arguably the hardest job there is. That being said, there’s no possible way that I’m going back now. Yes, I’m a mother, but I’m still my own person. I am proving to my children that you can have your cake and eat it too. I’m proving it to myself too.

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Ashley Dansereau
Ashley is originally from the Boston area and has lived here in the Lowcountry for four years. She and her husband have two little boys (ages 2 and 7 months) who keep things fun and exciting. She’s a preschool teacher turned stay-at-home mom since 2017. Most days, you can find her at a park, Chick-fil-A, the children’s museum, or at one of the many indoor play centers here in CHS. She enjoys writing on her blog All the Mom Things, co-hosting group play dates and trying to keep up with the latest fashion trends. She has a positive outlook on life and believes that that best things in life can’t be bought.

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