I am so happy to share this week's Mom Next Door Interview with Ashley. She is a Mom I get daily boosts of inspiration about being intentional in every little bit of life both from her blog and insta acount. She is also an unbelievably great list and goal maker - but more than that, she is inspiring in the way that she actually stays connected to her goals and pushes herself to do regular check-ins on where she stands with them.
Honestly, I am so grateful the internet brought us together and I'm always secretly wishing we could meet up for coffee and the wildest kid play-date ever. (Ashley, can we find a halfway point between PA and VA and make this happen someday?)
Besides being a Mom to four (almost five! She's due this month!), she also successfully runs a small home decor business, home schools, writes a blog, and finds time to do beautiful projects like stitching and creating projects to support other Moms like her Penpal Project. Please take a few minutes to read on to learn more about the brilliant Mom Next Door, Ashley.
Who are you? My name is Ashley and I am a wife and mamma to four little ones (three boys and a girl, ages 7 to 21 months) with baby number five due to make his appearance in late September. (editor's note: Ashley's and my due dates are only one day apart! I think an arranged marriage is in the works, yes?)
We live in northern Virginia, where I am a stay-at-home-mom as well as the owner of an online decor store called Big White Farmhouse. The name comes from my great-grandmother's home in the countryside of Maine. In her honor, my cousin (who co-founded BWF with me) and I try to support small, hometown artisans and sell products created right here in the USA. I also sporadically blog at thebigwhitefarmhouse.blogspot.com!
What has become your parenting mantra or guiding principle? One of my favorite inspirational people is Mother Teresa and I've adopted her famous quote, "Do small things with great love" as the guiding principle for my entire life. Her quote is especially helpful to me as a mother, as the vocation of motherhood can sometimes feel monotonous and unimportant. If I can honestly say at the end of the day that I served my family with great love, then that day was a success!
Another quote I love from Mother Teresa is: "Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing." How inspiring for mammas!
What do you feel like you wish you were better at as a mom? One area that I am continually trying to figure out is how to spend more one-on-one time with each of my children on a daily basis. I love to hear what's on their little minds and give them my full attention, but I am often so distracted! The other kids, the chores, the business, even just good old exhaustion...they all fight for my time and sometimes win. I'm going to keep trying, though, because it's an area in which I am determined to be better.
What do you miss from Mom days already gone by? My oldest is turning eight this fall and I just can't believe how fast the time has gone! In our excitement over our first born, I think we sometimes rushed his stages; so anxious for what came next. He is now going into second grade, reading chapter books and playing competitive soccer...and his Mamma wants it to all slow down! With a little parenting wisdom under my belt, I am now much more content to enjoy each step along the way.
What are the small joys of being a mom that you treasure most right now? Where do I even begin? I love watching my babies after they've gone to sleep or hearing them belly laugh together at jokes only they understand. I love tight hugs around the neck and finding crayon-written love notes on my desk. Honestly, there are so many little joys that happen everyday if I choose to look for them!