11 Questions with… Ashley Sears
03 Sep 2018
Welcome to “11 Questions with…”. This edition’s guest is Ashley Sears.
11 Questions with… Ashley Sears
1. Elevator pitch… tell us about yourself.
Hi! I’m Ash Sears! I’m a quirky mom of three that lives in Minnesota with my husband, three kids, and three dogs. I’m blessed enough to be a full time blogger and LulaRoe consultant, which is pretty awesome considering I also have fibromyalgia which keeps me down quite a few days.
2. Your spouse… tell us about him.
Wayne is my other half! He’s an amazing dad, and supports me in all of our crazy business adventures. When I need those pushes in business he’s there to remind me that I didn’t just happen upon all the success that we’ve had. He’s just as much of a smart butt as I am, and we tend to enjoy picking on each other quite a bit. He’s a former Marine, and currently is a Commercial Truck Driver for half the year.
3. Your kids… tell us about them.
We have three kids. All teens! No wonder I’m already turning grey. Keiran, our eldest, is such a kind soul. Anything and everything animals, she’s one happy camper. Brenden is our middle child, and he’s just discovered the fun world of dating so we’ve been along with him on that journey. As a parent that’s been a whole lot of fun with all the awkward conversations we’ve had to have lol. Bayla is our youngest, and she’s our resident band fan girl and Harry Potter expert.
4. Do you have any pets? Tell us about them.
We have three dogs (because having three kids wasn’t enough, right?!) We have Happy, a dachshund, and his name is completely ironic. He’s a grumpy old fellow. Sapphire, our pug puppy, that is spoiled absolutely rotten. And Karma a Husky/Sheltie mix. She has one blue eye and one brown eye and we joke she reminds us of Ed from the Lion King because she’s kinda crazy sometimes.
5. What have been your biggest challenges as a parent?
What have been your biggest challenges as a parent? When I first became a parent, my biggest challenge was finding my own voice as a parent and trusting my gut. I was 20 years old when I became a mom, so I was still used to being told what to do by adults. It took me a few years before I finally realized that I didn’t have to listen to the advice of others.
Right now our biggest challenge is parenting kids during the age of the Internet. We homeschool, and thought that we would avoid a lot of the problems kids in public schools have, but we’ve had to take the Internet away from our eldest two a few times because they were looking at inappropriate materials or chatting with people they didn’t know. It’s been a difficult balance between showing the kids we trust them, and keeping them safe. As a parent you always wonder if you are screwing that balance up.
6. If you could pick any career in the world for yourself, what would it be, and why?
Weirdly, I wouldn’t do anything other than what I am doing now. Only thing I would change is maybe to become a travel blogger. I’ve always wanted to travel but have never had the funds so it would be great to go to cool places and see top notch accommodations so I can share with my readers my experience.
7. Growing up, who inspired you the most?
Probably my dad. He was shot in an hunting accident when I was an infant, and that caused him to live a life of chronic pain. He worked as long as he absolutely could, and despite his disabilities he’s tried his best to live a full life. He’s been through so much, but he’s done such an amazing job supporting his family and taking time for himself despite dealing with daily pain.
8. How do you balance work life and family life?
Is this a trick question? Is there such a thing? Because I work from home with all of my businesses it can be REALLY challenging not to be tuned in all the time. A lot of emails come in at odd hours because they know we work from home, and expect you to read email 24/7. To keep balance, I listen to my body. If it’s telling me I’m stressed and need a break, I put the phone in my bedroom and my laptop in my office and spend sometime with the family.
Our family works together on a lot of projects so even though I’m working, I’ve been able to combine spending time with my kids and getting work done at the same time! It’s been a huge step in streamlining working from home and being able to have good conversations with my kids too.
9. What advice would your “current self” give to your “just about to have my first child” self?
Oh, wow. This is a hard one. I would probably tell myself that I do not have to listen to family members that are used to bossing me around as a child. When I had my first child I really had no backbone and hated confrontations, so most of my adult family members continued to treat me as a child even though I was married and then a mother. So, I’d say to stick up for what you want for yourself and your family and also know that you are WAY stronger than you realize.
10. Has there been a piece of advice you were given about parenting that really stuck with you?
I’ve never really gotten a piece of advice that has stuck with me, but something I did notice as a new parent was how ANYBODY would stop and give you advice. Complete strangers, even. One time I was in the bathroom changing my daughter’s diaper, and someone looked at her bare butt and started giving me advice on what to put on it. Of course I was too polite to tell her to bugger off, but it became overwhelming after a while, so I had to learn to smile and nod or tell someone I didn’t need advice that I had it!
11. What advice would you give to new parents?
My first piece of advice would be to not overwhelm yourself. Learn to say no. You may feel like a hermit through the first 90 days, but don’t expect your life to be as busy as it was before you had a baby. If you try to make it that way you will be a zombie by the end of it. The second piece of advice would be don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or have things you need to get done, ask a friend, family member, significant other to help out. Don’t try to be superwoman!
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“11 Questions with…” is an on-going feature. I will be interviewing parents with the same 11 questions, who like me, live in the digital world. The goal is to examine different perspectives, advice, challenges, and experiences from how people parent their children, and live a successful work / life / online balance.
With all the challenges of parenting these days, we could all use stories from fellow parents, who may have already gone through a similar experience, or were offered advice that you could use.
If you would like to be interviewed for an upcoming edition, please contact me at email@example.com.