New Mom Advice : The Shine Project

We’re so grateful and humbled to end our week of new baby, new mama stories with Ashley’s.Β Ashley is the founder of the Shine Project, a blog, a shop, and a charity set up to benefit at-risk youth. They do service projects every other week with inner-city kids, and any money they raise goes back to fund those future leaders’ college funds. On top of that, Ashley is a new mother, in a very special way.Β We hope Ashley’s words serve as a reminder of all the wonderful ways we find ourselves as mothers in this life.

New Mom Advice : The Shine Project

“Our story is different than most. We didn’t go through the pregnancy, birth, or even the first few years of life. Our new babies came to us, at the same time, at ages 4 and 6. My sleepless nights haven’t come from crying babies and feedings, they’ve come from weeping and praying for strength and guidance and trying to learn how to become this instant parent to two special people who need to be held tight. I remember texting my friend with kids around their age frantically wondering “What do they eat, how much do they sleep, are they supposed to be reading yet, what do kids DO?!” I was thrown into this magical and unknown world of childhood, and suddenly feeling the responsibility that I have over two human beings was the most overwhelming yet wonderful thing I had ever felt.

New Mom Advice : The Shine Project
I often get asked, “When are you going to have your own children?” While the process we’ve taken is not the normal step to raising kids, the love and feelings that come along with it is all the same. Zoe and Shiloh have filled emptiness in my heart that I didn’t even know was there. I’ve only been a mom for 10 months, and have no clue in the whole wide world what I’m doing. But I know how to love them, so if I put that first, the other stuff just trickles in to place and it all works out okay. There was no preparation for us, no baby showers, no real “advice” that could be given as we ventured into a completely different scenario. Someone told me to create boundaries with consequences, not just rules that have to be followed. Doing that has helped us SO, so much. We’ve worked through and overcome a lot these past 10 months, and what a blessing it has been in our lives. For months I was called “Ashley” and my husband was called “daddy” almost immediately.

We do things at their pace, when and if they want. I’ve learned how to sacrifice and be less selfish than I’ve ever had to be. Sometimes the things that hurt me most are what is best for them. Even though they’re older, we still have a lot of “firsts” with them. Taking them to the zoo or teaching them songs, how to read, etc, and seeing their confidence grow and their little eyes shine with excitement is what I live for. I may not ever know what I’m doing, but I do know one thing; being called “mommy” for the first time was the best thing that has ever happened to me.

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97 thoughts on “New Mom Advice : The Shine Project”

  1. Thank you for the idea behind this week of posts– it’s great to read about other people’s experiences and see how they’ve handled it all.

  2. Oh my goodness! This is an amazing giveaway! I would just love to have every single one if these items for my new little on the way!

  3. I love this giveaway! Would love to win being a new mom
    To be you can’t help but get overwhelmed with all of the awesome things baby’s need!!! Also
    Love the mention of the shine project! Love my bracelets! Rock them every day!

  4. All of these stories are beautiful. If I won a giveaway I would be so unbelievably thankful. Your blog is lovely! πŸ™‚

  5. These Giveaways are killing me! SOO amazing! WOuld love to win! Thanks for always giving the best of the best! Also love the story on Ashley from @theshineproject! πŸ™‚ Got my braclet when she was at The Riverwoods in Provo!

  6. Would definitely love this!!I’m due here in a little over a month with our first baby! πŸ™‚ could definitely use these amazing things!! πŸ™‚ thank you!! πŸ™‚

  7. What an inspiring story. As a soon-to-be new mother, it is comforting to hear these stories and see that motherhood, the adventure and its challenges, comes to us in so many different ways. Thanks!

  8. We are adopting our first baby and would love to add this to the baby closet for our forever child when he/she finally finds us!!

  9. This has to be one of the best– if not THE best– baby giveaway I’ve ever seen! Small Fry–you’re amazing! Would love to win this for my sweet baby due 3 Β½ months!

  10. Such a amazing giveaway! Thanks for always getting the best of the best! πŸ™‚ I also love your story of adoptive mother Ashley from The shine Project!! πŸ™‚ two thumbs way up!!

  11. I adopted two of my three children and I’m so glad small fry didn’t forget mommies that adopt as well! Every one of children came to me from different ways and each one of them thought me how to be a mommy! First child, first new born, then first birth.

  12. Oh my, oh my!! What an amazingly GENEROUS giveaway!! Even though my littlest just turned one, I could still use so many of these awesome products, and the ones my babes are too big for, I would love to gift to my new momma friends! Oh gosh, I neeeeeed that a Ergo for my clingy little babe. I would explode from happiness if I won!!!!

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