From a Mother, On Mother’s Day

I woke up to the smell of bacon and a soft sizzling sound coming from the kitchen. I quickly rolled over as thoughts of young children attempting to cook flashed through my mind. I was relieved to find that my husband, Russ was not in bed next to me. Now that I had ruled out a kitchen fire, I lay in bed wondering if I should get up or pretend to be asleep until breakfast was brought to me in bed. I finally decided to head to the bathroom.

About 30 seconds after locking the door and sitting down, I heard someone attempting to turn the locked doorknob. Even on Mother’s Day I can’t pee in peace.


After heading back to my bed, I heard my baby from down the hall. He was babbling to himself in his crib. “I have to get that happy baby in my arms.” I thought. But how was I going to obtain him without being seen? If Russ caught me going to get the baby or changing a diaper, I might get sent back to bed to “relax”. I peeked my head out of the door to be sure no one was coming, then I darted down the hall to the baby’s room as quickly and quietly as possible. I slowly opened the door to find Ethan standing in his crib grinning from ear to ear. I scooped him up in my arms and squeezed him, smothering him with kisses. We then sped back down the hall to my bedroom.

As I was snuggling with Ethan, I peered down at Logan, my 3-year-old son. He had slept at the bottom of the bed near my feet. I don’t remember him there when I fell asleep, but he was there when I awoke this morning. My heart swelled with emotion. I am SO grateful to be a mom.

Then a thought came to my mind.


Mother’s Day isn’t about escaping from motherhood for a day of rest and relaxation. Sure, it’s always nice to be waited on hand and foot, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s not about sleeping in, silencing the children, or showering in peace.


Mother’s Day gives my family the opportunity to fully express their love for me both verbally and through sweet gestures and gifts. And, I love that! But today I learned that Mother’s Day means so much more.

Mother’s Day is a day to hold my babies a little longer – to look more deeply into their eyes and listen more intently to their words – to spend more time with them and really relish in the amazingness that is being their mom. It brings awareness of the wonderful blessing and opportunity I have to be a mother. My heart is so full of gratitude today.

I hope that you can find a reason to be grateful today and always. Never forget how amazing you are.

Happy Mother’s Day.

5 Tips to Stay Sane

I could tell you many a story of a time when I was so tired, hungry, or completely drained that I snapped and lost my cool over someone doing something remotely normal. Like spilling water, draining the battery on my cell phone, or saying “Mommy, I’m hungry” (for the 20th time).

But I’ll spare you the gory details and just say that there are times when we all get irritable, impatient, and plain mean. I made it a goal to figure out why I got this way and how to prevent it from happening.
Because, let’s face it, I never feel pleased with myself after I’ve had a complete meltdown. The only way I look back on these experiences is with regret and sorrow.

After identifying the reason behind WHY I get this way (I’m sleep-deprived, hungry, or over-worked), I found 5 things that help keep me SANE.

  1. Get to bed at a decent hour.One thing that can often prevent me from getting my well-needed rest is having electronics right next to my bed. My tip? Plug in your tablet, laptop, phone, etc… on the other side of the room (or even in a different room if you can). This will prevent you from scrolling through endless Pinterest feeds at 2AM.
  1. Start your day early.Yes, there are two 6 o’clocks in the day. You’re throwing away hours of productive time by sleeping in. Follow step one to make this one easier. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done before 9am, and the whole rest of the day awaits you.
  1. Schedule alone time.That’s right. You have to schedule this time. Otherwise, it won’t happen. Choose your favorite inspirational book, grab a journal, and find a quiet place where you can be by yourself, even for just a few minutes. Pray, meditate, and study what’s important to your soul. It’s like plugging in and re-charging your emotional batteries. It’s a lot harder to be mad when you have a clear mind to make sense of the situations. “You’re hungry? Sure. Let’s go into the kitchen and get you a snack.” 
  1. Fuel your body with healthy foods.This one thing makes such a surprisingly large difference. How does food affect the way you feel? How could what you eat possibly affect your mood? Well, you’d be surprised. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that after eating refined sugar, red meat or over-processed foods, you often feel lethargic. You know that feeling after lunch when you want to take a nap? That’s it! Try incorporating green leafy vegetables and lean protein, like baked salmon or grilled chicken. I’ve found the more vegetables include, the better I feel overall. But, even if you make small changes in this area, you’ll feel a difference.
  1. Energize your body through movement.If you can do this first thing when you wake up, it’s most effective for giving you energy through the rest of the day. It’s counter-intuitive when you think about it. If you’re exhausted, the last thing you want to do is get up and move. But, surprisingly, when I start the day off with exercise, I actually feel less tired than on days when I don’t. Again, start small and try to pair this with step 4.


I promise that if you take great care of yourself, there will be more of you to go around, you’ll feel more capable of dealing with life’s problems, and it will be easier to be nice to people.

I hope this helps you in some way. Leave me a comment or send a message and let me know what works to help keep YOU sane.

Don’t forget how amazing you are.

I was “THAT Mom” and Mortified!

I have a young daughter who is really into dance. She had a recital last week, and we had some experiences that inspired a song that I’m writing. (This story is a little bit long, so if you’re in a hurry, scroll to the end, because the message is amazing.)

So, my husband and I have 3 kids, including a 1 year old baby, a 4 year old with a sensory disorder, and the daughter I mentioned, who is 5. This particular night was a difficult one. My son was running all over the theater before the recital started. My baby (maybe some of you moms can relate) would only be happy if I was holding him and standing up. No sitting allowed. So when the show started, we knew we had a rough half-hour or so ahead of us.
I have to point out that we were not the only parents there with other young children. This was a young dance recital. There were other babies crying, and there were other young girls and boys who were playing on tablets to keep them occupied during the dancing.
Now, let me back up a little. Before the show started –as I was holding my moody 1-year-old and trying to catch my runaway son– one of the ushers, a small older woman, stopped me and said, “He is not allowed to run around like that in here.” Now, I don’t know what you’re thinking… but I was just ready to laugh and cry all at the same time. I looked her straight in the eye and said, “If you’d like to help me keep him under control and in one place, I’d gladly accept the help! Cause I sure can’t keep him in one place!”
The woman looked like she didn’t know what to say. And I walked down the aisle to attempt to catch up with my son.
Okay, back to when the recital started. We finally got my older son to sit somewhat still with the help of a tablet. We had turned the brightness settings as low as they go, and as I mentioned before, we were not the only ones.For some reason, another older woman usher approached us during the recital and told us to turn off the tablet. Mortified, I sank into my chair as my husband told the woman our son has special needs and that the tablet is far better than the alternative.
As I sat there, feeling completely helpless, embarrassed, and inadequate as a mother, I began to think of ways I could have done things differently. Should I have gotten a babysitter, and told my son that he just couldn’t see his sister dance today? (You should have seen his face when he saw her on stage! He lit up with bright eyes and a big smile. He even joined in shouting encouraging words at her from where he was sitting!) Should I have snuck in treats for my baby in a theater that said, “No Food or Drink” on the door? I thought, “All I want is for my family to come to this dance recital together, watch the show, and ENJOY.”I thought, “I AM DOING MY BEST!”
Then it hit me.
We are all doing our best.
The old women ushers were doing their best at what they were supposed to be doing.
My son was doing his best with what he knows.
The woman behind me who was talking about her personal life a little too loudly, was doing her best.
I don’t think there are many people who intentionally try to cause inconvenience or pain to another person.
And so, I’m learning to be more observant. To be more understanding.
The woman in the room who has 4 kids climbing all over her, making noise,
The grumpy old man who has to have his 2 cents,
The young punk who has an attitude problem and is always right,
The wild child who is running around causing mischief,
The person in your life who is avoiding you,
The person in your life who won’t leave you alone,
The person in your life who drives you crazy,
ALL of these people, are doing their best. 
So next time you’re feeling inconvenienced by the actions of another person, put yourself in their shoes. Imagine what that might feel like. Maybe you’ve even made similar choices before!Decide today that you are going to be more compassionate and understanding.
I can’t wait to share the song with you!
~Ashley Ludlow
Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of the new album!
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Being a Mommy

Being Mom


Some days I forget.

I forget how extremely blessed I am!

I’ve been given these amazing little ones to love and to teach.

And that is AMAZING.

I was watching a music video today. It had a young woman dancing around with a bunch of her friends singing about how great it was to be young and to be single and free. A part of me wonders what it would be like to be in my twenties and not have kids. What would I be doing? Where would I live? Who would be my friends? And, most importantly, would I be happy?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that we can’t live our lives wondering “what if?” Doing so will only lead to sadness and regret. Wherever we are in our lives, we can make it special. We can make today great! We are experiencing life the way we’ve created it. And, some of the experiences that I am having are experiences that someone else would give up anything to have.

So, for me, being a Mom is the best! I love it! And today was an especially good day where I could SEE it (I mean, look at that picture! Isn’t he the cutest?).

Whatever it is that you’re experiencing, breathe it in. Don’t let this moment pass you by. Decide that today is a good day.