Motherhood: Unfiltered ~ Ashley
In an age where social media and technology provide us with constant opportunities to take and retake photos, add filters, edit flaws and present an often unrealistic image of ourselves and our lives as mothers, we set out to create a series of real-life motherhood moments – without the filters, without the edits, but with all the beauty.
This is Ashley.
In her words:
As of April 2016, I am a single mom of three. My husband left me only 2 months after my youngest was born, and he has no interest in seeing my kids or being a part of their lives. I am on income assistance while taking online night classes to finish school in hopes of bettering my life and my kids’ lives. I want my kids to see the strength in our family now and how we are able to survive and thrive in everything because we have each other.
My children being polite and healthy functioning citizens regardless of their age and despite the hardships they are dealing with right now. I’m also terrified that what my ex-husband did to us will have a huge negative affect on the kids. I’ve already noticed so much negative around what happened and I’m worried they will either see what their father did as acceptable behaviour and the norm and follow in his footsteps or they will become bitter and resentful and not be able to experience the beauty in the world and people. In addition to struggling with the separation and divorce, I am waiting diagnosis confirmation for Autism Spectrum Disorder for my oldest child. So much stress and uncertainty in my life and I don’t want it to affect my kids. But I don’t know how to protect them for everything while helping them with everything they need. I am just afraid of uncertainty and trying to stay strong for the kids.
I’ve always wanted to be a mother. However recent events left me a single mother to 3 kids under the age of 5. Being a mother was harder than I thought it would be. My ex husband wasn’t involved too much with helping me from the beginning. I guess due to my current situation I see the world and myself a lot differently. I am a very kind person. But I no longer have the time or patience for people using and abusing my kindness. I am teaching my kids to be kind, but also not to be used because of their kindness. I’ve realized I’m so much stronger than I ever thought I was and I am teaching my kids that as well as forgiveness, grace and the importance of family and faith. My kids are my life and I would do anything for them.
My kids are my world. I’d do anything for them and I want them to be happy, healthy adults with good morals and hearts. I will drop everything I’m doing for my kids even if it means I don’t get what I want to done at that time.
I want my children to see that even when terrible and unfair things happen, you can rise above it and be the bigger person. You can’t control what other people do and say, but you can control your reaction to it. Don’t let them control you.
To view a selection of Motherhood: Unfiltered photographs in person, you can visit The Birch Tree in Ladner during their regular office hours.