Meet San Diego CBS 8 Reporter, Ashley Jacobs and hear how she wakes up at 2:30am, “juggles” a successful career in the TV industry while raising her two beautiful kids
Ashley Jacobs is a lifestyle and entertainment reporter for CBS News 8 and The CW San Diego; in addition to covering the best activities for families to enjoy, sharing DIY hacks and all-things entertainment, Ashley frequently loses her keys, can't remember what day of the week it is and considers boiling water for mac and cheese "cooking," In short, she's a busy working mom blessed to have happy, healthy children. When she's not working or spending time with her kids, Ashley enjoys hiking, a heavy pour of white wine and never fails to record The Real Housewives of Orange County, Beverly Hills and New York. She's not proud of that, but hey... she's honest.
"Self-care is selfish" and other lies...
I pride myself on speaking to other working moms about balance: creating it and enjoying it. Somewhere along the lines I seem to have tricked myself into believing that I live a balanced life. That may be the biggest lie I've ever told myself! Someone shake me, please! I'm actively trying to remove the word balance from my vocabulary and replace it with "juggle." It's far more accurate: I am juggling work, parenting and a social life. Sometimes I manage to impress myself and others...other days I drop all the balls.
My children are 7 and 8 years old, but it truly seems like yesterday I was sitting in the hospital, holding each of them for the first time. While it was a beautiful moment...I have to be honest: it was intimidating. First, it was my daughter, Addison. I was responsible for her life, shaping who she would become, yet I barely knew who I was! I was in my mid twenties...working as a reporter and anchor in Savannah, Georgia. I was insecure. TV is a tough business, like many career fields - it is extremely competitive. So, not only was I still finding my way as a young professional, now I had this huge responsibility as a new parent. What an incredible amount of pressure. Fast forward 17 and a half months later: I was in a different hospital room, holding a different baby (my son, Lucas) with that same overwhelming feeling: How on earth would I be capable of raising a family while still navigating my own challenges? I should add my husband was traveling all of the time when I had our daughter and he was deployed to Afghanistan shortly after I got pregnant with our son. He wasn't even home for the birth or first 3 months of his life. I had a lot of emotions to work through.
And that was the problem: I thought I was responsible for every success and failure in our family's lives...the pressure was on me to take care of the kids, continue contributing to our family financially, keep a clean house, host amazing parties, plan great vacations, lose the pregnancy weight quickly and on top of that post cute pictures on social media proving how perfect our lives were. Our lives weren't perfect and I put all of the pressure on myself....until I didn't.
I think that's huge. You are probably putting too much pressure on yourself too. And you have to be ok with taking some of that weight off your shoulders. Remember that... you will put all of the pressure on yourself... until YOU don't. And you can make that decision today.
I wish I had learned that sooner and that's my hope and prayer for all moms: you're not navigating motherhood alone. You can and should find the strength to ask for help.
I used to think asking for help was a sign of weakness. But it truly is the ultimate show of strength and confidence. Having the humility to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses is admirable. Here's a little example: I have to wake up for work at 2:30 a.m. 5 days a week. Until my daughter was half-way through second grade and my son was in kindergarten, I still tried to do everything all of the other moms were doing, forgetting I went to bed a lot earlier than all of them and I got up a lot earlier too. I literally had fewer hours in my day to make crafts for the parties, volunteer at school, host events and go to dinners. I was sound asleep when most adults were in their prime hours of the evening. Finally, I realized...I have to ask people for help: I needed a cleaning lady and I had to stop signing a line on EVERY sign up sheet that came my way: I couldn't bake goods for the bake sale, I couldn't come to every class party; I had to start saying NO and asking for help at the same time. It was liberating and strengthened relationships: people enjoy feeling appreciated and helpful. I took what I thought was a losing situation and turned into a win-win for our family and many friends.
For years, I also confused self-care with selfishness and so many relationships suffered because of that.
I thought spending time doing things that make me happy was selfish. I thought taking time to meet girlfriends for lunch or to have a moms night out was selfish. I thought sneaking in a manicure or having that extra glass of wine meant I was putting myself before my children, therefore I was not being a good mom. I missed out on a lot of opportunities to form solid friendships; I lost touch with some of my BEST friends from college, because I didn't make a point to travel for important milestones in their lives, because I didn't want to leave my kids. I didn't make time for phone calls, because I had too many other responsibilities on my plate.
But you can't take care of your family if you're not taking care of yourself. There's an old saying, "You can't pour from an empty glass," and its true. Seriously, think of every time you fly on a plane...they remind you, you MUST put on your mask before assisting anyone else, because if you're not ok...the people closest to you won't be ok either.
With children 7 and 8 years old, I thought I'd have it all figured out by now...and I have figured a lot of it out: but there are still so many unknowns. Each year comes with new challenges as not only the kids change and grow, but as women we're constantly evolving too. Gosh, each day can bring new challenges. And I believe being an amazing mom doesn't mean you have all of the answers; amazing moms just try to figure it all out.
You deserve to find happiness in areas of your life outside of parenting: whether its making time to read, have a girls night or exercise. If you can fill your cup, you're going to have so much more love to pour into the hearts of your kids.
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