Ashley Ference, RN

Ashley Ference
Ashley Ference

Ashley is a Registered Nurse, Lactation Counselor, and Sleep Coach working with families in Bonnyville and Cold Lake.

Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.

My husband and I had a long journey to parenthood. I think our challenges have given us a unique perspective on not only parenting, but life in general. Becoming a mother was something I always wanted, but I didn't know the challenges I'd face along the way or how I would finally arrive at that destination. Because it took us so long to become parents (7 years to be exact) I felt so ready and prepared when my daughter was born. I quickly realized that my background as an RN and all the time I had to prepare still wasn't enough to rid me of self doubt and certainly not enough to squash the mom guilt that quickly snuck up on me! I was so overjoyed and in love with my beautiful little bundle and obviously only wanted the very best for her. Which is what all parents want for their babies, but I think that's why mom guilt is real. We place so much pressure on ourselves to make the right choices, it's easy to feel defeated when things don't go as planned. Which happens all the time when babies and kids are involved! I think the biggest thing I've learned as a Mom of two is to roll with the punches! Some days will be great, other days are one disaster after another. Appreciate the good days and learn from the bad! I remind myself that while the days may seem long, the years are short.

Tell us a little about your nursing career.

I knew in high school that I wanted to be a registered nurse and I haven't looked back since! Ok, maybe I looked back a few times during university when I wondered what the heck I'd gotten myself into! But honestly, I think feeling a pull towards nursing at a young age was proof that it was for me. I love the flexibility of nursing, the challenges, the professionalism and the constant learning. But what I love most is helping people. I know that sounds cheesy but it's true. The feeling of helping someone better themselves or their situation is indescribable. It's often a few words of encouragement, some tid bits of information and a huge dose of empathy. I consider it a privilege to help Mamas navigate the ups and downs of parenting and it's one of my greatest joys to help make motherhood easier.

We hired Ashley to help us get our daughter to sleep better throughout the night (at 15 months old we were at a loss of what to do as we tried everything we knew. Plus this was child #3). She also helped us night wean. We went from our daughter waking up every 2 hours a night to only getting up once. The suggestions were perfect and I found the individualized plan was such a great tool to have. Ashley was so friendly, easy to talk to, and was very helpful with any questions we had. I highly recommend her! I'm very grateful to be getting a much better nights sleep!

What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?

The two most important lessons I've learned working with families are
1. It's only a problem if it's a problem for you
2. Every mama needs to hear they're doing a good job

I love meeting different families and learning about them. Every single family I work with is unique and I truly appreciate that. What works for one may not work for someone else and that's ok. You need to do what works for you and your family and I will absolutely honor that and support you along the way! No judgement here!

When was the last time someone said you were doing a great job as a Mama? How did it make you feel? I know when I hear that it almost makes me cry. My kids are my absolute heart and soul and I pour everything I have into loving, teaching and guiding them. Some days it feels like it goes unnoticed and I’m not making a difference when my toddler has her 3rd (or 4th or 5th) meltdown of the day. But knowing that someone else acknowledges that I'm trying my best gives me the boost I need. As a Mama Coach, I love to encourage Mamas. Often by the time they reach out to me they're exhausted, overwhelmed and defeated. But even through all that I can immediately see their love for their baby and I tell them that. Because who doesn't need to hear they're doing a great job. In the end all your baby needs is you, a Mama that loves them. "

If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?

The most important thing you can give your baby is yourself- a Mama (or Daddy) that loves them. You got this Mama!

Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?

I'm at my best as a mom and wife when I'm well rested and looking after myself. I honestly believe you can't pour from an empty cup. I've learned as a Mama that it's never going to be "me first" but it needs to be "me too". What hobbies or things did you do for yourself before kids? It's so important to continue these things to support your well being and mental health. For me, these things are reading, yoga, a relaxing bath and socializing with my friends (kid free).

Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?

I am truly passionate about making motherhood easier. It is our greatest life work to raise a child and I want to be there to support you through it.

Ashley's Upcoming Events

august, 2019

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