Mom Crush: The Ashley Comeaux Edition
"Moms are superheroes. Seriously, Batman who?"
Introducing Ashley Comeaux, the accomplished footwear designer behind some of your favorite sneakers. When she's not forging the future of sustainable footwear, she's making waves as a founder in the beauty tech space. Hailing from Miami, Ashley is raising two beautiful daughters, Mia (2) and Samantha (5), alongside her loving husband in Oregon, where she's called home for the last 12 years. Inspiring, talented, humble and glamorous - she's the kind of mom that makes a person wonder: How. Does. She. Do. It. All? We're here to find out!
What’s your mom mantra?
As I reflect on my day to day and the moments where I question my parenting skills, (lol!) I remind myself that for every one thing that I know or feel like I’m doing wrong, there’s at least two things I’m doing right.
Two kids, a full time job, and an entrepreneurial venture all during a pandemic. How are you coping?
Ice cream… Haha! Yeah, It’s a lot. But I’m also A LOT. Usually doing too much, while doing too much. But I like it that way. I’ve got visions to see through to reality, and I find fulfillment in putting the time and energy into nurturing the things that make me feel like I’m making the most out of my gifts and truly using my skills and talents to make my mark on the world.
What was your biggest surprise when #2 came along?
Two things. First, discovering that I had A LOT of anxiety. And how much I needed therapy. My second, Mia, was born in March, 2020. Right before mask mandates were put in place for the first time ever at the start of this pandemic that would twist the hell out of our lives. Between embarking on being a mom of 2, postpartum transition back to “normal” hormones and all, a shiny new pandemic with daily, fresh disturbing findings and all the paranoia and anxiety that accompanied it. All on top of caring for this new, fragile little bun born 3 weeks before her due date. I was a WHOLE wreck, naturally. Now, almost 2 years into being a mom to the two best little ones I could ever ask for, my biggest surprise is how much more I’m able to just let go; and being much more comfortable with things not going according to plan. Two snaps for growth. :)
How has your approach to work changed since becoming a mom?
Boundaries. Before becoming a mother, I would say I could always be counted on for a hot YES. Every time. Once I had my first daughter, Sam, everything revolved around her. My time instantly became all the more precious. And it became crystal clear that if there was anything in my work or at work that didn’t serve me or my time. It was an automatic no with a Willy Wonka smile. Ha! I think what’s been so beautiful and powerful about becoming a mother has been the perspective it’s given me in terms of allowing me to get outside myself to reprioritize what truly matters most to me, and operating in a way that honors that hierarchy. Now, as a mom of two, (I won’t lie, It’s a BEAST of a role) but in all the ways it’s made me a better contributor in my day job. From the way I empathize and find moments to truly remain present (especially on Zoom) to my attention to detail and anger management. Hahaha! Kidding/not kidding.
Any advice for moms who want family and a major career?
This is a GOOD question. What worked for me and what my thought process was when I had competing dreams of motherhood AND a bomb career trajectory may not be a one-size fits all. But for me, I understood how much “control” I had over starting a family and how much “control” I had over getting that next raise or promotion… I knew that although I had goals and aspirations for my career, I did not want to predicate very REAL personal life goals and desires around something I did for a living. The way I saw it, I just needed to do what was best for me, Ashley, and everything else would go the way God had already destined for my career. Moms are superheroes. Seriously, Batman who? If you want family and a major career, it can totally be your reality if you put in the work to assemble the pieces in your life to support both.
Tell us about how you and your husband share the load.
Honestly, this “sharing of the load” thing has been a trial and error process for us through kiddo number 1 and now, 2. I’m pretty content with having found what works for us and our family in how we split up all the thingssss. It all boils down to communication, and at times, over-communication. We share responsibilities like Daycare drop off/pick up duties, Homework lessons, play time, nap time & bedtime duties, dinner, and weekend feeding duties. I take morning routine, breakfast, getting the girls dressed and ready for Daycare, while he makes their lunches/snacks/treats for the day. We’ll alternate doctor/dentist appointment visits when we can, and if the girls need to be out of school for more than a few days, we plan our schedules to split up the week. It’s all been a learning experience for us both, in understanding each other’s needs and requirements of each other to make our household run as smoothly as possible. A great book on this topic is Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) by Eve Rodsky. It’s a good read if there's an imbalance in the way tasks are split up in your household. Biggest takeaway for me from the book is simply that each task equates to actual, literal time. Time that we all have the same amount of every single day. And when you calculate how many more tasks one partner or the other executes in a given day, it probes the question around how then do you as a partner VALUE your spouse’s time?
Most grounding daily ritual?
Prayer. It grounds me because it’s a daily reminder that the day is not promised. For all the control I may think I have, I ultimately don’t have much. It’s a moment to express gratitude and surrender my faith and trust in God to watch over me and my loved ones as we live another day that he’s granted.
Any books you are currently reading/ music you are listening to?
Book: Obsessed (Building a Brand People Love from Day One) by Emily Heyward. Music: I’ve just stumbled upon an artist named iyla, who I’m digging a bunch right now. You’re welcome. :)