In the lead up to Mother’s Day, Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.
Over the next few days we’ll be sharing the stories of five amazing moms who recently participated in our Mom & Baby programs—Binny, Derrilynn, Amy, Asha and Hughene—as part of our new ongoing series, “Meet a Mom.”
MEET A MOM: MEET ASHA
Hi Asha! We’d love to hear your thoughts about life after baby. How many kids do you have, and their ages?
I have one son. His name is Theo! He is five-months old.
Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
Before becoming a mom, my full-time job was working with children with Autism. I am a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, and work as a Senior Autism Consultant at ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development.
I absolutely LOVE my job, and am so honoured to be able to work with these amazing children and families! In my role, we help to support children gain various different skills using Applied Behavioural Analysis based on their individual needs. These skills can include communication skills, social skills, daily-living skills or behaviour management. We work closely with families to determine what skills will be most beneficial for their child and their family, and work as a team to help achieve those goals. The outcomes are remarkable, and watching these children and families flourish is extremely rewarding!
What do you like best about what you do?
For me, the best part about my job is seeing the incredible gains and achievements each child and family makes. It’s the little things, but those little things can make such a huge impact on the functioning of a family!
For example with one family, the child was completely non-verbal and had no communication system/method in place when he began with us. We were able to progress him to a communication system using an iPad, which allowed him to type out sentences and have the iPad read it out for him. One day at drop off, his dad pulled me aside to share a story. With tears in his eyes, he said that the night before his son had grabbed the iPad, came up to him, typed out a phrase and played it for him. The phrase said “Daddy I want a hug, I love you.” His dad said he had never been able to say anything like that before. But by teaching him and providing him with those communication tools, this little guy was able to express some pretty great things with his family! I definitely shed a tear when his dad shared this story.
It’s successes like these that make each and every day so rewarding, and keep me going back for more!
What is your favourite part about being a mom?
How do I pick just one thing!! I’d have to say right now, one of my favourite parts is watching Theo learn and develop. His curiosity is so intriguing to me, and seeing him change day-to-day is so incredible! I love that I am able to help foster that growth and development. I also absolutely LOVE the adoring looks he gives me and my husband – they melt my heart!
What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
The thing that I have found the most challenging since becoming a mom is the lack of “me time.” I love spending every minute that I can with Theo, but I know I also need time to recharge so I can be the best mom possible for him! Knowing that I sometimes need to take a little step back, even if it’s just for 15 mins to go and have a shower, pop out to the grocery store, or even just scroll through Instagram (!) is really important, and I feel so much better when I take those quick little breaks. My husband and I work so well as a team, and really work hard at making sure neither of us are feeling burnt out or overwhelmed. You can’t pour from an empty cup! So really taking the time to identify that, and allowing myself to have those breaks has been huge.
Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
My favourite thing to do in my downtime is to bake or cook! Now that I have Theo, it can be a little more challenging to make those more elaborate meals or treats. When I do have the downtime, I find myself really enjoying diving back into that world and creating some really delicious meals! I even find myself trying out new recipes that I wouldn’t necessarily have tried out before; it’s some fun “me time” as well!
Current fav show on Netflix?
This is a tricky one! I have a few favourites on the go right now. I just finished binge watching Queer Eye! I love this show – literally cried during every episode! I love how they really help each individual during the episode become their true self. I am also really loving Our Planet. I’ve always been a fan of Planet Earth, Blue Planet, really anything narrated by David Attenborough! It’s such a beautifully shot documentary, and really puts into perspective the impact of climate change and what we can do to help preserve our planet.
You joined Mommy Connections in winter 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program?
What I enjoyed most was the opportunity to meet a group of really amazing moms that are all at roughly the same stage in motherhood that I was in. It can sometimes feel pretty isolating, and it definitely doesn’t help seeing only positive posts on social media (which can cause you to go down a rabbit hole of “why doesn’t my baby do that?” or “how is it possible that they have their life together so well?!”). Having this wonderful group of ladies was really grounding for me, and it was amazing being able to come to the classes each week and chat with the other moms about what was going on in our lives.
Theo went through a pretty rough stage where he was waking up 8-10 times a night, and I felt like a zombie! I also found it easy to get down on myself, as I would see other people posting about how wonderfully their babies were sleeping. Being able to come to the Mommy Connections class and talk to the other moms about his sleep, know that Theo wasn’t the only one going through that phase, and getting some really amazing tips and advice was so incredible helpful. I wish the classes were longer than the eight-week block! That being said, we all still keep in touch, and meet up for lunches and play dates!
Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
One thing that has been absolutely invaluable throughout my motherhood journey so far, is having that “mom tribe.” Finding other women that are going through what you are, and who understand where you are coming from is so helpful and validating. It can definitely become easy to spiral or let your thoughts run wild, but having that group of moms can keep you grounded. They are a great sounding board for ideas, thoughts, or just for venting! And the amazing thing is that they get it. By joining Mommy Connections, I was able to expand my “mom tribe” and now have more people that I can lean on and reach out to for support. Definitely, definitely, definitely find your tribe!