Welcome to our Motherhood Unfiltered series, where we’re honouring moms each week leading up to Mother’s Day by inviting women within our community to explore their real and raw experiences with motherhood. Here at Smash + Tess, we’re big fans of running towards uncomfortable conversations rather than running from them. We know that being a woman in this world is a tough gig, and one made tougher by balancing motherhood in all its messy—and beautiful—glory.
We hope this series will offer a safe space, without shame or judgment, for moms to get real and celebrate the idea of women showing up and doing their best.
This week we sat down with Haley Ryan of @raisingtheryans to dig into the highs and lows of motherhood. Haley has been a dear friend of Smash + Tess for some time now, and we’ve always admired the raw and honest expressions she shares with her audience on Instagram. We can’t wait to share with you her experiences in her own words!
Hey Haley! Welcome to Motherhood Unfiltered with Smash + Tess. So, tell our community a bit about yourself.
I’m Haley! I’m a mom of three and wife to Steve. We live in Saskatchewan, where we own a mortgage company. My dream was always to be a stay at home mom and I’ve done that for many years. As some of our kids are reaching school age, I also help run the business!
Tell us, what have you felt has been the best part of motherhood for you thus far?
I love knowing that we are raising kind, respectful, caring people for the future!
Something that comes up a lot when getting real with moms is the topic of shame. Do you ever feel shame when discussing your experiences being a mom?
I felt a lot of shame around my kids' sleep—especially with my first child. He was a high needs baby and I felt like a failure. It was so hard being a first time mom and feeling like I wasn’t doing anything right. Now that I’ve had a few more kids, I realized every motherhood journey is unique and that’s partly why it’s so special!
Is there anything you wished that moms talked about more openly?
How normal it is to feel like you’ve lost yourself. ❤️
When you first became a mom, did anything stand out for you as being surprising or unexpected?
The part of motherhood that surprised me most was feeling every day like part of my heart was living outside of my body. I didn’t realize how much time I would spend worrying about my kids, and equally, how much joy you feel with their joy and successes.
What do you think is a common misconception about motherhood?
That the baby stage is the hardest - all the ages and stages have unique struggles!
If you could go back in time and tell yourself something before you had kids, what would it be?
You’re going to love them so much and make special memories—you’re also going to love when they go to bed.
What would you say is the best piece of advice you could offer to a new mom-to-be?
You’re not going to enjoy every moment, and that’s okay! You’re doing a great job—hang in there. ❤️
And there you have it. Thanks for your raw honesty, Haley! If you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow Haley’s journey at @raisingtheryans.