Ashley DeLeon (She/Her) is a New Yorker, dog mom, and mother to an endlessly curious…
Kristen Martin (She/Her), who goes by Kem, is a new mom to a 7 month old baby girl named Murphy. She has been a professional actress for 15 years and has recently decided to pursue her masters in psychology. Kem is looking forward to sharing some of the realities that come along with being a student and a working mother. You can follow her on IG @kemmartin
How postpartum are you?
Exactly 3 months postpartum today which I’m surprised I am even aware of after having not slept for exactly 3 months today.
How have you transformed since becoming a parent?
The transformation is hard to explain. I could focus on the personal, the physical, or the spiritual. It’s truly all-encompassing.
I feel more determined than I ever have before. Determined to create a safe, stable and loving environment for my daughter to grow up in. This has made my 5 year, 10 year and 15 year plan look a little different than I had ever considered before. It’s less about me, more about her.
Love has been completely redefined. Love has always been earned then decided. Even with my own parents or my husband. There are conditions to that love. When my daughter came to earth side, I was unconditionally in love with her. There is nothing she could do that could shake that love. It is cemented in person. That instantly shifted what was really important to me and what was not.
With the little solo time you do get, what’s your favorite thing to do?
These days it’s as simple as taking a bath. I was running an errand the other day and realized that I was driving alone in my car and found it to be so relaxing and necessary. A simple drive in the car listening to whatever music I like with the windows down. Total reset.
If you could describe your postpartum experience in one word, what would it be and why?
What’s something that caught you off guard during the first 3 months of parenthood?
Being that I am new to this whole motherhood thing I could say that everything catches me off guard these days, but when I really think about it… It almost feels like I haven’t had that second you would need to be caught off guard by something. As stuff comes up it’s like I get tunnel vision and just keep pushing forward.
I kinda wish I had more moments to process it all and consider things like, “Oh wow, that surprised me.”
On a scale of 1-10, how supported did you feel as you navigated healing and learning how to take care of your baby? Why?
7, I say 7 not because the support isn’t there, but because I am terrible at asking for it.
If you could dream up the perfect postpartum journey, what would it look like and feel like?
I would have more family around to help out. I get really envious of people who can just drop off their baby at their parents’ for the evening and have a date night or just some peace and quiet to get things done around the house. I even feel resentment at times when I see others with that luxury.
What’s the #1 piece of advice you’d give a brand new parent?
Cry when you need to cry.
Sometimes people feel like crying means you aren’t doing well or signifies something negative. Crying is so healing. It’s a necessary release throughout this process.
Surrendering to my feelings has helped me get through the many challenging moments.