AOP: With summer here, do you have any special trips or activities planned for the family?
AH: We spend most summer weekends at Lake Martin where we love boating and the kids love to swim. It’s a chance for us to meet up with family and friends to relax. We also enjoy going to Destin and traveling to the Caribbean Islands. Our favorite island is Grand Cayman, which is a quick 2 1/2 hour flight and is very kid-friendly. If we are in town, my boys love playing mini golf at Tiger Town Sports. We are taking our first family trip to Disney World in September.
AOP: What is the most rewarding part of motherhood for you?
AH: Our boys are only 15 months apart – Noah (4) and Jonah (3). They amaze me every day with their close bond and discoveries. They have taught me to be more patient, more loving and much more appreciative of every moment we have together as a family.
AOP: How do you balance being a mother and pursuing your personal goals?
AH: I work for Auburn Hospitality as the Senior Director of Sales. I’m passionate about my career and about being the best wife and mother to my boys. I’m truly blessed with an amazing company that incorporates a family-work life balance, helping me fulfill both.
AOP: How do you handle difficult situations with your children?
AH: With two boys so close in age they are constantly wrestling and testing us as parents. We try and stay calm, make sure Noah and Jonah feel heard and reward good behavior.
AOP: What are some ways you reward and positively reinforce good behavior with your boys?
AH: It can be a simple as offering praise or a special trip to the playground.
AOP: How do you handle feeling overwhelmed or stressed?
AH: Self-care is important in how I handle stress. I like to wait until I have put the kids to bed to take some “me” time every night. I also try and exercise twice a week.
AOP: How do you stay connected with your husband while being a mother to two young children?
AH: Patrick and I have a date night at least once every 2 weeks if possible. We also take time at the end of each day to talk.
AOP: What is the most important lesson you have learned so far as a mother?
AH: Give grace to yourself and to your children. We all need a learning curve as we figure out new ages and stages. By extending grace to yourself and to your children, they learn how to extend grace and forgiveness to themselves and to others.
AOP: What is something you have learned about yourself through motherhood?
AH: Thinking about everything that my brain and body has been through in the past four years just blows my mind. I’ve learned both the physical and emotional strengths I never knew I had. I have grown two humans, nourished them, kept them safe, fed, clean, entertained and loved. I’ve wiped tears, juggled plans, ran to doctor’s appointments and pulled all nighters. I’ve had moments of emotions, exhaustion and then complete triumph, all with only the help of my husband. We were made for this, and not until motherhood do we realize how strong we really are.
AOP: Knowing what you know now, what is one piece of advice you would tell your younger self?
AH: Nothing will actually prepare you for everything you will encounter as a mom. No parenting books, college courses or mom blogs. Everyone has different experiences because every child is different. So, learn as you go, seek the advice of others who have been there and be confident that you’ll always figure it out.
AOP: What is the most important lesson you hope to teach your children?
AH: Instilling kindness and compassion matters most to me.
Ashley and Patrick Harvill will be celebrating their ten year wedding anniversary next April. While both attended and graduated from Auburn University, living only a few townhouses apart, they didn’t meet until later in Orange Beach. Together they have two boys and a Boykin Spaniel named Lola. Ashley works for Auburn Hospitality as the Senior Director of Sales and Patrick is the Assistant Engineer for Lee County.