With every new stage my oldest child begins, I am reminded of my rookie status as a parent once again. And so I am settling on the fact that there is no parenting expert and no baby whisperer that I should aspire to. Rather, I am most at peace when I approach other parents just as Dorothy followed her path to the Wizard of Oz…I may not quite know what I’m doing, or how far I’m going, or why the yellow brick road goes this way or that, but I DO know I need companions with heart, brains and courage to journey along this road with me!
So at GoMomGo we want to share the emerging wisdom in parents who are seeking to do the best they can while allowing lots of grace for mistakes along the way. Once a month we will interview a real mom or dad who is making an impact in some way in their family and in their community with hope that, like Dorothy and her friends, we can all inspire and encourage one another.
Meet our first mom - a mother of twins who is learning the arts of essential oils.
Mom of the Month: Ashley Banks, The Incredible Oil-Wielding Baby-Wrangler!
GMG: And tell us a little about your kids.
Ashley: I have a girl and a boy. They are 17 month old twins! They are complete opposites in just about every way...personality, physical abilities, developmentally, etc. It has been a blast to watch them grow together and see their individualities shine.
GMG: How about a big dream you have for your family?
Ashley: To travel! I want to make memories, experience cultures, and see the world with my family. We would love to make some of our trips focused on serving people around the world who are less fortunate. My husband and I have been on mission trips pre-children and, once they are old enough, we plan to bring them along as well.
GMG: When you’re not on full on mommy duty, what do you like to do?
Ashley: Run! I am blessed to run regularly with a great group of moms. We are currently training for the Eugene Half Marathon...fittingly on Mother's Day weekend. I am also a part-time barista at Starbucks, volunteer with Dove Medical, and enjoy participating in mom's group at church and supporting my husband as he finishes his Master's degree. My life is full!
GMG: What’s something new you’re currently learning about?
Ashley: Essential Oils! I want to be able to fully support my fellow oil-lovers in whatever their needs may be. That takes learning and research on my part so I can share what I know about how to use them safely, effectively and efficiently. Luckily, essential oils are amazing and fascinating, so I am really enjoying the learning process! I have a Bachelor of Science in Community Health; learning about health and wellness and sharing that knowledge with others has always been a passion of mine. Seeing others reach greater levels of personal health is a true blessing.
GMG: Can you tell us a story about how essential oils have helped you and your family?
Ashley: The first Young Living product that I ever experienced was Thieves Spray. I was coming down with a sore throat and cold-flu symptoms and a friend gave me their bottle of Thieves Spray. They instructed me to spray one spray onto the back of my throat. I did and it did have a bit of a burning feeling, but soon began to numb the pain. I did this a couple more times throughout the day and the next day my symptoms were gone! I was a believer. This was about 4 years ago and I still have that same 1 oz. bottle of Thieves Spray (it doesn't expire and a little goes a long way!) and use it to this day. It has kept me from getting sick a countless number of times!! When you look up this product in the Young Living Product Guide, you will find it listed with the cleaning products. While not all the cleaning products are ingestible, all of the ingredients in the Thieves Spray are 100% ingestible! That's when you know it is a truly safe and all-natural product…when what you use to clean your counter doubles as a chloraseptic.
Since that time, I used a few essential oils here and there. It wasn't until just over a year ago when my twins were born that I really started committing to Young Living oils as an alternative to many OTC children's medications as well as household cleaning and personal care products. A friend introduced me to the wonderful world of a Young Living wholesale membership; I got the Premium Starter Kit and am so grateful for it. We have made it through this relentless cold/flu season unscathed and I am thanking my oils!
GMG: Would you divulge a bad mom moment in the last month?
Ashley: My two littles are becoming quite skilled climbers. I was cleaning the kitchen recently and looked up and my son had climbed onto the TV stand and was standing on top of it. He had a huge grin on his face of course and he didn't fall off, so it could have been worse. It is now a constant battle to keep him off of it! I need 10 arms!
GMG: And the best mom moment in the last month?
Ashley: We had two pretty rough teething bouts in the last few weeks. Entertaining the non-teething child, while comforting the teething one, and making it to the end of the day still feeling like a sane human is accomplishment enough for me!
GMG: Brag a little bit about your mom friends…
Ashley: I’m grateful for them believing I am not crazy! Sharing common blessings/challenges of motherhood helps me to realize I'm not alone in this and empowers me to know I can do it well too. I am blessed to know so many amazing moms and I cherish them all.
GMG: What do you think is your strongest mom skill?
Ashley: Carrying two children and a diaper bag and whatever else and loading them all into the van by myself. I don't even have a remote clicker to unlock the van!
GMG: Before you became a mom, what were you up to?
Ashley: I managed a Starbucks and supported my husband while he finished his undergraduate degree in Texas. He is now getting his Master's at the University of Oregon. The twins were born the week he started the program...it's been a crazy couple of years.
GMG: What’s your favorite thing to do as a family in Eugene?
Ashley: Trying out new, local places to eat! During the summer, we like to stop by Saturday Market after Family Music Time at the Eugene Library. Finding a new place to hike is always a favorite as well.
GMG: And how do you stay sane through the rainy season of Eugene?
Ashley: We just discovered Open Gym at Kipsters...the kids LOVE it! It was so fun to watch them take on new challenges! We will definitely be going back regularly.
Thanks Ashley! We were so happy to meet you!!
She shares on a different health topic each week and how you can incorporate essential oils for support and wellness related to those topics. You can also follow her essential oils diary on Instagram @lavendersongs.