Mom Friends: Ashanti
Actor, professor and mom to Sparrow

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a mom?
A: I think it was after I met my husband. Up to that point, I was curious about kids and motherhood but a bit fearful, too, because of my fraught relationship with my own parents. When I met my husband, creating a healthy family life was a possibility and the idea of being a mother began to crystallize. 

Q: What has been the best surprise of motherhood?
A: The biggest surprise for me has been realizing the depth of love I’m capable of having for another human.


Q: What has been the biggest challenge of motherhood?
A: I find myself envious of the bond that my husband and daughter have built — sometimes I struggle with the feeling of being left out!


Q: How has motherhood changed you?
A: Motherhood has softened me. I’ve always considered myself empathetic but now my heart feels fuller and more wide open than ever before. I’m more protective of my time

and how I spend it. I’ve become much more judicious about what I take on.


Q: What’s your greatest strength or source of confidence as a mom? In other words, what are you really good at? Don’t be shy!
A: I think about my ancestors parenting under extreme circumstances: poverty, extreme labor and lack of education. I am a product of that, and it gives me confidence in my ability to succeed. Those who came before me were single parents and displayed determination and strength. 


Q: When mom life takes the wind out of you, what little rituals pull you together and help you reset?
A: I’m still figuring that out. For now, walking around my neighborhood and being bathed by the energy of the trees revives me.

Q: What’s the best motherhood advice you’ve ever received, or a message you wish you had on your bathroom mirror when you were a new mom?
A: Everything you need to be a good mother is already inside of you. Trust yourself.


Q: Tag a mom friend you admire, and tell us why. Hype it up!
A: My friend Corene Lavhan mothers with such care and love for her family, and doesn’t leave herself behind. Thank you, Corene, for encouraging me to maintain my own routines and book a hotel room every once in awhile, just to order my favorite foods and do whatever I want. She’s an all-around boss!