Happy Mother’s Day from Abby’s Lane. We thought this holiday presented the perfect opportunity to turn the spotlight on one of our favorite mother/daughter pairs from our community. Elaine and Ashley Robertson are well known and beloved across our communities for their generosity, positivity, adorable pictures of baby Lennox and devotion to one brand (hint . . . it’s Smart Bottoms). Since many of us at Abby’s Lane are completely in awe of the love and support they give to not only each other, but to the wider community, we decided to ask them a few questions to get to know them better. Grab your tissues because you will see that the love is truly genuine and the sincerity and generosity they are known for runs deep.
Who got into cloth diapers first? What was the draw for you?
Ashley: I was definitely the one that got into cloth diapering first. The biggest draw for me was the fact that many people do not cloth, so I felt like it would be so unique if I did. I did not know they still existed until watching an episode of Popeye the Sailor and wondered what type of diaper baby Sweet Pea was wearing. It is so funny because people would not have ever known that my mom was the main person was kind of iffy about me cloth diapering. From the first time I suggested I may be interested in cloth she would just always retort with the common misguided information and all of the questions. Then of course the prints! When I showed her all of these prints, she looked on EBay and saw the print that really drew her in which was the Smart Bottoms exclusive, Dreams. She then went on to find more prints and many of them at the time she that she loved were from the one and only Abby’s Lane. I remember her saying to me one day, “Who is Abby?! And why does everything come from her lane?!”. Which made me chuckle.
Elaine: My daughter definitely got into cloth first. I must admit .. I was kind of skeptical of the idea at first. But clothing diapering now has definitely come a long way from my days.
Tell us about a time that you were glad to be both involved in the same natural parenting communities. Maybe about a time you weren’t glad too???
Ashley: I have just recently been a little more open with my battle with depression and anxiety, which was something that we all did not know how to handle. My mom did not experience this with my sister and I. I think she more so believed it was something that I may have been over exaggerating rather than actual experience. When she joined the Abby’s Chatties and the off topic groups, she realized that this was actually a real battle that many mothers go through. From there our conversations about it went from deflection and denial to more of support and encouragement to seek help. I thought that was very special and that could not have happened without her being in this community. I know everyone else loves when she does her PIF’s and fairy godmother stuff but sometimes I hate it lol! Then every time I talk to chatties or post someone always asking about my mom or my mom makes more friends than me in the group. Sometimes I am just like what is really going on here? Lol it isn’t that bad actually, it is all fun and games. We really love everyone that has welcomed us in the community, it is like a big happy family.
Elaine: This cloth diapering community is beyond awesome. I love to read the stories and chime in with my 2 cents when I can. But I’ve learned that these mamas are everyday down to earth people with the same questions and experiences as Jane Doe… but their just willing to share and ask for advice. The only thing that probably wasn’t so pleasant was trying to learn all the names of the different prints… who made them…. the differences between Covers…. 3.1’s And Dreams. LOL, it was quite overwhelming at first but I feel like an old school pro… now.
How is Elaine different as a grandma than she was as a mom?
Ashley: Well I would say not too much has changed besides that she has learned to become a softer parent. Instead of the whole spanking will solve everything method that she used with my sister and I (I promise she did not spank us too much), she has more patience and has learned other methods of dealing with children. I always see that she tries more and more everyday with new ways to try and get Lennox to learn. Her latest venture has been trying to teach him sign language which is going well. He signs “more” especially when he wants more Jell-O
Elaine: My daughter has definitely carried some of my parenting skills into her own journey of motherhood. But it’s always an individual learning experience no matter how many skills you start with. Which is another attribute being in this community… the support… parenting is so hard without any kind of support system. Everyone comes from all different walks of life and everyone isn’t fortunate enough to have people in their lives that are there for support and guidance. Now there are days that we don’t see eye to eye on parenting Lennox… and I feel like my answer is the “Right” answer…. but I had to learn that she’s his mama… The Boss of the Applesauce and I’m just the little boss.
(For Ashley) What is the trait you most hope Lennox learns from your mom? Why? (For Elaine) What is the trait that you most hope Lennox learns from your daughter? Why?
Ashley: The main trait that I hope he learns from my mom is selflessness. My mother is one of the most self-less person, that I know. She has been a marine wife for over 20 years, so sacrifice is a second nature to her. She still carries this trait about her you not only in the group but in her everyday life. Her favorite holiday is Christmas because she loves gifting people. When my parents were empty nesters, they would go to the small or other locations that had the Salvation Army Christmas Trees and would get a couple of the children’s Christmas lists and get a couple of items from a couple of lists. I just would like to raise a good human being and we need more selfless people in this world.
Elaine: I would want Lennox to learn to be helpful to others. Not only are you making that person that your doing for feel good inside…. but it makes you feel good inside too. (hope I worded that right)
What is the best Mother’s Day you can remember?
Ashley: Well the only one I have had was last year and it was an amazing first Mother’s Day any cloth mama could have. I had my family together, and I was gifted so much fluff, wet bags, and my well loved Stellar Tula that Lennox did not like to be worn in lol. This year will be awesome as well as once again I get to see my family and spend the weekend on VA Beach.
Elaine: The best Mothers Day …. is honestly every day. I can’t express how unhappy I was being an empty nester. While all of my friends where making plans to do things now that there kids were gone… that very much wasn’t my case. But now that I get to be with my grandson Lennox every day… it’s like I have new life in me…. kinda of like a rebirth into parenthood ( of sorts ) and it couldn’t make me feel more warm and fuzzy inside.
Thank you so much Ashley and Elaine for opening up and being a vital part of our communities. The love and support you have for each other spills over and lifts us all up. Happy Mother’s Day!