Ashley Tisdale: ‘I’m still healing & occasionally will sneeze and pee at the same time’

Ashley Tisdale and her husband, Christopher French, are parents to six-month-old Jupiter Iris. It’s their first child and Ashley has been very open about all things mom, be it on social media or on her lifestyle blog, frenshe. I say ‘all things mom’ because Ashley started before she became a mom. She’s brought up some topics that don’t really get discussed that often. Mostly she talks about things that she didn’t know before she had a baby. In some cases, it’s a topic getting more attention, like women having trouble breastfeeding. Other topics, like plantar fasciitis while pregnant, I haven’t heard expecting moms mention. And some topics Ashley tackles are still considered taboo, like women being ashamed of their pregnant bodies or the wear and tear motherhood takes on your mental health. Ashely posted a photo of herself with a tear-streaked face and wrote over it that she’d been crying because “the journey of motherhood can be hard.”

Keeping it real. Ashley Tisdale didn’t shy away from sharing the lows of motherhood in a tearful Sunday, September 26, Instagram post.

“I wanted to share this because I think it’s important to show the parts we don’t share that often,” the High School Musical star, 36, wrote on her Story. “I cried in the tub because the journey of motherhood can be hard. For someone who struggles with mental health, there are days I don’t feel great because I don’t recognize my body. I’m still healing and occasionally will sneeze and pee at the same time (TMI I know guys, but it’s the truth), which then makes me realize how much my body has changed.”

The Suite Life of Zack and Cody alum added that she gets “anxious” about taking her 6-month-old daughter, Jupiter, anywhere amid the coronavirus pandemic and is “still trying to figure out the balance of work life and mom life.”

The New Jersey native concluded, “I always feel like I could be doing better. … So I cried and I allowed myself to cry because it’s not always easy. I’m not perfect and that’s OK. But I’m doing my best and that’s all I can do.”

[From Us]

Like I said, Ashley is posting about things that appear to be new to her. Before kids, especially when someone’s pregnant and so very excited about the arrival of the baby, the whole “journey of Motherhood” seems like a fairytale. Books, mothers, friends, strangers, films – everyone tries to warn them, but much like a bride blinded by wedding bliss, an expectant parent can’t really grasp those aspects of what’s to come. So somehow, when reality hits, it feels like no one ever told you it was going to be this hard. The further out you get, the more cynical you get. I texted my girlfriend about Ashley calling it “the journey of Motherhood” and she texted back, “you mean the sh*tshow?”

I feel bad for Ashley because those are hard emotions to struggle with. And new parents feel guilt for having them. Ashley’s just started back at work, judging The Masked Dancer, which I imagine is contributing to her stress. I hope the takeaway for any new mom reading this is that Ashely allowed herself to cry. Because that’s important. Your feelings are valid, even if they go against what most people publicly talk about regarding parenting. It’s hard being a parent and it will weigh on you. Crying is a good way to let it out because believe me, trying to suppress the stress to appear as the shiny, happy mommy the media expects you to be will do no one any good.

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Photo credit: Instagram

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16 Responses to “Ashley Tisdale: ‘I’m still healing & occasionally will sneeze and pee at the same time’”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    I applaud all women who are brave enough to speak the truth on motherhood. It is not easy. Nothing prepares you for it. And it is different for everyone – just like COVID hits people differently. I was 30, married, had a grad degree and a very solid support system and I was still ill prepared. That is why I cringe when I see females beating up on other females for asinine issues like breast feeding, natural child birth and the list goes on. The struggles are real and each woman knows her own journey. It is taxing mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
    I say to all females I know (who will soon be first time moms): I know you will hear a lot of advice and I will add to it: You do what is best for you. Do not let anyone’s opinion on what you should do every make you feel incomplete. And if you ever need anything, I am a phone call away.

  2. SarahCS says:

    We need this out in the public domaine so badly, both for women and for men.

    From a personal perspective I’ve always been ambivalent to negative about parenthood and I’ve tried to explain time after time to by boyfriend that reality is NOT what he seems to think it is. He has a whole fairytale in his head and thinks I’m being obstructive when I try to explain some of this stuff to him.

  3. NoNoK says:

    I really respect Ashley for talking about all of this. I had terrible edema when pregnant and as a result I have no photos of me from either pregnancy- I was mortified of my own body. I also had a really tough time when my girls were babies/toddlers and it’s only now that my youngest is 4 that I feel like I’m really standing on my own two feet again. It helps to know other people go through the mental struggles of pregnancy/motherhood because it can feel VERY isolating. I think anything people with a platform do to make people feel less alone is god’s work. I tell everyone I meet that’s pregnant that there were mornings, like 3am mornings, trying to get a colic-y baby to stop crying, that I thought about running away from home. Like, how far could I get before people would know I was missing? Would it be far enough? It is HARD and I don’t think people really talk about it.

  4. Anon says:

    The struggle is real! And I really appreciate people talking about the realities.

    However, I don’t think urinary incontinence 6 months post-partum should be normalised. Yes, it can happen – but in many cases, women can do something about it. Seeing a reproductive health physiotherapist should be first on the list. Women should know that this is something that can be treated – not just be expected to put up with.

    • Sigmund says:

      Agreed, that’s my first thought when I read this. Sounds like Ashley should be seeing a pelvic floor therapist (and who knows, maybe she is). Far too many women accept physical discomfort and suffering after childbirth, but they shouldn’t have to. Yes, your body will be different. But if you are still having incontinence issues six months later, please make sure you are speaking with a doctor about it. No woman should be afraid to advocate for her own health.

      • Emma says:

        I need to see my doctor. I… did not know that. Thanks to you both for sharing the hope that there’s something that could be done.

  5. Sunshine says:

    Sis, that never goes away.

    • mellie says:

      If you’re talking about the sneeze/pee……it sure didn’t for me. I had three babies that were rather large, I swear they played the drums on my bladder while they were in there and it’s never been the same since.

      • megs283 says:

        Ughhh…. I managed to regain control after my second, but I’m still struggling after my third (she’s 3 now). If I sneeze with a partially full bladder, there are issues. :-(

  6. Whitecat says:

    Ufff I really felt this. Im also a first time mother to a 5 month year old, and doing a PhD at the moment and maaaaaan being a mother is truly the hardest job I’ve ever had to do. Honestly PhD is a bliss compared to this and it’s definitely okay to cry. It’s worthwhile but yeah motherhood is NOT easy. Honestly doing a PhD is easier.

    • megs283 says:

      Hang in there and accept support where you can! I found the first year to be so hard and really high-anxiety. It’s only gotten better for me as they get older.

  7. locamg says:

    So glad she’s sharing. I thought people were being wimps when they said having a baby was hard. Then I had one and I was way more of a wimp than anyone I’ve ever met (and I have an AMAZING support system). It’s insanely hard. I can’t even begin to imagine what single parents have to endure – or any parents without family who are close and willing to help. I had a really hard time coping with my changed body. My kid is three and I FINALLY have gotten my body back to where I feel really comfortable and beautiful….so I will 100% NOT be having another. Hah.

  8. JenBanana says:

    My child just turned 20. Every stage of her growth had some of the lowest moments of pain and struggle I’ve ever felt in my life. People need to know that being a parent is the absolute worst and the absolute best. Both seemingly opposite things can be 100% true.

  9. Ann says:

    I like it when people who have a platform speak out about how hard motherhood is. After my first I got my figure back pretty quickly (I was pretty young then….it was the second one that flipped the weight switch!), but the sheer responsibility and physical exhaustion and sometimes isolation of it was overwhelming. And parenting doesn’t stop, either. I could come up for air when they hit a certain age and were both in school, but the later years come with their own, huge challenges too.

    I have a friend whose 23-year-old daughter just had a baby. She got pregnant while using an IUD, and decided to keep the child. She and her boyfriend are not married (yet) but they are still together. She posted some (adorable) pictures of the smiling couple and the baby and talked about how much joy the baby is bringing, and while they were sweet a huge part of me was just thinking “the daughter and her baby are staying at her house……she just sent her fourth (and final) kid to college and now she’s back to having an infant in the house, OMG.”

    I think I would have very mixed feelings about it, but my friend seems over the moon. I think she just found parenting easier than I did, idk.

  10. phlyfiremama says:

    Whenever I have a friend pregnant, I tell them the lesson I learned when I was a single mom struggling with, well, everything: sometimes you need to just put that baby that won’t stop crying down safely, and leave the room and REACH OUT to someone and be able to vent. The fairy tale maternity BS needs to STOP. So many unrealistic ideas for “perfect” mothering.

  11. Lyds says:

    I am so comforted when I hear that people are not happy with their postpartum bodies or weight because….we’re supposed to embrace ourselves no matter what and our bodies have been through enough and did this amazing thing…and yet, I want to be one of those women that just bounce back and shed the pounds.

    Echoing some of the comments above, with my first I almost did bounce back completely, around the 14-month mark after giving birth, only to get pregnant with my second right before COVID hit (she was planned, but we didn’t know it would happen so soon). With the combination of lockdown and pregnancy, I gained 60 lbs and really didn’t like posing for pictures. She is now 10 months old and I still am still 25+ lbs from my pre-second pregnancy weight…it’s been rough. Half of my closet is not wearable and sometimes I don’t think it’ll ever be. I exclusively breastfed both children (no pumping unless I was getting a sitter) and still, the lbs are slow to go, especially the second time around. Loose-fitting shirts are now snug and no longer looked slouchy-cool; my arms look rounded and frumpy in my old tanks and sleeveless shirts…I’m not hating on myself but kind of just mourning what I once was: a girl who could eat anything and gain nary a pound, who knew her size so well she could buy clothes online and never return anything. Who could wear A-line and body con dresses and low-rise jeans. I feel bad about this rant but am thankful that Ashely Tisdale and many others feels the same.