life stories series Ashlee hissah Abu Dhabi

Tell me a bit about yourself. What do you want the world to know about YOU?

My name is Ashlee. I’ve been married to my husband for six years. We have two beautiful children who are 4 and 2. I’m really passionate about being a mom and wife, but I also firmly believe moms need their own time — whether by themselves or with friends — to be good moms and wives. I run a parenting website and the focus of that site is running real stories from real parents about their lives. Because parenting isn’t always easy and we’re all in this together to raise these little humans.

Describe a typical day in your life.

During a normal work week, it’s mass chaos getting out of the house in one piece in the morning and dropping my kids off at daycare. Then it’s working all day at a local newspaper. After that, it’s back home with my family to spend time with each other, make dinner and try and relax before doing it all again. We really cherish weekends in my house. It’s a chance to slow down and just be together.

What was one of the biggest challenges you faced during your journey to where you are today?

When I started in the journalism profession, I was very young — 22 and newly graduated from college. I wasn’t ever taken very seriously and because of my lack of experience, I was passed up a lot. But I just kept pushing through and kept applying to my hometown newspaper whenever I could. Eventually, after a lot of experience (sometimes not-so-good experience), I’ve finally made a place for myself. Overall, it was just a lack of experience and not enough people willing to give me a chance. But my lucky break came from people who chose to take a chance on me. And I like to think it paid off for them.

Who would you describe as a role model and why?

My mom. That might seem cheesy, but she’s been through so much and has never let it stop her. She got pregnant with me at 18. Despite people telling her she was too young, she chose to have me and married my dad. She gave up college at the time to raise me and my siblings, but eventually went back to school and now has a very successful career. Whenever things get tough, I remind myself to keep going like my mom did and continues to do.

Tell us one thing about you that most people don’t know.

I’m really introverted. It takes a lot for me to open up to people I don’t know very well. Social situations can be tough for me but I try really hard to not let it affect me. That can sometimes make being a journalist really hard because you have to talk to people you don’t know all the time. I think this profession has really helped me in learning to just get out there and socialize.

What is one piece of advice about how to cope with challenges/struggles you face in life that you would like to give to the world?

Just keep going. Take baby steps if you have to, but keep going. I always think, “This too shall pass.” And remember, you’re not alone.

What is ONE word that you feel defines you? (It could be your profession, a personality trait, or a quality you possess).

Sensitive. I’ve been told I have a really big heart and feel things 10 times more than normal. This has both helped and hindered me in life. One good thing is I’m able to really empathize with others so I am usually seen as someone my friends and family can come to.