Ashley Byckalo

I am a new mom of a beautiful toddler boy. Well, can I still say ‘new’ if he is a toddler now? I still feel new.

Professionally, I am an addictions counsellor and case worker. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology (that I completed during my maternity leave) and a Diploma in Addiction’s Counselling. I have dedicated the last decade of my career to helping people. I work with men who are serving their parole in the community. These guys face all kinds of challenges and I work hard to help guide them to a more fulfilling and positive lifestyle. It’s not always an easy job but it’s a role I feel passionate about. Helping people become a better version of themselves is a rewarding career and I am so grateful that I get to be a part of this positive direction in their lives.

When I got pregnant I often thought ‘I’ve work with the toughest of ‘tough guys’. If I can do this, I can be a mom’. Well, it turns out being a parent is WAY HARDER than working with the ‘tough guys’.  Those first few months of parenthood were very hard for me. I felt like I was frantically grasping for survival. Every time I thought I had my footing things seemed to slip away from me. No amount of education or training could have prepared me for the all-consuming nature of becoming a parent. Becoming a parent was more extraordinary than I could have ever dreamed of and more challenging than I ever could have imagined. My son has been the greatest gift of my life and he is my greatest challenge. He inspires me to be a better person and to reach for more than I ever dreamed possible. We have built this community as a resource for new parents to connect and feel ‘normal’.