Ashley Tisdale on Why Self-care Matters So Much: ‘I Have Never Wanted to Put My Anxiety on My Child’

Ashley Tisdale isn’t afraid to admit that motherhood threw her for a bit of a loop. In interviews and on her social media platforms, the actress and singer has been refreshingly candid about the joys and challenges of her latest role — being mama to daughter Jupiter Iris French, now 1 — and how it’s impacted her own mental health.

The High School Musical star talked to SheKnows recently at the launch event for goodnest, the refillable baby care brand she’s joined forces with — along with fellow new parent Tan France — as part of its partner collective, or “nest.” Tisdale was connected with the brand through her wellness blog, Frenshe, and says that once she tried the products, available exclusively online and at Target, partnering with the brand was “a no-brainer.”

“Seeing what companies got away with back in the day for babies is just insane to me,” she says. “And I’m just so grateful that there are companies doing this, [making] earth-friendly, clean products. We don’t have to worry about it.”

Keep reading to hear more about what Tisdale had to say about the importance of self-care, sustainability, and the expectations of motherhood:

SK: You’ve talked a lot about how important self-care is to your mental health. How are you able to prioritize that, now that you’re a mom?
Ashley Tisdale: It’s really just about the schedule. For me, the first thing I do is wake up with Jupiter, feed her, and then her first nap is when I get in my meditation. Meditating helps just calm the mind and my anxiety. I definitely need to create these little rituals for myself, so when she goes down to sleep, it’s like, “Okay, cool, now I get to have a little bit of me-time.”

I see moms over and over forget themselves. And I think that it’s just important to know that your baby is happy when you’re happy. I have never wanted to put my anxiety on my child. So, for me, it’s like, “Okay, how can I be the best mom?” And this is how I can do that — so I’m not sharing that anxiety with her.

SK: You’ve also been open about not recognizing your post-partum body and feeling inadequate as a mom. (Thank you!) How are you feeling right now?
AT: I’m definitely feeling a lot better. I was just texting someone, and I was like, “I think there’s a grieving period of your old self that you go through, that no one really tells you.” You’ll never be that same person again. And that’s amazing, it’s awesome because you have this beautiful baby that you get to… I mean, she just lights up my day. But there is that period where you have to be like, “Okay, well, that was the past.” And it’s a life-changing thing.

There are a lot of things that my mom friends did not share with me, that I’m like, “What, why wouldn’t you share this with me?” I created a platform, Frenshe — which is all about wellness and living a cleaner lifestyle and my journey in mental health — and I like to be very real on that and talk about these things. The fact that I only learned about a fourth trimester two weeks before I had a baby is wild. My friend was like, “Just so you know, the fourth trimester is the hardest.” I was like, “What is the fourth trimester?! I’ve never heard of this!”

SK: You’re like, “Wait, the hard part is still coming?”
AT: I was like, “Oh my God.” Labor is easy compared to everything you experience after it. It’s so true. I do think that it’s important to be real and honest and educate people. Because when you’re aware and know these things, you’re able to be like, “Oh, okay, this is something that everybody goes through,” versus feeling alone in it.

SK: Speaking of being open and vulnerable, especially on social media, that can invite mom-shaming. Have you experienced that?
AT: I mean, honestly, I haven’t, only just because I don’t really dive super deep into comments!

SK: Let’s talk about goodnest. Which one of the products is your favorite?
AT: I am obsessed with the Magic Wash. We [were] at a hotel in Malibu, not far from our home, and I was like, “I don’t think we have to give her a bath.” And thank God we had it in the diaper bag because she had pasta that night and it was everywhere. It just saved us in that moment, and I think it’s the most brilliant thing.

SK: What other products do you love — either for yourself or for Jupiter?
AT: I mean, I am obsessed with Coterie diapers. That’s all we’ve ever used. They’re amazing. We’ve never had any leakage, which is, I know, a big deal. And then, for myself, I’m obsessed with candles. I do love a good bath salt, to create my little ritual at night. And hand lotion — that’s a big thing. I wash my hands a lot, obviously, having a baby, but also being in this pandemic, my hands dry out a lot. So hand lotion — I love Aesop and Barbara Sturm — always saves me.