Rader with three daughters, Georgia, 4, Paige, 2 and Harlow, 11 months

Third Time Mom: Ashley Rader

WORDS
Interview by Kelly Wooly
PHOTOGRAPHY
Tabatha O'Brien Photography
PUBLISHED
September 2017 in
Dallas-FortWorthBaby
UPDATED
October 12, 2017
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Ashley Rader, 38, didn’t think she would ever have kids. But that all changed when she met husband of five years, Jeremiah. Together, the couple has three girls—Georgia, 4, Paige, 2 and Harlow, 11 months—and Rader Renovations, a full- service residential construction and remodeling company in East Dallas. Rader, the owner, founder and general contractor (Jeremiah works in commercial construction), says sometimes resembles a happy “crazy town” as a working mom of three.

DID YOU AND JEREMIAH
WANT A BIG FAMILY?
Until I 
met Jeremiah, I didn’t want kids. I just didn’t see them in my future. Something automatically changed when we met and fell in love. I went from not wanting any children to wanting a big family.

WHAT’S IT LIKE OWNING A BUSINESS AND BEING A MOM?
Once we decided we wanted a big family, I knew I needed to make a switch in my career. At the time, I was working in commercial construction which is 24/7. I knew I would continue to work but needed to find a more family-friendly and flexible environment. About a year before Georgia was born, I founded my own residential construction company, Rader Renovations. Now, my clients are moms. They totally get it and understand the demands of being a working mom.

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A BALANCE?
I never valued time like I do now. Every minute of every day is calculated. I work to make the most of every minute, whether it’s at work, with Jeremiah or a girlfriend or with the kids. I make a concerted effort to stop work each day at 5:30pm. I go to every school function and don’t work on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays.

YOU SEEM TO HAVE THE BALANCE THING DOWN, BUT DO YOU EVER FEEL MOMMY GUILT WHEN YOU’RE WORKING?
I know that my hard work is part of what helps provide for our family. Working also makes me a better mother and hopefully 
a role model for my daughters. I often think about the example I want to set for my girls. And who knows? Maybe I’m building a business that they could eventually take over one day.
I also recognize that in order to be a good parent and wife, my personal sanity is more important now than ever.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST ADJUSTMENT GOING FROM TWO GIRLS TO THREE?
Three is exponentially harder. We are now officially outnumbered. Jeremiah and I both feel this constant struggle with making sure each child is getting individualized attention.

HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE THAT EACH OF YOUR GIRLS IS GETTING WHAT THEY NEED FROM YOU?
It’s definitely a struggle. Jeremiah and I regularly plan individual “dates” with each child.

AND HOW DOES JEREMIAH HANDLE HIS ROLE IN A FEMALE-DOMINATED HOUSE- HOLD?
Well, in the last year, 
he bought two four-wheelers, a motorcycle and a truck. Clearly, he needed a dose of testosterone, an understandable response to the sparkles, glitter and Barbies in our home. Seriously though, he is the best dad. He’s super involved and loves his time with his girls.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER EXPANDING FAMILIES?
It is going to be more difficult, but it’s so worth it. And I think there’s an advantage to having them close together. It’s hard when they are all young, but they will grow up together and be friends.
Plus, neither Jeremiah nor I require much sleep. We’re pretty energetic naturally. In fact, I can’t drink caffeine or I won’t sleep at all. 
SIDEBAR

Ashley's Mommy Must-Haves

  1. I love to browse 2 Shea
Baby in the Lakewood area for baby clothes. It’s such a cool store and the staff is so thoughtful. I bought Magnetic Me Onepieces for Harlow. How did I not know about this with my first two girls? It’s a total game changer. It makes dressing an infant so easy. 
     
  2. When I have time to relax, I enjoy a glass of B Side Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa.
  3. We love Highland Park Cafeteria in Casa Linda. 
It’s super family friendly, healthy and convenient, and all three of the kids like it. 

     
  4. William + Violet monogrammed backpacks (and really everything) made my life easier as a mom of three girls. 

     
  5. Netflix is my favorite indulgence, although recently I stayed up until 2am binge watching Queen of the South. Then Harlow woke up at 5am. 

     
  6. Until I became a mom of three, I never knew I needed a large Wallies chalkboard monthly calendar on the wall at home that everyone can see. 

     
  7. And when a friend has a baby, I always provide dinner for the whole family. There’s nothing more needed than a meal that you don’t have to cook. 

     
  8. We organize three kids’ stuff in The Container Store bins, built-in shelves and cubbies, and we have the less-is-more philosophy. We do not have an endless amount of toys. I really want my girls to value what they have. 



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