Ashley Darby’s world has completely changed since the last season of “The Real Housewives of Potomac.”
The reality star welcomed her first child with husband Michael last July and documented everything that came with that life-changing event for this new season.
“It was a transformational time for me and I think people who watch the show will see growth from all of us – some more than others!” Ashey said by phone as baby Dean, one, cooed nearby.
“The reason I was so open about my mothering journey was that I wanted people to know that it’s okay. There are things still not quite addressed, and if you don’t have the resources to help you, you may not get the answers. Hopefully, my journey can help give them any direction that they need.”
Ashley said viewers will see “the good, the bad, and the ugly of new mom life” in the new season. “It’s great, but there’s definitely another side to that,” she said.
In the season five trailer, Ashley complains that she and Michael’s sex life had slowed down after baby Dean’s arrival. The preview also sees Michael admitting to Ashley that he spent a crazy night out partying with pole dancers. And last season, both Ashley and Michael were forced to deny rumors that he was gay and he was accused of fondling a member of the TV crew. That case was later dismissed.
Ashley didn’t get into specifics about her marital friction but did say that both she and Michael had to confront the fact that their relationship had changed following the baby’s birth and with her body changes, had to reconnect as lovers.
“I would be lying to you if I said everything was perfect,” Ashley said. “My relationship definitely took a hit when we had a baby. The common thread that we had between us seemed a little bit frayed, and it did cause problems between us.”
However, spending time together in lockdown due to the COVID-19 lockdown helped them reconnect and adjust their relationship expectations as new parents, she said. Watching Michael dote on their son also made her love for him grow.
“Michael is an incredibly hands-on father,” Ashley said, adding that her own father wasn’t in her life growing up. “He’s there for every waking moment with the baby. I didn’t really understand what it would look like for a father to be involved with his child. I’m learning and I’m experiencing it too.”
Her cast members Robyn Dixon, Candiace Dillard Basset, Karen Huger, Gizelle Bryant, and Monique Samuels also welcome a new housewife into the fold, Wendy Osefo.
Ashley said she had a lot of respect for Wendy’s work with charities and philanthropy, but she said the pair still bumped heads on screen.
“It took us some time to get to know each other on a personal level, we had some bumps, which you’ll see,” she said. “With Wendy and I there is a potential for us to have a friendship.”
Now that filming has finished and after her and Michael’s restaurant, “Oz” closed, Ashley said she’s embarking on a new career as a doula.
“There were so many resources that I had access to,” Ashley said. “I want to be able to help women feel supported on their motherhood journey.”
“The Real Housewives of Potomac” premieres Aug. 2 on Bravo!