While hosting the goodnest Launch Media Luncheon alongside Queer Eye star Tan France, the High School Musical actress, 36, exclusively told E! News about the "major" shift she experienced in her career mindset after welcoming her daughter in March 2021.
"In the past, I've always worked and it wasn't till having Jupiter that I found I need to go for those [dream projects]," she explained. "If I'm going to take time away from her, it has to be something like that because it's hard taking time away from your child."
And with how many milestones Jupiter is passing, Ashley doesn't want to miss a thing! The actress revealed that her daughter is already standing up, crawling up stairs and, most importantly, learning how to "shake her booty."
It's a new talent that the first-time mom shared she's been encouraging in her daughter—alongside a love of music—even if her husband, Christopher French, doesn't find it nearly as adorable as she does.
"My husband does not find it funny," Ashley joked, adding of her own view, "When they start standing, let them start dancing. It's so cute!"
Scroll on to find out what surprised Ashley most about motherhood, her thoughts on the fourth trimester and how Jupiter has inspired her since she was "just in my stomach."
E! News: What has surprised you the most about this first year of motherhood?
Ashley Tisdale: How hard it is. It's hard work. It truly is. But it's also the most rewarding because it's amazing to have this little human being in our lives. I can't remember what life was like before. But there are challenging days; she just had her first cold. I have anxiety to begin with and that spiked my anxiety. I treated my dogs like my children, but there's clearly nothing like having this other human.
E!: Your Instagram posts make it look like a fun experience.
AT: There's just nothing like it when your baby smiles at you. You're like, ‘Oh my God.' The minute she learned the word ‘Mama,' it's so cute when she says it. I'm obsessed with her.
E!: Did she say ‘Mama' or ‘Dada' first?
AT: She said ‘Dada' first. Of course, they always do! I'm like, ‘I just carried you for nine months!'
E!: What do you know now that you wish you knew a year ago?
AT: I wish I knew so many things. None of my mom friends told me any of it! Especially [about] your relationship. Me and my husband, we love hanging out with each other—we've been married for eight years—but we've fought more with the baby because there's so much pressure in the very beginning. Especially for a woman, you're physically going through it, you're mentally going through it, you're trying to take care of this baby—that's hard. I feel like you need to have grace and need to know it's normal and that everyone goes through it.
E!: Is there anything you learned from your mom that you would like to pass on to your daughter one day?
AT: My mom always taught me to be strong and believe in myself, so that is something that I'm going to share with [Jupiter]. I think that has really helped me in my work and business.
E! What do you love about goodnest?
AT: I love the company and what they stand for. I love goodnest because they prioritize sustainability as well as being safe for babies with their ingredients.
E!: What goodnest products do you use the most at home?
AT: The Magic Wash is so innovative. For instance, I was at a hotel in Malibu and was like, ‘Oh, we're not going to take her bag. We just gave her a bath. We're not that far. It's only one night.' She ended up having like pasta all over her and I [knew she was] not gonna go to sleep like this. [The wash] activates underwater and becomes the body wash. I just love that.
E!: Has becoming a mother influenced how you think about future projects?
AT: It's one of the major things that's changed about me. In the past, I've always worked and it wasn't till having Jupiter that I found I need to go for those [dream projects]. If I'm going to take time away from her, it has to be something like that because it's hard taking time away from your child. And so one of those dream things is actually going to be launching soon in July and then I'm developing other things that I want to do [too]. It became more about being specific and not wasting time.
E!: How has Jupiter inspired you?
AT: She inspires me always. Even when she was just in my stomach she inspired me. There's a self-confidence that came with her—I don't know how to explain it. I've never seen that sense of self that I had before her. I've just gotten to a point in my life where everything that I really enjoy doing is authentic to me. I think that she has inspired me even more to be real and honest.
E!: You've mentioned your mental health journey. What was it that led you to share your story?
AT: I first opened up about my mental health journey a couple years ago; I just felt like it was really time to share because I lost somebody to depression. You [continue to hear] about people losing people and I felt like, ‘You know what, this is important to share.' I just want to make people feel like you can get through this. The [more] people speak about what they've experienced, the more we feel less alone in what we're going through.
Especially with postpartum, I want to talk about the fourth trimester on [my blog] Frenshe because no one told me about [it] and you feel so alone in what you're going through. We all want to feel connected to each other. No one likes just surface level things. We need to break that barrier and tell each other what we're going through.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.