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Wading Through Momma Hood

Wading Through Momma Hood

Mommahood Without a Momma

April 3, 2018

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This April marks ten years since my mom passed away. It was in 2008 and right before I was to graduate high school.  I can’t even begin to describe how devastating this was for me.

I have had to experience a lot of milestones in life without my mom: Senior Prom, High School graduation, moving into college, my first boyfriend, later marrying said boyfriend, having babies, and raising children. These are just the big events in my life where I have missed and needed her. There are also all the heartbreaking times like my miscarriages, times where me and my husband are fighting, or the times where I get really sick and I still want my momma. All of these are tough but the hardest thing by far has been trying to become a momma without my momma.


When my first, Emery, was born I was so emotional leading up to it. My mom wasn’t going to be there and my daughter would never know her. This pain manifested  in ways that made me bitter to where didn’t even want my husbands mom near Emery when she was born. This definitely wasn’t healthy. I just didn’t know how I was to become a momma when my example was gone.

My mom always did this thing when one of my sisters had a baby.  She would be there for the birth and then stay a week after to help with the transition and take care of them. I wasn’t going to have that.I did have a good back up however, my sisters.  They came through for me big time on this!But who was I going to call when I couldn’t figure out why Emery won’t stop screaming, or when it comes time to start feeding her food what do I feed her and how much.? What about all the other details like how to sleep train, potty train, and all the things I need to teach her to be able to tackle life as she grows and changes?


My mom taught me a lot of things growing up like how to tie my shoes, how to be respectful to adults, how to work hard at everything you do and how to trust in God with all your heart. All of these things are important but the one thing she never taught me was how to live without her.

I learned a few things through these past four and a half years of mommahood without my momma to help me cope and become the best mom I can be.

When we lose our mothers we learn a few things through that grief. 1.We learn how strong we really are 2. you will always need your mom but you get used to her not being there 3. you will find out how resilient you really are and 4. you will learn to be there for yourself. That last part can be a bit unhealthy. I held everything in and thought no one could understand me or help me the way my mom could. I mean how could they? They weren’t hormonally programmed to. So it was a slow process for me but I learned to admit I can’t do everything on my own and that I don’t know everything.  It’s okay not to know everything the instant you become a mom. We don’t magically know all the answers once our baby is born. Once I began admitting I needed help and more importantly ACCEPTING that help, my life and my grief became easier.

In no way does anyone replace your mom but other moms can help give you insight. For me this came mostly from my two sisters. Between the two of them I feel like I was set alright. My sister Shannon is my go-to pediatrician for literally anything and she is as close to my mother as I can get when it comes to parenting. She parents a lot like her and not to mention, she was 18 when I was born. My sister Kim is my calm and voice of reason, and both fill voids of motherly wisdom and praise. So even though it’s not your mother, having other moms walk along side you can help.

He may not understand what you’re going through but he understands how hard being a parent for the first time is. I mean, he is going through first time parenting with you. Learn to talk through what you/re feeling emotionally with him and allow him to help when and where he can with your baby. Allow him to comfort you and take care of you from time to time. As mommas we feel we have to uphold the image of being strong and that we can do it all ourselves.We are strong but we have a life partner there to help hold us up when we can’t manage to.

I would not have been able to survive my momma’s death if I didn’t have my faith. My mom was a very quiet introvert but she taught me silent strength and how to stay strong in your faith in tough times. She showed me how to show the love of Christ to others without needing praise for it. She taught me the greatest gift you can share with your kids is Jesus. These are the things I will pass to my kids. This is part of the legacy she left to me and I will share this gift daily with my kids. I want them to see Jesus in their momma just as I saw Him in mine.

Another thing that my mom left me that I know I can give to my kids is presence. Be there.  Be active.  love unconditionally. All those other details and questions of mommahood pale in comparison to this. I never doubted if my mom loved me or cared about what I was interested in.  I never doubted if she was proud of me. This is one of the greatest gifts I could give my children. So I will be present and constantly let my kids know how much I love them and how proud of them I am.

As hard as it is to go through mommahood without my momma, these five things have helped me survive. My kids may never physically meet their Nana but they will know who she is through me and through the legacy she’s left for me to pass on to them.  So if you’re trying to figure this mommahood thing out without your mom just admit you may need some help, rely on others and your husband, depend on your faith, and be so so present in the life of your kids.

With Grace and Gumption,





Wading Through Momma Hood

The Real Reason to Love Your Body

March 6, 2018


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Let’s talk about the thing that gets us mommas in a funk…our body image.  Can I say this has to be the thing I struggle with the most?  My body doesn’t look, feel, or react the way it used to.  I used to eat fast food and junk all day but girl not no more.  As a woman I want to feel beautiful and sexy and thin but everyday I struggle with feeling the opposite of these things.

Sometimes I get so depressed standing in front of the mirror in complete disgust. I will complain throughout the day about how fat I feel while grabbing loose skin or I will make comments about how I shouldn’t have eaten this or that.  I will go to pick out “cute” clothes to wear and nothing looks or feels good so I just go for the loose fitting shirt instead.

But there is a major problem with all of this.  I have a very impressionable daughter who looks up to her momma and mimics everything she does.  I would cry if I heard my daughter saying the very things I say about myself about her own body.  What message am I sending my daughter who is watching me, even when I don’t think she is?

We had family pictures taken recently and they were so good.  Except for every one that I was in I found myself critiquing each imperfection. This picture of my husband and me is great but I did not want to post it to social media because all I see are dimples and a stomach pooch.  There are times that I am mortified by pictures of my mom body.  Honestly it is hard not to be critical of them when all I manage to see is the stomach pooch, flabby arms, and dimples that just won’t seem to leave me alone.  I know I have grown babies and that my body has been stretched like a Stretch Armstrong two times over but it is so hard to keep that in perspective.  Truth is, my body is amazing for being able to do this and the false expectations I put on myself for what my body should look like is ridiculous! I don’t want my daughter to do this to herself as she grows up.

So anyways, as hard as it is, and as much as it pains me, I am posting the dang picture.  Wanna know the crazy thing, you probably wouldn’t even notice those things if I hadn’t  point them out.

Photo Cred: @abbyshadlephoto

Here’s the thing mommas: we can slay hard by going to the gym and eating healthy and getting down to that goal weight but I can sometimes do all of these things and still find something to complain about.  It’s like no matter what I do I am still unsatisfied with myself.  I can assure you I do not want to pass this unhealthy body image down to my daughter, so why do I do it to myself?  She will hear enough from the world about how imperfect she is.  I don’t want her to get that from home as well.

I wish I could be one of those moms who post about being satisfied with their amazing mom body but the truth is I struggle being critical everyday.  I struggled with it in my pre-mom body days so it’s a lot tougher to not be so hard on this fluffier and looser version of myself.  I wish I didn’t have this unhealthy view of my mom body but I am a work in progress so I am starting by posting this picture.  It’s freeing in a way because flaws are a reality we need to embrace and my daughter needs to see her momma doing just that.  She needs to know that flabby arms, a stomach pooch, and dimples on your legs are ok despite what the world shows and tells them.  She needs to see her momma choosing a healthier lifestyle as a choice to be healthy, rather than a bashing my body for an hour  and it do nothing but bring me down.

I don’t want her to walk in my bathroom and her witness me hating myself and grabbing extra skin in front of the mirror in my bra and underwear.  I don’t want her hear me constantly saying I’m so fat and I need to lose some weight.  I don’t want her to hear me complaining about having nothing to wear because I just look disgusting in everything.  But rather, I want her to see her momma confident and proud of the body she has because it gave me her and her brother and all the amazing and beautiful things it has done.  I want her to see me working out and eating healthier because it is good for our bodies not because I hate my body.  This is the attitude I want my daughter to emulate.

Kids are so smart and pick up on things we don’t even realize.  So she will see me working out and eating healthier, but she will also see me reach for an Oreo or something fried and greasy and enjoy it without any negative comments on how it will make me fat.  I want her to love her body and the skin she is in as she changes because she will change.  I want her to understand that she is beautiful no matter what, because she will not get it from the world.  The world will not teach her that she is beautiful because God created her and He doesn’t make mistakes.  It will not teach her that it is ok not to be perfect, but she can learn it from me, her momma.

So love the skin your in momma, embrace it and choose to be healthier mentally.  She, or he, is watching you, and you hold the power to train them up to love themselves.

With Grace and Gumption,


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Wading Through Momma Hood

Grieving My Three Miscarriages

February 8, 2018

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A few days ago I sat in church as we had a baby dedication. The memories of my three miscarriages came flooding back, and for the rest of service I was fighting back tears.  I never thought that it would happen to me, but it has and these miscarriages are apart of who I am now, and apart of my story.

Listen, women in my family are FERTILE.  I mean all their husbands have to do is look at them the right way and they end up pregnant.  So naturally when I wanted to have kids I just assumed this would ring true for me as well…right?

HA, but seriously, HA HA

That’s me laughing at my past ignorance.

We’d had no problem getting pregnant with our first two kids, but something went wrong with round three.

Me and my husband decided to try for our third kid back in April of 2017.  When I didn’t get pregnant the first month I just told myself it was fine, it’s just one month.  People don’t always get pregnant on their first go round.  A month later, I miscarried for the first time.

I was floored.

Four months later in September, I’d miscarry again.

At that point I was beginning to feel hopeless, but I was still trying my best to stay positive because maybe third times a charm right?

It had been almost eight months since we had first started trying.   A few days before Christmas I was late and thought  I might be pregnant. I was so excited, but also fearful and not wanting to get my hopes up.  I didn’t want what had happened twice to happen a third time.  So, I went out and bought a home pregnancy test.  I went home.  I took it.  It was positive.  I was overwhelmed with excitement, but also behind that I was nervous to let myself get excited.  I went to Hobby Lobby and bought my husband a sign that read ‘For this child I have prayed” and then taped the pee stick to it.  He opened it Christmas Day.  We were so emotional.  We were thanking God that it had finally happened.


Two days after Christmas I woke up around 6:30a.m. with severe cramping and bleeding.  I couldn’t believe it, it was happening again and I was devastated.

So to say my emotions over the past 9 months have been a roller coaster is an understatement. The first miscarriage sent me into depression. I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping, and I definitely wasn’t the best mom I could be to the two kids I already have.  Oh, and don’t even get me started on the sucky wife I had become.My husband had to pick up some major slack for me all while grieving himself.  I was basically a shell.

The second miscarriage brought a numbness.  Some people might have even mistaken it for strength.  I didn’t cry as much and it didn’t hurt as much when I saw babies on social media.  I was still able to do life like normal. I didn’t have many emotions at all to be honest.

But the third…this one stings in a different way. I remember sitting on the toilet bleeding that morning all alone while my husband and kids slept. I was crying and all I could muster was “…no God please, please no…”over and over again. I was begging God to please not take another from me.  I got cleaned up and laid back in bed without waking my husband, quietly crying and asking Him “Why?” and hoping against hope that the baby was still there and okay.  Later that day at the Dr. it would be confirmed another miscarriage.


I never knew I could love and miss something I never physically held. The pain is real, and I never fully understood what a woman was going through with a miscarriage until I went through it myself.

I felt hopeless.  The thoughts of will I ever be able to have another one that physically comes from me again, float around my mind constantly.  When I see others announcing pregnancies or births, it hurts…LOT.   I’m so tired of crying and having an ache in my heart when I see a newborn. The hurt comes and goes and it catches me off guard.  I will think I am doing ok and handling it well, and then something happens, like a baby dedication at church. My heart ached seeing those moms hold their new babies in their arms looking so happy. Why can’t I have that right now?  I’m happy for all the new moms and moms to be, but honestly, it just reminds me of what I want and what I can’t have right now.

Until I’d had a miscarriage, I lived in a naive state of thinking that it’s rare and hardly happens. But once I’d gone through it and done a little reading, I was amazed to find out how often it happens. It’s actually quite common and sometimes women will have one and not even know they were pregnant.

I’ll say knowing that there are others that know and understand my grief is a little comforting.  I love that women are allowed to be more open about their miscarriages these days. It is so good for us to be able to share with someone what we are dealing with and have them validate that it is ok to grieve this little life that we never physically held.  Talking with others helps, but it still hurts. And even if I don’t ever have another physically from me, it doesn’t make other options any less epic or amazing.  But it still stings knowing the hopes and dreams of what you wanted and what could have been are no longer there.

So, to you momma if you have experienced such pain, I am so sorry for your loss, and just know that you are not alone! Me and hundreds of other women are right there with you.  We all grieve our miscarriages in different ways, and that’s okay.  Choose to fight everyday to overcome these fears and emotions.  There is beauty that can come from these ashes, and the unity you feel when you get to stand with another hurting momma is a strange mercy in itself.  Even writing this with tears filling my eyes, there’s something a little freeing sharing this with you.

If it was your first child, your third, or your fifth, it still hurts and it was still the prospect of growing your family that is no longer there.   So allow yourself to GRIEVE. You are allowed to cry and hurt and ask ‘why?’ over this life that could have been.  It’s good for the soul to cry and talk to others about your pain. You are allowed to have bad moments and bad days, you are human after all.  You are still epic no matter what happens here on out.  Stay strong and hopeful mommas. God’s got this, and He’s got you!

With Grace and Gumption,


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