Losing a Mother When You Become One

©Riza Azhari from Getty Images Signature

Becoming a mother was such an adventure for me. I never envisioned myself being a single parent at the age of twenty one, I also never knew the amount of insecurity and misguided trust issues a young girl can acquire. All my expectations of becoming a mother were thrown aside when I saw those little pink lines.

I think a lot of little girls grow up having aspirations to become doctors, scientists, models or hairstylists. I always knew from an early age I just wanted to be a mother. It helped that I had a wonderful example to show me the ropes. My mother taught me so many useful things I’d end up implementing in my own parenting journey.

What I didn’t anticipate was mothering without her.

My mother passed suddenly in 2016 and as quickly as it happened was the same pace I had to figure out my next steps in life without her. I depended on my mother for not only love, advice, and companionship but she was quite literally was my life-line. She watched my child while I grew my finances and made a life for myself and my daughter.

So once she was gone, it was just the two of us again. This little baby had so much wonder while I had so much grief. The first two years after my mother’s passing, I was on auto pilot. Looking back to that time period, I only have a handful of memories that aren’t associated with a photo. However, I accomplished a lot. I gained a fiancé and another child. Thankfully the wisdom my mother instilled in me is enough to last a lifetime.

Grief is a journey much like motherhood. There are highs and lows, unexpected obstacles, stages and changes you’d never expect. I find myself at least once a day thinking of things I wish I could ask my mother, but then I see her in my parenting. I hear her in my tone when the kids get too loud. I hear her in the melody when I sing them lullabies, I even feel her in my dance moves when we have the breakfast time wiggles.

Parenting without a parent was not something I was prepared for, but nurturing my children is something I was taught to do from the best example I could have had ever asked for.

Loss and love go hand and hand if you let them.

As much as I miss my mother and crave her presence back in my life, the love she showed me is everlasting. I’m a firm believer that life should be celebrated, setting down the screens and actively living life with my children.

Losing my mother so soon gave me a different outlook on life. I’m grateful for the life in front of me, I don’t want to miss a thing. 

If you happen to be in my shoes one day and feel loss of any measure, I implore you to think back to your fondest memories with that person and let those memories engulf you.  This time of year can be so hard when you’re missing a piece of your heart. But you are not alone. It’s a crappy club to be a part of, I’ll be honest, but it’s a club none the less.

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Shelby Thompson
Shelby is an Oklahoma native. She is a wife and mother to four children: three girls and one boy, ages seven and under. She homeschools her two oldest daughters during the week and babysits for two lovely families. When her days aren’t filled with smiles and snot, she enjoys spending her time reading the latest true crime and romance novels, practicing her writing, spending time outdoors and hosting walks in town for moms and their children. Most of Shelby's time is happily spent with her husband and children making memories that (fingers crossed) will last a lifetime.



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