My name’s Chanelle. I started MaturingMama as a personal blog to reveal real struggles moms don’t often talk about.
I started this mission with the desire to focus on the real issues of motherhood and to empower moms every where. Moms in every ethnicity, size and socio-economic class.
I don’t believe that’s possible to do with just my point of view. I am far from perfect and far from the “standard” of what the ideal mom ought to be. The key thing about being a mom is working with the cards you’ve been delt. Or rather, the kids you’ve been blessed to raise.
I don’t know your kids. I don’t know your situation. I don’t know your culture or community. What I do know is moms all over the world have one thing in common. We want so badly to raise human beings that are healthy and happy.
Each M.M. blogger has a story worth telling. And it’s not about the number of moms that can connect with that blogger. It’s about the ONE. That one mom that finally feels like, it’s not just me! That one family that has experienced a similar situation.
Running a blog that focuses on me and my family can actually work against the M.M. mission. I don’t want you to be like me. You weren’t created to be me. You were created to be you. There is only one you. And you should feel as empowered because of who you are and your story.
It doesn’t matter if you have the prettiest photos on social media or the cutest kids or most expensive home. Your story matters! Your story can drastically change the world! That starts with those in your home and can go as far as the entire universe! (You could be raising an astronaut).
This is why I banned together moms from every sphere of life that aren’t afraid to speak the truth about their struggles. How did I manage to pick these particular Mamas? They have been a part of my life in different stages of my growing up.
While studying at Youth With A Mission in Hawaii, my husband and I met Kyler and her family. We attended their Church and were welcomed like long lost cousins. There was an instant appeal to one another and I felt safe to ask her any questions about life and to get her opinion on sensitive topics. She became like my big sister. My husband and I were super blessed to have been invited to her and her husband’s Vow Renewal. We kept in touch after leaving Hawaii and ended up living in neighboring cities many years later. Funny how life works out.
While my husband and I studied at Hillsong College in Australia we met Sharon. She came into our lives just after Esperanza was born and she was such a great help to us. She helped watch Esperanza and took care of her every Sunday at church. She didn’t do it for money too. She just loved on our daughter and our family. She was there for our family when we needed a helping hand and now she has a beautiful family of her own. It’s such a blessing for me to see her experience motherhood. I hope that at this point she sees just how much we needed her generosity when we were new parents.
I met Dawne at work. Work being social media. I love treating the Instagram feed like the water cooler at the office. I chat with many Mamas and create new relationships. I don’t believe social media can be a wall or barrier in relationship building. Some of us are most comfortable opening up through casual messaging rather than in person. There’s nothing wrong with that. I love Dawne’s point of view and she has so much wisdom and passion about life. I felt so drawn to her that I needed to get her on my team. I mean she’s the type of person you see a photo of and think to yourself, “I want to be her best friend!” And she does not disappoint! What you see is what you get and them some!
Kelly and I were best mates in high school. We were major trouble makers too. Not so much that we were bad kids. We were simply goofballs. The list of crazy antics are a mile long. We accidentally broke a hundred year old theatre. We flooded a bathroom at school and ran. We got chased by a bus who’s driver was mad at us for talking too much on our ride. We embarrassed ourselves at a wedding reception where we got called out by someone giving a speech (in the midst of that speech) and couldn’t stop laughing. That’s not even half of all the crazy things we did together. Someone that sticks by you through all of that type of madness is worth keeping forever. I cried for days when she left for England at age 15. And years later we sat on the phone while she was in labor with my beautiful God-Daughter, as I prayed and coached her through it. She has never stopped being my best friend and I don’t think she ever will stop.
Brittny was my first best mom friend. She was an answered prayer after two years of praying for a mom friend that understood the dynamics of an interracial relationship and making Jesus Christ the head of the home. We met because she looked at my daughter and said, “Hey! Our kids look alike!”. We went on from there acting like sisters and dressing our girls like twins. We talked everyday. We prayed together, cried together and planned our second pregnancies together. We gave birth to our second girls just 3 days apart. Brittny is the type of friend that’s more like a sister. I know she will always have my back. I know she will always give it to me straight. I literally bugged her into joining me. I knew I couldn’t do this journey without her by my side.
Over a year ago I spotted a beautiful interracial family at church. So of course I had to go to them and say hi. This was Marijam’s family. I was surprised to hear them speaking German. They were visiting from Germany and had two girls the same ages as mine and Brittny’s girls. So of course we had to spend time together during their visit. We connected like sisters. Our kids connected with one another, which is such a big deal when you have mixed race kids that can find friends that look like them. We kept in contact with one another after parting ways. She was in contact with me the moment she found the Maturing Mama blog. She cheered me on and told me of her passion for writing. When I realized we had similar hopes and desires, I knew we needed to do this journey together.
Breann and I went to youth group together as teens. She was quiet but so friendly. We simply did not stop talking as time went by. She was my first friend to have kids and she was the first mom friend I watched conquer motherhood. I learned a lot from watching her journey. There was such drive and strength to not just be a great mom, but to finish university and get a career while being a great mom. I am still learning from her even now with my own kids. I especially love how real she is about her struggles and honest about her life situations. Someone that goes through struggles has a lot of wisdom to teach.
Jessica is like an angel sent from heaven to my best mate Kelly. There were so many times I would worry about Kelly and Harley. I wanted so bad to be there for them and to be Harley’s village. Suddenly I started hearing none stop about Jess and her kids being heavily involved in Kelly’s life. Jessica was an answer to prayer. I have always wanted Kelly to have some one she could depend on and lean on. I knew I couldn’t move to England any time soon (maybe one day if I can convince my husband). But dependable and present- that’s Jess. She is so present even as a single mom. The moment Kelly said I had to meet her, I knew she would be someone special. She is so real. The type of friend you can open up with and not be concerned you’ll be judged. We’ve connected so well already from so far away. I know there’s so much about her that’s worth learning about because she is simply genuine and cool.
That’s my tribe. And if you were a part of my community you’d probably be on this list too. Because your voice matters just as much. You matter just as much as any mom blogger with millions of followers. This is about all moms.