The Motherhood Diaries

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As a mother, you love your kids. You’d do anything for them, but chances are, at some point in their childhood, you’ve probably wondered, “What in the world was I thinking?” Even if you’ll never admit it, if you’ve ever wished for Calgon to take you away, then The Motherhood Diaries is for you!

As the working mother of three children, ReShonda Tate Billingsley knows motherhood isn’t a perfect science. She openly shares stories with her thousands of followers on social media ...

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As a mother, you love your kids. You’d do anything for them, but chances are, at some point in their childhood, you’ve probably wondered, “What in the world was I thinking?” Even if you’ll never admit it, if you’ve ever wished for Calgon to take you away, then The Motherhood Diaries is for you!

As the working mother of three children, ReShonda Tate Billingsley knows motherhood isn’t a perfect science. She openly shares stories with her thousands of followers on social media about her children: thirteen-year-old Mya, the diva whose Instagram post—and subsequent punishment— went viral; to ten-year-old Morgan, who has a serious case of middle-child syndrome and a knack for giving her teachers a few of her mother’s favorite things; and finally, Myles, a witty and precocious five-year-old who, as his grandmother says, “has been here before.” It was while chronicling her journey that she discovered she wasn’t the only mother who longed for the days when she could use the restroom in peace, who sometimes sat in the driveway because she didn’t want to go in the house, and who sometimes wondered, Is this what I signed up for? Hence, The Motherhood Diaries was born.

Through humorous and enlightening dialogue and narrative, ReShonda chronicles her own journey, as well as reveals candid imperfections of a mother trying to balance it all. With humorous and heartwarming stories from other mothers also trying to “get it right,”The Motherhood Diaries shares candid and honest conversations about the good, the bad and the downright disastrous path of mothering in the New Millennium.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593094997
  • Publisher: Strebor Books
  • Publication date: 4/9/2013
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,389,210
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

ReShonda Tate Billingsley is the #1 national bestselling author of numerous novels for adults, as well as the Good Girlz teen series. She recently won the NAACP Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Say Amen Again. She is also the author of the nonfiction book The Motherhood Diaries. Visit her website at

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Read an Excerpt

The Motherhood Diaries

  • Sept. 1, 1999

Dear Diary,

It has been four days since I found out I was pregnant and I am still absolutely overjoyed! I’m anxious, scared (not to mention broke from buying all the baby books out there). I have no doubt I’ll be a good mother. This baby is a dream come true. Suddenly, nothing in life (including my career, which I was once so into) seems important. I wanted to be the next Oprah (she’s the hottest talk show host in the country.) Now, I just want to be the best mother possible. All that matters is making my baby’s life in the womb, the safest it can be for his or her glorious entry. I’m sooooo happy.

Nov. 7, 2001

Dear Diary,

Well, it looks like Mya is about to get a little sister. Found out I was pregnant again a few months ago. I was a little stunned at first, but I’m getting excited because the girls will be close in age. I hope they’ll be the best of friends. I haven’t been keeping up with my entries like I wanted. Being a Super Mom is hard :-). It looks like I’m about to give this motherhood thing another try.

Oct. 3, 2006

Dear Diary,

Oh, my God! I’m pregnant again. I think I need a drink.

These are actual entries from my journal. I am amazed at my range of emotions with each pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, I love all my kids equally, but the joy at news of their conception elicited a different reaction each time.

Let me start with my first born. After three years of marriage, my husband and I decided it was time to bring a life into this world to share in our blissful joy. But after spending all my life trying NOT to get pregnant, getting pregnant would prove easier said than done.

We tried everything—ovulation predictors, calendar counting, folic acid, standing on my head after sex, then eventually, fertility treatments. After the emotional roller coaster of a miscarriage, I finally got the news that I’d prayed for, cried for, and dreamed of. I was pregnant again.

Once I made it through the first trimester, I got over my fear of miscarrying again. I prepared to bring my baby into the world. I read every parenting book, subscribed to every email (I still get those freaking emails from and my kid is thirteen years old.) I wanted to be the perfect mom. I had my superhero cape nicely starched. I took pictures of my growing belly. I bought that little device that let me listen to my child’s heartbeat and I fell asleep each night listening to the soft thump of her heart. I hired a young artist to hand-paint decorations on her wall. I decorated her room with the best furniture and I bought her the cutest little designer clothes. Nothing was too good for my little princess.

Since she was to be the first grandchild, my family was also eager for her entrance. My mother and sister had flown up to Oklahoma City, where I was living at the time, to be with me as I brought this bundle of joy into the world.

And boy, was I ready to bring her! I had done the Lamaze classes and read more books than the downtown library could hold. I was educated to the point that I could teach some pregnancy classes myself, and when the doctor suggested a C-section, I balked in horror. I was a “real woman.” My baby was coming in only one way—through the birth canal.

Or at least that’s what I thought until I went into labor and was told the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and we needed to do an emergency C-section right away. At that point, any foolish perception about what made a real woman went out the window. Only one thing mattered—my baby’s safety.

Four hours later, the nurses placed my tiny baby girl—Mya—on my chest. My husband stroked my hair. “She’s so beautiful,” he said, pulling the blanket back, so I could get a good look.

I smiled as I glanced at her, then frowned in horror. “Oh, my God; what’s wrong with her?”

The nurse laughed. “She’s just bruised. Really bad.”

That was the understatement of the year. This child looked like she’d just gotten out the ring with Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier AND Mike Tyson.

“But . . . but,” I stammered. How could I voice what I was thinking? How could I tell my family, the doctors, anyone, what I was really thinking, which was What is that thing? What was I supposed to do with this little caramel thing with red pock marks all over her body? And to top it off, she was bald-headed!!! Like, not a lick of hair anywhere. Like, you couldn’t tell which was smoother, her head or her butt. I had bought baskets of pretty little bows. What was I supposed to do with those now???

“Shhh, don’t cry,” my husband said with a huge smile. Men can be so clueless. He thought my tears were because of the beauty of giving birth, and I was crying because I was trying to think of ways I was going to hide my child from the world.

And then she smiled.

My baby smiled, displaying the biggest dimples I’d ever seen and my heart melted. And I reminded myself that she’d just had five feet of umbilical cord trying to strangle her to death. Of course she was bruised! And her hair? Well, I would just have to learn to get creative with hats and scarves, which is exactly what I did. My child had a hat or a scarf to go with every single outfit to cover the fact that her hair didn’t start growing until she was four years old.

I chronicled my emotional journey each day, beginning a diary to my daughter that I planned to present to her on her eighteenth birthday.

I documented everything. Starting with my pregnancy, throughout her birth, her first steps, her first smile. You name it, I wrote it down. I have the ultrasound picture, the first doctor’s report—even the pregnancy stick.

Two years later, enter baby number two. I guess the thrill had diminished some because her journey wasn’t documented as well and I definitely didn’t keep any of her six pregnancy sticks. (Yes, six. I had to be sure!) Her birth was drama-free (but don’t tell her because I’ll lose my leverage). I scheduled a C-section, showed up at the appointed time, and voilà! Baby! (My husband says my first words when she came out were, “Does she have hair?” But I’m gonna blame that one on the drugs; at least that’s my story.)

My second child, whom I named Morgan, always jokes that getting her sister’s hand-me-downs began when she was in the womb. I can’t argue with that, because she’s right. I used the same heart monitor to listen to her heart. I used the same breast pump, the same maternity clothes, the same cute baby clothes (but to my credit, Mya had so many clothes that she didn’t get to wear, that many of them were still brand-new.)

What I didn’t duplicate was the journal. I wanted Morgan to have her own. I started the same concept with her and got as far as . . . buying the journal. (Actually, I did write in it—twice.) I had good intentions, but the reality of motherhood set in.

By baby number three, five years later, I think I wrote my emotions on the back of a Subway napkin. And since that was a surprise pregnancy, well, let’s just say, I’m going to leave it at that. (Eventually, my son will learn to read and I’d hate to have to spend thousands of dollars on therapy as he tries to come to terms with “how Mommy really felt.”)

The bottom line is, I started off with good intentions with all my children and that’s all that matters, right?

I think that’s what happens to us all. We start off with grandiose intentions. We have all of these plans; then reality sets in. We quickly learn that motherhood isn’t for the weak and that it takes a special kind of woman to navigate those choppy children waters. But we learn to do the best we can, and if we’re lucky, the good times far outweigh the bad. And at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 5, 2013

    When you leave the hospital with your newborn baby, you are not

    When you leave the hospital with your newborn baby, you are not given an instructional manual on the dos and don'ts of parenting. Becoming a mother is one of the most important titles you can hold. That title comes a lot of responsibility, pain, tears, joy, happiness, disappointments, and growth. I'm a firm believer that GOD doesn't give us more than what we can handle.

    You never know what kind of mother you will be until you become a mother. I'm a mother of four and with each child, I learned valuable lessons. My oldest child is 21 years old, and I'm still learning. I believe you are a mother until the day you take your last breath. Even if you aren't around the lessons you give your children lives on...

    Reshonda Tate Billngsley presents The Motherhood Diaries - 20+ inspirational true stories from Mothers all over the world. Reshonda shares some of her journal entries about becoming a mother. She also shares light hearted stories about her children and the life lessons she has learned. I did find myself laughing to myself in agreement.

    The stories in this book covered an array of topics that mothers deal with. I applaud these Mothers for sharing their story of faith, hardship, and self-discovery. The last story I read was by Miranda Parker. As readers know Miranda (Davidae "Dee" Stewart) passed away in 2012 from heart disease. Even through death, Dee is still giving us life "gems."

    The Motherhood Diaries is a very inspirational read. I highly recommend it. This is a book you will read more than once so find a special place on your shelf for it.

    4.5 Stars


    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer


    Growing up, we complain about things our parents did or didn't do and vow never to be like them. It sounds good but flies south once we become a parent. What kind of parent are you?

    “The Motherhood Diaries” is a book I recommend to all moms. It is a quick read that offers different views of parenting. Motherhood is a job in itself and it's not always easy. The stories are very relatable. I can guarantee you will walk away able to relate to at least one of the stories.

    Reviewed by: Jas

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  • Posted June 15, 2013

    Now, I'm one of the contributing authors in this book, but even

    Now, I'm one of the contributing authors in this book, but even if I had not been, I would have rated the book the same way. The only story I was privy to beforehand was my own, so there is no bias here...well..maybe a little. ANYWAY, Reshonda Tate Billingsley is an absolute genius. In the beginning of the book, she shares her joys and pains with parenting her own three. I love how she takes us through the change of emotions and reactions as she got older. The back half of the book is where other mothers were allowed to share the stories. If you're a hormonal chick like myself, I suggest you get a box of tissues and a squeezie ball. You'll need something to wipe your eyes and throw! The ladies in this book all share their vulnerable moments and make you know that you are not alone as a mom. There is something in each story that I can relate to and I absolutely love love love it! When I'm feeling low, I remember Gina Johnson's Diary of a Praying Mom. When I need to get away, I think about Sadeqa Johnson's Diary of an Overachieving Mom (who needs a drink). When my daughter is acting the plumb fool as only an eleven year old girl can, I remember Reshonda's mantra, "I do not look good in prison orange". It is a must read for any mom who has ever felt like she wanted to runaway or wonder why she ever had children or doesn't understand how anyone could ever NOT have children. It is indeed a classic. It's become a reference book for me. lol...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Let me preface this review by saying that I am one of the contri

    Let me preface this review by saying that I am one of the contributing authors for Motherhood Diaries. So, my review will be on some of the other phenomenal diary entries I was privileged to be a part of.

    Let me also say that you need to keep a box of tissues with you as you read because along with the HA HA stories, there are BOO HOO entries as well. This was one of the reasons I could so relate because the journey of motherhood is filled with laughs and tears, joys and pains, peace and turmoil.

    Reshonda Tate Billingsley has an infectious and laugh-out-loud writing style that will have you talking back to the book. "Me too! I've thought the same thing." Even her dedication put a smile on my face. "For my children...who keep me young and make me old."

    Reshonda was gracious enough to put together an all star cast of mothers from various walks of life and each entry speaks truth.

    Diary of an Intuitive Mother by Pat Tucker reminds us to always listen to that voice inside us when it comes to caring for our children.

    Diary of an Aspie Mom by Makasha Dorsey is peek into the life of a warrior mom who shows us how important it is to be your child's biggest advocate and cheerlearder.

    Diary of a Stay-At-Home Mom by Tia McCollors is a humorous look at the ups and downs of being a mom who needs an occasional break from the kids.

    Diary of a Welfare Mom by Lichol Ford teaches us to never judge the circumstances some of us find ourselves in.

    Diary of a Praying Mom by Gina Johnson blesses us to keep our connection with God first and foremost and our motherhood journey will change for the better.

    All of the stories will enrich your life and remind you that you are not alone, crazy or strange. You're a mom.

    Keleigh Crigler Hadley author of Revenge, Inc.

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