What Is Darling Mom?

“Home is where your mom is.”

I was newly married. My husband and I had enough troubles to weigh down a barge and few skills to deal with them. We had gotten into a rip-roaring fight; when a sob arose out of me, “I want my mom.”

I needed a wise, tender, and real woman who could hold my face and say, “You will get through this. It will be ok. Eventually.” She didn’t need to have all the answers, just a presence that could tether this kite in danger of floating away.

Our relationships with mothering are often complicated.

Several years ago, I became acquainted with an amazing woman. She’s real. Sometimes available. Sometimes not. She cries. She doesn’t have all the answers. But she is beautiful. Strong and vulnerable at the same time. She has given me a picture of what a mom is meant to be. And that has been worth gold. Because I didn’t know what I was missing or what I needed until I met her. And even though she can’t be my mom, she is a picture of what I need and who I want to be all at the same time. She made being a mom have texture, not just someone I needed and wanted to be but couldn’t imagine. Every time I have left her presence, I have cried. The tears of leaving home and not knowing if I will get to go back. That has been painful and sweet all at the same moment.

Out of that orphan-place has arisen a passion to create space for those of us who have deep mothering gaps. Whether you are close to your mom, have experienced the loss of your mother, or have a complicated relationship with your mom, every one of us has mother-gaps. Even the best mother is only human.

I believe that when we collectively bring our needs and our strengths, there is healing. Goodness. Even if only in part.

I bring you Darling Mom. Because we are darlings worthy of mothering. And because we have darlings who need to be mothered. And because intimacy is what we long for and the word Darling speaks that to me. It’s not meant to be sticky sweet, but fierce, real, and tender.

Home is where your mom is, and for those of us who don’t have a home, my desire is to create one. It can’t be all we need, but when you are an orphan, even a little bit can go a very long way. May Darling Mom create a community where we get to come home at least to ourselves and maybe to each other.

*And if you happen to be a man reading this page, there is room for you here. You have need of a mothering as much as any woman. Browse our content to find a place for you too.



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Shandee Mikesh

Shandee is a humor-wizard, wife, mom of three, and teenage sex-talk expert. She holds a Certificate in Narrative Focused Trauma Care from The Allender Center, training from Sage Hill Counseling in addiction, and is a breast-feeding coach.


jill dyer

Jill is an avid backpacker, wife, writer, and mom of four. She holds a Certificate in Narrative Focused Trauma Care from The Allender Center, is on The Allender Center team as an intercessor, and has life experience that you cannot pay for.


Team Shandee + Jill

Shandee and Jill began hosting retreats aimed at providing much needed care for trauma therapists in 2018. They work together on the Care and Recovery Team with The Allender Center. Jill and Shandee became fast friends in 2011 and have walked with each other through life’s trials and giggles. Their friendship naturally led to offering care and intervention on behalf of others in their collective path. They are a wily team when you put them together.