For motherless daughters, the motherhood journey can be complicated.


Melissa Reilly, Psy.D.

Moms Without A Mom


I love being a mom and for me becoming a mother is the greatest gift!


Hi, I'm Dr. Melissa Reilly

Clinical Psychologist, Coach, Author, TEDx Speaker

I am a mom to two wonderful boys, am passionate about Disney, reading, and cherishing time with my family and two adorable dogs. As a mom without a mom myself, I'm dedicated to reaching out to all those moms who don't have the nurturing presence of their own mother in their lives, reminding them that they feel different because, well, they are different.

Regardless of the reasons your mother isn't part of your life, the reality is you're missing that go-to person most mothers rely on. Tapping into a mother's wisdom or seeking emotional support when needed isn't an option for you. And on top of that, you may experience feelings of grief, anger, or even jealousy that catch you off guard.

But here's the bright side - with over 23 years as a clinical psychologist, I have not only recognized the shared yet unique experiences and obstacles faced by moms without a mom, but I've also developed a personalized coaching program. This program aims to guide you from feeling lonely, overwhelmed, and unsure, to confidently navigating and flourishing during those moments when you'd have wished for a loving mother's support, wisdom, or assistance. Learn more at
Jackson and Me little
Adrianne Review

My experience as a mom without a mom.

When my son was born I was surprised by how much I longed for the support and guidance of a mother. I felt so alone and isolated, and if truth be told, I also felt a lot of shame too. I was not experiencing the joys of being a mom the way I thought I would.


I didn’t understand why despite all of the knowledge and experience I had (as a psychologist and confident professional woman) I could not seem to handle being a mom. 

  • I was constantly overwhelmed.
  • I felt insecure about everything I did.
  • Before he was born I thought I knew who I would be as a mom, but once he was born I had no clue.
  • I longed for a mother I no longer had.
  • I felt sad that my son didn’t have a maternal grandmother in his life.
  • I worried I wouldn’t be a good enough mother.

I didn’t realize that these thoughts and feelings are a common part of being a mom without a mom.

  • When I didn’t know how to do something, I didn’t have a mom to show me.
  • There wasn’t anyone to lighten the burden when I was overwhelmed.
  • I couldn’t ask her what things where like for her when I was a baby.
  • She wasn’t around to calm my fears or to be a shoulder for me to cry on.
  • Each time I got excited about something he did, I wished I had a mom who would be just as excited as I was.

It took many years for me to realize that these experiences were a normal part of being a mom without a mom. I was not alone in this experience. Virtually all moms who are separated from their own mother by death, emotional estrangement or physical distance experience these things.

What I'm up to on Instagram…