Welcome to my stop on the Mama, Mama, Only Mama tour sponsored by Suzy Approved Book Tours! Thanks to Suzy for the invitation!

About the Book:

Being a single mother means relaxing your cleanliness standards. A lot. Being a single mother means missing your kids like crazy when your ex has them, only to want to give them back ten minutes after they come home. Being a single mother means accepting sleep deprivation as a natural state. Being a single mother means hauling a toddler, a baby, and a diaper bag while wearing high heels and a cute skirt, because you never know when you’ll meet someone. Being a single mother means finding out you are stronger than you ever knew was possible.
Since birth, Lara Lillibridge’s children wanted, “Mama, Mama, only Mama!” whether they were tired or just woke up from a nap—whether they were starving or had just finished a bowl of goldfish crackers. Over ten years later, not much has changed. Between hilarious episodes and candid stories, Lillibridge offers the bits of advice and enlightenment she’s gained along the way and never fails to commiserate on the many challenges that come with raising children in a non-nuclear family. This creative, touching memoir will resonate with single moms everywhere, whether solo parenting is new territory or well-trodden ground for them.

Written in the style of a diary with blogs, articles and recipes tucked between the pages, Mama, Mama, Only Mama follows Lillibridge and her two children, Big Pants and Tiny Pants, out of divorce, through six years of single parenting, and into the family blender with a quasi-stepfather called SigO. Complete with highly useful recipes such as congealed s’more stew, recycled snack candy bars, instant oatmeal cookies and a fine chicken casserole that didn’t pass Tiny Pants’s “lick test,” Lillibridge grows into her role as mother, finds true love, and comes to terms with her ex-husband.

My Thoughts:

Mama, Mama, Only Mama is Lara Lillibridge’s tribute to the single mom. She knows the lifestyle because she is one. I was immediately struck by her humor and matter-of-fact, honest way of sharing. The book is also full of advice and support.

Lara bares it all talking about grief and loss and how to handle introducing new relationships to your children, among many other smart and helpful topics. The book reads like a diary and is full of insight, information, recipes, and laughs. Lara has two children, referred to as Big Pants and Tiny Pants. She is a single parent for six years, then in a relationship with “SigO.”

Let me take a second to rewind to the recipes. They are so funny! No spoilers! 

My favorite things about the book were the humor and watching Lara move share her life and growth with honesty and authenticity. Big Pants and Tiny Pants are adorable, and Lara talks about them with so much affection and heart. 

Overall, this is a warmhearted, insightful, and entertaining memoir for women of any age. 

I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. 

About the Author:

Lara Lillibridge sings off-beat and dances off-key. She writes a lot, and sometimes even likes how it turns out.

She is the author of two memoirs, Girlish: Growing Up in a Lesbian Home, Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018) and Mama, Mama, Only Mama (Skyhorse Publishing, 2019).

Lara Lillibridge is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. In 2016 she won Slippery Elm Literary Journal’s Prose Contest, and The American Literary Review’s Contest in Nonfiction. She also was a finalist in both Black Warrior Review’s Nonfiction Contest and DisQuiet’s Literary Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She has had essays published in Pure Slush Vol. 11, Vandalia, and Polychrome Ink; on the web at Hippocampus, Crab Fat Magazine, Luna Luna, Huffington Post, The Feminist Wire, Airplane Reading, Thirteen Ways to Tell a Story, Weirderary, and Brain, Child magazine’s Brain, Mother blog. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Have you read Mama, Mama, Only Mama, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR