Supporting Moms Without a Mom on Their Path to Resilience with Psychologist and Mom Coach Melissa Reilly

In this episode, Melissa shared how her faith in God greatly impacts her life as a mother and her family. She also talks about the practices women can do to improve themselves as a mother.

Having a connection with God impacts her life a lot. Dr Melissa became a Sunday school teacher, gained friends who supported her, and her son’s friends were also part of the church.

Dr Melissa discusses the importance of mothers recognizing their own strengths to gain confidence. Doing it can help moms focus on what will make them great mothers.

Dr Melissa also tells Dr Brad Miller about her love and passion for helping moms. She wants them to know that they are not alone and that nothing is wrong with them.

Dr. Melissa Riley’s story is a calming and motivational story of one who overcomes the various adversities she faced and pierced through the wall of grief and depression. It is a story of an individual who strives to be a mother without a mom.

Episode 245 of The Beyond Adversity Podcast is a must-listen for any mothers without a mom they can rely on. Those who want to hear an inspirational story and get out of their feelings of depression.

“The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr Brad Miller is published weekly with the mission of helping people “Grow Through What They Go Through” as they navigate adversity and discover their promised life of peace, prosperity and purpose. | 






Dr. Brad Miller 0:00

And how about, you've already talked about a little bit in the

Dr. Brad Miller 0:03

sense of there's got to be a sense of a mom presence

Dr. Brad Miller 0:13

with you. And for some people, they might sense a presence, kind

Dr. Brad Miller 0:18

of a spiritual nature, you know, we can think of the spiritual

Dr. Brad Miller 0:21

nature sometimes in maternal ways. Let's talk about any

Dr. Brad Miller 0:27

connection you have to a spiritual life or a sense of force greater

Dr. Brad Miller 0:33

than yourself, be it religion, or journaling, or something else.

Dr. Brad Miller 0:38

Is this a part of your process at all? And tell me about that?

Dr. Melissa Reilly 0:40

Absolutely. I was raised as Catholic, and was given

Dr. Melissa Reilly 0:48

the gift of faith early on in life. And part of my experience of

Dr. Melissa Reilly 0:55

that was as God being somebody you met when you died.

Dr. Melissa Reilly 1:02

It wasn't until I got older, that I began to feel connected with God

Dr. Melissa Reilly 1:09

as a living God in my life, as it is now. And once I became a mother,

Dr. Melissa Reilly 1:17

and felt that, again, God wasn't as close to. I didn't feel God's

Dr. Melissa Reilly 1:25

relationship with me as close as I wanted it to be, nor did I want

Dr. Melissa Reilly 1:29

my son to experience his relationship with God is just somebody

Dr. Melissa Reilly 1:33

you meet when you die, I became much more active in the Lutheran

Dr. Melissa Reilly 1:38

church, my husband and I were going to, and really connected with

Dr. Melissa Reilly 1:45

other members of the Church, as well as the church leadership,

Dr. Melissa Reilly 1:48

and then became was a Sunday school teacher, myself. And it

Dr. Melissa Reilly 1:53

became a huge part of my life, and my family's life. In fact, most

Dr. Melissa Reilly 2:02

of my friends are now members of that church. And those are

Dr. Melissa Reilly 2:09

the members of my mom community, and the people I go to,

Dr. Melissa Reilly 2:12

and a lot of my son's friends are the children of other members of our church.

Dr. Brad Miller 2:19

So your your faith community was started with your search for

Dr. Brad Miller 2:22

your own personal faith, yes, led you to a faith community,

Dr. Brad Miller 2:26

which helps meet some of these other needs that you've been

Dr. Brad Miller 2:28

talking about. Some of those wise women, I, I assume some of

Dr. Brad Miller 2:31

the wise women may be through your church community and

Dr. Brad Miller 2:35

probably other contemporaries or their moms and things like

Dr. Brad Miller 2:37

this, and their families, kids in just a supportive environment. And

Dr. Brad Miller 2:43

that's part of what what that does and helps fulfill. When it's it

Dr. Brad Miller 2:49

when it's done. Well, church does things that fill those

Dr. Brad Miller 2:52

emotional, spiritual and communal needs. And that's, that is

Dr. Brad Miller 2:58

awesome. But now you've gone through this traumatic experience.

Dr. Brad Miller 3:04

And but you know, by the way, as you'd know better than me,

Dr. Brad Miller 3:07

the stressors of losing your mom and you losing a sibling,

Dr. Brad Miller 3:10

and having a baby cut a little bit later in life, all those things,

Dr. Brad Miller 3:14

are right up there on the stress charts, aren't they? I don't have all

Dr. Brad Miller 3:19

the all this stuff right in front of me. But I know from my counseling,

Dr. Brad Miller 3:22

I've done that, you know, these are right up there. And you got a

Dr. Brad Miller 3:26

blended family situation as well. And all that kind of deal. So, but I

Dr. Brad Miller 3:30

bet the folks that you deal with have a lot of those things, and

Dr. Brad Miller 3:34

sometimes even more. Yes. So let's talk for a minute here about

Dr. Brad Miller 3:39

process that you use. Now, in times of helping people you've touched

Dr. Brad Miller 3:43

on these three areas, which are they go awesome, but let's talk

Dr. Brad Miller 3:45

about kind of some specific application of those, such as

Dr. Brad Miller 3:50

disciplines or habits or way to do life, the way to do life as a

Dr. Brad Miller 3:56

mom, especially mom, whose love the word you that described,

Dr. Brad Miller 4:00

part of what you're about is resilience, you know, resilience,

Dr. Brad Miller 4:04

and I know, sometimes a part of that resilience piece is bouncing

Dr. Brad Miller 4:07

things off other people I know my wife, who's in her 60s Still

Dr. Brad Miller 4:10

bounce things off her mom's who's in her 80s You know about

Dr. Brad Miller 4:14

all kinds of stuff. So what do you do to be helpful in this whole

Dr. Brad Miller 4:17

process here about applicable, transferable principles,

Dr. Brad Miller 4:22

habits and practices, things like this?

Dr. Melissa Reilly 4:25

Hey, first, one of the things that is really important, I think,

Dr. Melissa Reilly 4:29

for all moms, is to recognize their own strengths so that they

Dr. Melissa Reilly 4:34

can build confidence. And particularly Mom's got a mom because

Dr. Melissa Reilly 4:39

they don't have their own mother reflecting back to them, the

Dr. Melissa Reilly 4:43

things that they're doing well, so I typically recommend that

Dr. Melissa Reilly 4:48

every night moms reflect for a minute or two on their day,

Dr. Melissa Reilly 4:53

and identify at least one thing that they felt that they did well

Dr. Melissa Reilly 4:59

with regards to being Mom, and there's nothing too small or too big,

Dr. Melissa Reilly 5:02

you know, some days, I did well, simply remembering to make

Dr. Melissa Reilly 5:08

sure my son brushed his teeth in the morning, right. And other

Dr. Melissa Reilly 5:11

days, you know, it's the touching stories that we share before he

Dr. Melissa Reilly 5:17

goes to bed, right the saying or prayers. But if we are intentionally

Dr. Melissa Reilly 5:22

identifying those things that we feel good about, then we aren't

Dr. Melissa Reilly 5:27

necessarily going to be impacted, or feel them. And so again, confidence

Dr. Melissa Reilly 5:32

comes from recognizing those things that we do.

Dr. Melissa Reilly 5:35

So that's, that's one thing that's really important.

Dr. Brad Miller 5:38

And not everybody does that. Yeah, normally you don't.

Dr. Brad Miller 5:40

The strengths, you know, we sometimes dismiss them. So please go on.

Dr. Melissa Reilly 5:45

Absolutely. Another thing that is really important, particularly

Dr. Melissa Reilly 5:50

for moms without a phone, is I encourage them to identify atleast six

Dr. Melissa Reilly 5:56

people that they can reach out and ask for support in any way,

Dr. Melissa Reilly 6:02

whether that be emotional support, whether that be helping with tasks,

Dr. Melissa Reilly 6:05

whether that be asking information, whether that just simply be

Dr. Melissa Reilly 6:09

talking at anytime, day or night, and to list them out and put their

Dr. Melissa Reilly 6:15

contact information. So phone numbers, put it in a note in their

Dr. Melissa Reilly 6:19

phone, easily accessible, because during times of emergency,

Dr. Melissa Reilly 6:24

or when we're stressed, it can be really hard for us to then start

Dr. Melissa Reilly 6:28

looking for those names. And to just start at the top

Dr. Melissa Reilly 6:33

of the list. And reach out when you're in need.

Dr. Brad Miller 6:38

I sometimes call that my 3am list. Who can I call

Dr. Brad Miller 6:42

at 3am if I got a real issue got to talk to. Yeah.

Dr. Melissa Reilly 6:45

Right. Because it's, you know, when you're with your

Dr. Melissa Reilly 6:48

oldest child in the ER, because they fell, it's not the time

Dr. Melissa Reilly 6:52

to start scrambling to find somebody to watch your baby

Dr. Melissa Reilly 6:55

at home. Right, you need that available. So you have to be

Dr. Melissa Reilly 6:59

kind of proactive with regards to who can you lean on.

Dr. Melissa Reilly 7:03

So that's a really easy intervention that is really important.

Dr. Brad Miller 7:08

Now this just kind of curiosity in your in your process?

Dr. Brad Miller 7:11

Is that all other moms? Or can it be? You know

Dr. Melissa Reilly 7:15


Dr. Brad Miller 7:16

Anybody? Okay, I just want to, because I know, I just wanted to be clear

Dr. Brad Miller 7:20

about that. So well, that's awesome. So there's some what I'm getting

Dr. Brad Miller 7:24

at here, what I'm hearing from you, is you have some specific

Dr. Brad Miller 7:28

task that people can do, I mean, write it down or put in your

Dr. Brad Miller 7:32

phone, this type of thing, six people as a specific number, that means

Dr. Brad Miller 7:37

it's, you're not likely to get stuck in a crisis with at least one

Dr. Brad Miller 7:41

of those people be available. And to specifically call on

Dr. Brad Miller 7:44

people's strengths, because we tend to focus on,

Dr. Brad Miller 7:47

you know, our weaknesses

Dr. Melissa Reilly 7:51

Right, and it's really important to note that because somebody

Dr. Melissa Reilly 7:54

who's really good at being emotional support, may not be

Dr. Melissa Reilly 7:57

really good at picking up in, you know, helping you with

Dr. Melissa Reilly 8:00

some chores and tasks that you need.

Dr. Brad Miller 8:04

Define the roles. Yeah, you know,

Dr. Brad Miller 8:06


Dr. Brad Miller 8:07

Define the roles of what they can do. Not everybody can,

Dr. Brad Miller 8:10

you know, if you need to stopped up, toilet undone, you got

Dr. Brad Miller 8:15

to find the right person to do that, right, or whatever that

Dr. Brad Miller 8:19

circumstance would be. And not everybody's going to be

Dr. Brad Miller 8:21

emotionally shoulder to cry on their right time. So that's awesome.

Dr. Brad Miller 8:25

You, let's say you really do go love moms, in general,

Dr. Brad Miller 8:30

but particularly moms who are in this

Dr. Brad Miller 8:31

circumstance, you really love don't you?

Dr. Melissa Reilly 8:33

Absolutely, without a doubt. I mean, I'm very passionate

Dr. Melissa Reilly 8:37

about supporting them, and letting them know that they're

Dr. Melissa Reilly 8:41

not alone, and that there isn't something wrong with them,

Dr. Melissa Reilly 8:44

just because this is really hard. They feel different, because they are different.

Dr. Brad Miller 8:48

Tell me about your calling, to serve in love.

Dr. Brad Miller 8:51

This particular group of people, particularly about maybe

Dr. Brad Miller 8:54

any person or any situation that you really saw what you shared was helpful.

Dr. Melissa Reilly 9:04

Well, I've, there's been a few women that I've worked with,

Dr. Melissa Reilly 9:12

that they don't have their mother, not because their mothers

Dr. Melissa Reilly 9:17

died, but because their mother is unhealthy for that. Okay.

Dr. Melissa Reilly 9:22

And I really find that this group of women in particular, really

Dr. Melissa Reilly 9:26

struggle. Because there's the sense of, you know, how can I reach

Dr. Melissa Reilly 9:30

out for help when I have a mom, but she's not healthy for me?

Dr. Melissa Reilly 9:35

And am I going to be looked at badly? Yeah, there's like this

Dr. Melissa Reilly 9:39

extra layer. And so I really want to be open to all moms who

Dr. Melissa Reilly 9:46

don't have the support and guidance of a loving mom next to

Dr. Melissa Reilly 9:49

them. And so that's whether the moms passed away, or

Dr. Melissa Reilly 9:53

their mom again is not healthy for them to be in their life.

Dr. Brad Miller 9:57

Do you have any? You have any specific story worried

Dr. Brad Miller:

about some, uh, you mentioned that kind of group of moms

Dr. Brad Miller:

with kind of a unhealthy or toxic mom or whatever it be.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And I'm just gonna press you a little bit. But a lot of our

Dr. Brad Miller:

listeners really like to hear these specific stories not to give

Dr. Brad Miller:

names or whatever. But do you have a story of a person

Dr. Brad Miller:

who was particularly transformed by some of the

Dr. Brad Miller:

things that you've worked on?

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

Absolutely. So there's this woman that I've been working with,

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

who has really struggled feeling like she was enough.

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

She had that toxic relationship with a mother with her mom,

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

and felt extremely guilty. Anytime that she would reach out

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

for help, she felt like she wasn't worthy of connecting. And

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

so we spent a lot of time kind of challenging that belief.

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

And talking about how that wasn't a real reflection of her value,

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

it was a reflection of what her mother was capable of giving to

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

her. Right. And so it wasn't, wasn't her. So we developed that

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

list of women and men that she could reach out to. And we

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

actually rehearsed and practice how she would do that.

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

And then the other area that she was really struggling with,

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

was a feeling that her time with her daughter was meaningful.

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

Because one of the things I've noticed is that a lot of times

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

moms without moms feel really pressured to do things perfectly.

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

Because they don't, again, they don't have that safety net

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

of a mom, constantly looking over their own shoulders. So

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

we spent a lot of time at giving ourselves permission to make

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

mistakes. So I would purposely have her do something at only 80%

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

instead of 100. So that she could recognize that not only

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

was her daughter still, okay, she was driving, and she was doing great.

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

And that she is mom didn't have to be at 100% all the time,

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

and that her fear of making mistakes was actually what was

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

getting in the way of her enjoying her interactions with her daughter.

Dr. Brad Miller:

So you saw some transformation there and

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

Absolutely. Confidence soared, as she was giving yourself permission to be more present.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And that's super fulfilling, when that happens to you

Dr. Brad Miller:

and helps to affirm what you're all about. And so I think

Dr. Brad Miller:

this is really interesting here, Melissa, that you've really hit

Dr. Brad Miller:

on a niche that I think is present, I think about situations in

Dr. Brad Miller:

my own ministry and counselling I've done I can think of a few

Dr. Brad Miller:

situations, which tend to kind of gave me an aha moment.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Oh, yeah. That may have been a part of that there is either

Dr. Brad Miller:

toxic mom or no mom present. something there that could

Dr. Brad Miller:

could be here. So I think every year, you've hit on

Dr. Brad Miller:

something that's very important. And, I'm sure there are

Dr. Brad Miller:

folks in our audience who that can be helpful, too.

Dr. Brad Miller:

So how can folks learn more about you? Dr. Melissa Riley

Dr. Brad Miller:

How can they find out what you offer what you're all about?

Dr. Brad Miller:

And maybe speak into their lives?

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

Yeah, well, I offer a complimentary 30-minute call to anybody

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

that reaches out to me, because providing support is really important.

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

So they can find that on my website, which is

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

So they are welcome to do that. I also have some free resources

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

out there. You know, some different guides for moms.

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

And also they can follow me on Instagram, @momswithoutamom on Instagram as well.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Easy enough to find and we'll put links to all of that in our website,

Dr. Brad Miller:

which is Fascinating area. And I got to

Dr. Brad Miller:

say, you know, I've worked a lot of folks and basically mental health

Dr. Brad Miller:

services and this type of thing. And I think you've hit on something

Dr. Brad Miller:

here, Melissa that I think is important. And I look forward to our

Dr. Brad Miller:

paths crossing again and seeing how this plays out. I think

Dr. Brad Miller:

you've got in your future you've got books and podcasts and

Dr. Brad Miller:

speaking engagements and other things out there who

Dr. Brad Miller:

knows they will see you on Dr. Phil or something like that as well.

Dr. Brad Miller:

I don't know but I think you've got an opportunity here.

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

Thank you and I did want people to know that I'm doing this

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

to coaching so you don't need to have a you know, significant

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

anxiety or depression. You don't need to seek out mental health

Dr. Melissa Reilly:

treatment to reach out to me I really support people wherever they are.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Online coaching is an important way to go and that's really

Dr. Brad Miller:

what Dr. Melissa Riley is offering a really a professional

Dr. Brad Miller:

service through the online framework and other opportunities

Dr. Brad Miller:

I'm sure will come along as well and check out her website

Dr. Brad Miller:

or go through to get there. So awesome

Dr. Brad Miller:

conversation today and Dr. Melissa Riley, we really thank you

Dr. Brad Miller:

and we appreciate the good work that you do for particular

Dr. Brad Miller:

area of need. And we thank you for being our guest today

Dr. Brad Miller:

on the beyond adversity podcast with Dr. Brad Miller.