Hello! I'm Gabby

I’m a mom of two beautiful girls and a baby nerd with degrees in psychology and human development. And I have a secret. 

I believe we live in a culture that discourages moms whose instincts don’t align with mainstream, Western parenting norms. We are told that if we don’t spank, or don’t sleep train, or breastfeed past infancy–you name it–we will be doing our children and ourselves a lifelong disservice.

So here’s the secret: The research doesn’t support that.

My mission at Mom Makes Joy is to help moms navigate motherhood with confidence–even when it goes against the grain.

posts to start with


From pregnancy to postpartum, infancy to childhood, and everything in between, motherhood is hard! Life with kids is hard! And we all go about it differently, learning tips and tricks along the way. Here’s how I’m doing mom life:

Attachment Parenting

Are you creating spoiled, dependent children by parenting without punishment? Will your baby ever learn to self-soothe without sleep training? I don’t think so! Learn more about the benefits of Attachment Parenting & positive discipline here:

Need breastfeeding help? Check out our sister blog NurturingMilk.com!


There’s a quote from George Bernard Shaw that I love, and it goes like this: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Just a couple years after getting married at the tender age of 21, I felt hopeless. I had gone from a size 2 to a size 10-pushing-12, I struggled deeply with anxiety and self-control, and I couldn’t stay on top of my chronic illness. In fact, I had convinced myself that my type 1 diabetes diagnosis would keep me from having children altogether, because I didn’t feel like I had the discipline to get my life on track.

And then something changed. Children have a way of doing that to you. Motherhood–or, at least the desire to be a mother–was the catalyst I needed to make a difference in my life.

Since then, I learned to love my imperfect body even at a size I didn’t like. I became a master at managing my chronic illness and transformed my relationship with food and exercise. I have had two perfectly healthy pregnancies, and wound up losing over 50 pounds after each one. I fit in my wedding dress again. Heck, even my home is cleaner! 

When I struggled with the demands of new motherhood, my experience overcoming previous obstacles gave me the confidence I needed to push forward.

And when I was told I was doing this whole mom thing “wrong,” my background in psychology and human development gave me the confidence I needed to continue following my instincts. Now, I help other moms do the same.


In the spring of 2013, Mom Makes Joy started out as a DIY/craft blog under the name Essentially Eclectic. But as I grew, so did my blog. You can still find all my old posts in the archives, but Mom Makes Joy is a different place now:

  • It’s about helping you make joy when you’re overwhelmed
  • It’s about learning ways to be a mom who does it all…or at least the stuff that matters
  • And it’s about finding peace in imperfection
  • It’s about raising kids with a commitment to gentleness AND boundaries
  • It’s about taking an evidence-based approach to parenting where you can…
  • And it’s about following your motherly instincts
  • It’s about discussing the hard parts of being a mom while remaining kind in disagreement
  • And it’s about remembering to treat yo’self–because being a mom is hard work!

These things can all be summarized in the six core values of the Mom Makes Joy community:


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