author spotlight: Shannon Hyland-Tassava

Motherhood can be challenging enough without having a “friend” looking over your shoulder, commenting on everything you’re doing wrong, says Shannon Hyland-Tassava in her excellent letter “The Mommy Wars Killed Our Friendship.”

“Of all the shocking truisms of parenting that no one tells you about before you have that first baby–and there are so many!–the most surprising for me was the fact that parenthood would cause me to lose friends. Who knew? No one warns you about these things when you’re newly pregnant and consumed only with hazy-sweet images of pastel crib bedding and impossibly tiny newborn diapers. Ah, so much fodder for flailing self-doubt; before becoming a mother, I had no idea! The breastfeeding or bottles debate! The cry-it-out zealots vs. the attachment aficionados! The question of whether to stay at home or return to work! TV for toddlers or no TV? Sugar and Goldfish crackers, or organic health-food only? Nanny? Commercial childcare center? Home daycare? The list of potential mothering minefields goes on and on, and somewhere in there is the demise of a friendship or two, including yours and mine. I’ve become used to the hyper-competitiveness that sometimes shows up within the ranks of certain insecure moms. Still, I never expected to field mommy-wars direct fire from a longtime friend…”

SHANNON HYLAND-TASSAVA is a writer, clinical psychologist, and mother to two young daughters. Having left her private psychotherapy practice and hectic urban lifestyle shortly before the birth of her second child, she currently focuses on freelance writing, consulting, and at-home parenting in a small rural college town in southern Minnesota. She has written for Motherwords magazine, The Mothers Movement Online, Macalester Today magazine,, Girlfriends magazine, and MotherVerse online. She writes an occasional mind/body health column for her town’s newspaper and is a health and wellness consultant for clinics and businesses. She writes daily about her adventures in modern motherhood at EDITOR’S NOTE: Shannon is definitely in contention for “most enthusiastic” contributor (tied with a few others, but it’s a close call!) 🙂

To read the rest of Shannon’s letter, and 35 others, pick up P.S. What I Didn’t Say: Unsent Letters to Our Female Friends, now available on Amazon!



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