Independent Mama is the story of my own journey, the coming together of motherhood and me-hood. It was by far the hardest part of becoming a mother, and I wish I’d been able to prepare for the mental shift as well as I had lovingly prepared my baby’s nursery. I share my story here because I know I am not the only one facing this identity crisis, and I want to connect with and inspire moms like you who are figuring it all out, too!

Before I became blessed with my sweet son Enzo, I hiked the mountains of Peru and taught English to kids in Costa Rica. I road tripped across the US sleeping in the back of my car with my camera and my cat. I backpacked Europe, jumped out of planes, and took every opportunity to try something new.

And then I relinquished that part of me to motherhood, because being me while also being his mom felt so damn overwhelming and I felt like I had to give up myself just to get through the day.

It’s what brought on the panic attacks and the therapy, and ultimately the realization that I was having an identity crisis. How can one be nurturing and utterly devoted to a child while also giving in to impulses to adventure away?

It felt impossible for some time, but eventually I realized that by withholding that part of myself from my kids, I was hurting them.


Once I stopped blaming myself for not being the perfect mother, it was so much easier to give my son the person that I WAS. And guess what, it turns out he craves adventure as much as I do!

I have four kids now and I joke that my oldest was my practice baby. But we are making up for lost time!

“Life is too short to stop exploring and learning.”

So that’s it! I laugh too much, read too little, and play a damn good game of foosball. If you want to do something ill-advised like cuddle a croc or jump in ice water, I’m probably your girl. And I’ll bring my camera along, too. 😉

Stick around!

Hi! I’m Pamela!

I believe that your personal identity is enhanced by motherhood, not eclipsed by it.

I listen to PBS in my minivan and take out library books (from the adult section!).

I hang a wall map in my dining room and dream of my next big trip while fighting with my kids over how many bites of salmon they have to eat.

I drink tequila and coffee and dance to 90s hip hop and live in yoga pants and snarky tees.

I fight anxiety and depression with sunshine and fresh air and meds and ‘me time’.

I am proud of my decisions. I am raising headstrong sons and daughters.

The Major Players here…

Pamela is your resident blogger, doodler, and shirt designer. She is also a professional photographer and freelance writer. She and her partner are raising 4 creative, determined kids.

As this site is primarily fueled by caffeine, her favorite shirt design is of course the Coffee First shirt!

Email her directly for collaborations or projects.

Pamela’s partner Mark is as feminist as they make them. He encourages her to travel alone, mow the lawn (if she wants!), and follow her blogging dreams. Without his support, Independent Mama would not exist.

Oh yeah, and he DOES wear his spouse shirt in support of his wife. 😎

The kids!

Enzo, 9, is fearless. He’s my yes child when it comes to adventuring around, and is an old soul in a tiny body. His favorite Independent Mama shirt is the Be Different shirt.

Maya, 8, is equal parts sweet and sassy. You’ll find her taking care of the baby, doing somersaults, or complaining about the cold weather. She also enjoys taking a turn at designing a shirt now and then!

Luca, 6, is a creature of habit but responds well to bribery. You’ll often find him curled up with a good book. Luca is a big fan of the Owl shirt.

Jude, 3, will do anything the big kids do! He’s a lot more manipulative than he lets on, and is always up for a hike. ❤️ Currently Jude’s favorite shirt is the Free Spirit design.