Introducing Marissa Johnson…An Ann Arbor Mom

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Hey! I’m Marissa, an Ann Arbor mom but a Lansing mom at heart!

Lansing Mom in Ann Arbor

I was born and raised in Lansing. While completing my undergraduate degree, I lived in Saginaw and spent five years there. Besides my recent move to Ann Arbor and my time in Saginaw, I’ve lived in the Lansing area all my life. I’m a working mom of one, and our little family recently relocated to Ann Arbor. I’ll always be a Spartan at heart but I honestly love the area and our new condo!

An Instant Single Mom

When I pictured myself entering motherhood, I imagined I’d be madly in love and married. This was not the case; I know women don’t typically plan to become single mothers but I couldn’t help feeling like what I was living was not supposed to be MY story. When I was seven months pregnant I realized that my current three year relationship with my daughter’s father wasn’t going as well as I hoped. Instead of staying, I found a two bedroom apartment to rent for my daughter and I.

I officially ended things with my daughter’s father when she was about four months old. It was ROUGH! Caring for a newborn alone was stressful. My daughter had GERD and she was so uncomfortable that she just didn’t sleep some nights. I remember being awake until 6:00 a.m. some nights, nursing and consoling her, while also crying myself. I have tears as I write this because those were literally some of the most trying times of my life. Eventually, we had our own little routines and I was killin’ the single mom thing as best as I could.

Accomplishing Dreams

I know a lot of moms say their first child made them grow up, but it’s so true! All of a sudden, I had this beautiful baby girl and I was her primary provider. That lit a fire in me like no other. I was so determined and wanted to do whatever I could to make sure I never failed her.

I always wanted to go to graduate school so I could achieve my next career goals, but just never got around to it. With some prayer, I decided to apply. I was accepted into the Master of Social Work program at Michigan State University. I started graduate school shortly after my daughter turned one. Thanks to COVID-19, she didn’t get to cheer me on as I walked across the stage like I had hoped, but she helped me celebrate on the day that would have been my graduation day.

Now, I am a child and family trauma therapist and I couldn’t be more proud of the work I do. I’m extremely passionate about trauma treatment and helping people heal. I also have a passion to erase the stigma on mental health, especially among people of color. I’ve recently started a mental health related instagram account called Healin The Hood, where I share mental health tips and information.

My Little Superstar

My daughter, Izzy is three years old. She is a powerhouse full of personality and she loves to dress up like her favorite princesses and perform for family and friends. She is literally my “little sunshine.”

Izzy is very determined for her age and has a lot of sass. I try my best to channel it in a positive way. She’s super smart and talks very well for her age. Izzy is definitely my “little broke best friend.” Her favorite line is “Mom can you buy me that?” and I usually do. She may pretty much get what she wants, but she’s a super appreciative and respectful kid. I’m really big on helping her learn how to appropriately express herself, so we talk about about our feelings, identify them aloud, and use our coping skills.

Healing and Finding Love

When I ended the relationship with my daughter’s father, I really struggled emotionally. Battling postpartum depression, raising a newborn on my own, and getting over a break-up all at once, I was the epitome of a hot mess. I took advantage of being by myself and took the time to properly emotionally heal. I wanted to be the best “me” I could be for Izzy and myself.

A little less than a year later I began dating an acquaintance. My current boyfriend, Quinten and I have known each other since 2014 when we met through a mutual friend. He started subtly flirting with me on social media and I took the bait! We began dating and I’ve pretty much had a permanent smile on my face ever since.

I never thought men like Quinten existed. His love for me is so out loud and unconditional. We are a prime example of “opposites attract.” We’re so different but we complement each other so well. He and Izzy also adore each other! She calls him her “QQ” and I love their bond! We’ve become the best little family I could ask for and I can’t wait to share more about me, and my adventures with them in Ann Arbor, as a Lansing Mom writer! If you want to keep up with us on Instagram, you can find us @CurlyMommyLife.

Want to learn more about the Lansing Mom Team? Just head here!

 

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