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? Britany Ek

When moms support other moms, beautiful things—and beautiful hair—can happen.


Back in January, California mom Britany Ek was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 35 years old. She knew treatment would be hard, physically and mentally, and she knew she would lose her long, blonde hair—and the $10,000 price tag for a custom wig seemed out of reach.

What Ek didn’t know was that soon she would have hair that made her feel like herself again, all thanks to social media and fellow moms from across the country.

“I posted in my Facebook moms group that I couldn't afford a wig that looked like my natural hair and a bunch of my friends in that group reached out via social media to their friends and communities asking for donations,” the mom of three told Motherly. “In less than a week, all the hair had been cut and was being mailed to my friend Allison in Florida. Allison then mailed the package off to my wig maker here.”

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The wig maker, Hair Couture Designs in Camarillo, California, was able to use several donated ponytails to craft a stunning, natural-looking wig that would have cost thousands of dollars had the hair bundles been purchased.

“They all came from people I had never met. It's amazing the kindness and generosity people have in them,” said Ek.

The donations also made Ek’s cancer battle slightly easier to comprehend for her three young sons.

“Me losing my hair really affected my six year old twins,” she said, adding that one of her boys told her he hoped her flowing hair would be back by Christmas.

Thanks to the Facebook group, Christmas came early for Ek, but her online mom friends were not the only moms in her life to lend support to the Navy wife during her time of need.

“I even had my Navy officer spouses club and local moms group deliver dinner to my family for six whole months. It was so helpful,” said Ek, who called the support of her community a true blessing.

Long before her Facebook friends helped her create her wig, one of Ek’s fellow Navy wives, Lauren Wenker with LaLa Clicks Photography, suggested a family photo session in the days leading up to Ek’s first cancer treatments. Those photos capturing Ek prior to her hairloss have proven to be a great gift to the mom as she moves through cancer treatment, giving her something to look back on on the days she feels sick of looking sick.

“I'm so glad she suggested it,” she said. “My mind was all over the place and family pics never crossed my mind.”

The hairstyle captured in those family photos was then emulated by Ek’s wig maker, who created a wig that gives Ek a natural looking hairline. She can even put it in a ponytail or braid it—and says it feels like magic. ✨

As her treatment continues, Ek remains thankful for her friends—those on Facebook and in person—and has some advice for other moms dealing with cancer and other illnesses.

“Be prepared to let people help you any which way they offer to.”

Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:


Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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