Eraina Ferguson is a special-needs advocate, journalist, mother of four, and TEDX speaker. Her company, My Good Life, enables families of children with special needs to live their best life despite their circumstances. Eraina’s memoir My Good Life about raising a daughter with special needs was published in 2020. It's the story of perseverance, faith, and hope. It is a story wrapped in goodness and love. Eraina lives in Torrence, CA with her husband and children.
I was first introduced to Eraina through our mutual friend in Chicago (thanks, Sara!) shortly after our family made a decision to move to LA. Though we haven’t met in person yet (our dinner is long overdue!), I’m in awe of Eraina’s outlook on life, resilience, passion, and her incredible optimism. I hope you’ll love getting to know her through her motherhood journey as much as I did.
Tell me a bit about yourself before you became a mother, and how did you change after becoming a mother?
My name is Eraina Ferguson and I am a mom of 4 daughters, 2,4,6, and 21. My oldest daughter has special needs. I was a single mother with her for 12 years and completed three academic degrees including one from Yale. I became a mother at the age of 20 while a sophmore in college. Though I was young, I embraced motherhood and clung to the safety, love and joy that it provided. Motherhood has shaped the way I see life.
What does your absolute dream version of motherhood look like?
My dream version of motherhood is the ability to raise, love, nurture and teach my children, while also being an example for them; professionally, personally, and spiritually.
What societal or cultural messages about motherhood frustrate you and how would you like to see them changed?
I am frustrated that oftentimes society expects us to perform motherhood publicly; that our process should be on display. They don't have the same expectations of fathers. Though I am somewhat public about certain aspects of motherhood. I am also private as well.
What do you do well? What really works for you? Do you have a secret? Your mom super power?
I really feel like I have a great relationship with all of my children. I try daily to consider them as a whole person, and remain empathetic to their feelings and needs. I love giving them activities to do and considering what will help them grow, but also what challenges them.
How do you take care of yourself? How do you deal with mom guilt?
I have a wellness coach (i.e a therapist). I think practicing wellness, especially mentally, is a focal point of how I mother my children. I also go alone to a hotel for an overnight stay at least once every couple months. It's so important. I order room service, watch TV and sleep.
What’s a topic related to motherhood, or life after becoming a mother, that you wish we talked about more?
I wish I learned more about the importance of engagement and floor time. Though I did a great job of taking care of my oldest daughter, I wish I had learned more about play and engagement the way I do with my 2,4, and 6 year old. Storytime, interaction, and play are an essential part of their growth.