Q&A with Melanie Shankle (aka Big Mama)

We all know and love her from her wildly popular blog, Big Mama. She also rocks the stage (along with Boo Mama) as one of the emcees for LifeWay’s dotMOM events. Now, come February, her first book will hit the shelves and you will not want to miss it!

Today, Melanie answers some of the questions that our readers have been dying to ask. melanie shankle-0357a (2)


Question 1 from Kristina in Franklin, TN: What is the most challenging part of motherhood for you?

I think the most challenging part of motherhood is almost everything.  But if I had to narrow it down I think it’s adjusting to each new stage.  I always feel like just when I have figured out how to handle a situation or deal with a certain issue then it all changes and I’m faced with a whole new problem.

And I also think it’s a challenge to remember I’m not raising a miniature version of myself. I can’t expect her to act like me or respond like me to everything.  She has her own thoughts and dreams and fears.

Question 2 from Sarah in Charleston, SC: What has been your biggest fashion faux pas?

I once wore a leopard print body suit (think snaps like a baby’s onesie) with denim shorts to the zoo.

I don’t think any further explanation is necessary.  Just say no to theme dressing.

Question 3 from @TalesofaPeanut: What is the best advice you have given or received on parenting pre-school/elementary age kids? 

Well, I rarely give advice unless you count when I tell Caroline not to lick the bottom of her shoe or to touch gum that’s under a table at a restaurant.

But the best advice I’ve ever been given is to pick your battles.  As moms we have to say no so often that it’s important to focus on the things we can say yes to and not make our kids feel like they’re losing every battle.  That’s why Caroline hasn’t brushed her hair since noon yesterday.  In the whole scheme of life it just doesn’t matter.

Unless it’s a Sunday morning and we’re going to church.

Question 4 from Sophie in Birmingham, AL: Assume Jackie Sherrill & Kevin Sumlin both want to go hunting for the weekend with your family. You can only pick one. Who wins?

This is like choosing if I’d prefer to have my eyes or my legs.  I have a deep and abiding love for both Jackie Sherrill and Kevin Sumlin.  But I think I’d have to go with Kevin Sumlin.  He is the future of Aggie football and what he has done with our program in one year is nothing short of amazing.

Plus, he appears to have charisma for days.  I bet he knows how to make a good S’more too, which is an essential hunting weekend item.

Question 5 from Kristina in Franklin, TN: Caramel,cheese or regular popcorn?

None of the above.  I am a kettle corn kind of girl.  And I make it on my stove with a ¼ cup of sugar and some kosher salt sprinkled on it.  DELICIOUS.

It just doesn’t feel natural for popcorn to taste like cheese.

Question 6: When is your new book going to be released and will you go on a book tour?

Sparkly Green Earrings comes out on February 8.  It still doesn’t seem real.Sparkly Green Earrings (2)

And, sadly, there will be no official book tour unless you count the twos of places I’ll be signing books which will be in Houston and San Antonio.  Oh, and I’ll also be signing books at Dot Mom in Dallas on February 22-23.

Question 7: What kind of dates do you go on with your husband?

We usually just go out for dinner somewhere.  This works for us because we both enjoy eating and we rarely agree on what constitutes a good movie.  So we enjoy a nice dinner and catch up on life and discuss our thoughts and dreams and whether or not we need a new mattress or hot water heater.

It’s very glamorous.  I hope you’re not jealous.


Don’t forget to leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win two tickets to the dotMOM event in February and see Melanie in person!!


Stacy Edwards is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is a freelance writer and a mom to four fabulous little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ.


  1. April Hixon says:

    I could read Big Mama post all day I think if I actually had the luxury of sitting around reading all day. Would love to win tickets to Dot Mom!

  2. Angelia Routzahn says:

    Luv the date!! Me and the hubby enjoy those kind too!! Ha ha usually with the two year old in tow but love every minute of it !!

  3. Love Melanie – would love to go to Dot.mom!

  4. Melissa Berry says:

    Pick your battles…so true!

  5. I’d wear a leopard print body suit with denim shorts for a chance to see Melanie.

  6. I love Big Mama!! Would live to win tix!

  7. Love bigmama, live in Dallas area, would LOVE to go!

  8. Tisha Ward says:

    I am a HUGE fan of Big Mama!!! She is amazing!! Would love to go!

  9. Would love to go!! Thanks!!

  10. Hi. I have been reading BigMama for years … love her. I would be THRILLED to win these tickets. I live about 2 hours from Frisco, and I really, really want to go!!!

  11. Love Big Mama! Really would love tickets!

  12. I really need a DOTMOM weekend!! I would love to win two free tickets!!!

  13. Ginny Vietti says:

    Would love to go to Dot.Mom!

  14. Loved reading your Q&A! I laughed pretty hard about the leopard body suit…I remember having a few body suits back in the day! What on earth made anyone think those were cute??? Haha

  15. I’d LOVE two tickets to dotMOM!

  16. Would LOVE to go!

  17. Love Bigmama!!

  18. So fun! We also spend most date nights at a restaurant discussing our dreams and looking at our calendars for the next week!

  19. Mandy Foreman says:

    I would love a chance to hear u speak! By the way, WHEN I have grand babies one day….I am going to insist I be called “Big Momma”!

  20. I would love to have the chance to hear you speak at DotMom! I have found myself laughing out loud several times while reading your book. I’m almost done and it makes me sad. Kinda like when I finished the Twilight series, The Hunger Games series, and Harry Potter series.