Teen pregnancies aside, Kailyn Lowry didn’t have an easy childhood. While taking questions from fans on Instagram, the star opened up about one sensitive subject: her mom. On Wednesday, October 23, she didn’t shy away from the topic when a fan asked her about her home life. Instead, she answered frankly and honestly about what her early years as a kid — and her present as a mom — has been like without her own mom.

“How do you cope not having your mom in your life?” a fan asked the star after she invited her followers to ask her questions as part of an Instagram Q&A. Simply put, Kail, 27, answered, “I don’t know any different.”  In her 2016 tell-all, Hustle & Heart, she opened up about what life was like growing up with an alcoholic mom — which essentially meant growing up without one. But she did have some positive influences in her life. When another fan asked who raised her while she was growing up, she answered, “Friends & sometimes family.”

Kailyn Lowry Opens Up About Coping Without Her Mom
Courtesy of Kailyn Lowry/Instagram

But not knowing any different doesn’t mean that Kail’s life hasn’t been difficult without having her mother there to help. In her 2018 book Letter of Love, she talked more about how her relationship with her parents informed her ability to be a parent. “I didn’t ever have an example of a mother or father when I was growing up,” she explained. “Since I didn’t have a point of reference on how to love, I desperately want my boys to understand that I have tried to love them in the best way that I can.”

In recent years, however, the Teen Mom 2 star has debated about reaching out to her mom. On her podcast Coffee Convos, she debated trying to reconnect. After she realized none of her relatives were at son Lux’s birthday party, she said she felt like she “doesn’t have a family” at all. “My sister didn’t come, my mom didn’t come, I don’t even have a dad,” she said. “My third son just turned one and my mom, I haven’t heard from her. I’m kind of in my feelings about it.”

Revealing that it had been years since they’d been in touch, Kail considered that, while she doesn’t need her mom, her kids might. “I want my kids to have a grandma on my side,” she said. “But I don’t know if I can handle it. When my mom’s sober, she’s such a good person. She’s a good time, so I want my kids to experience that.”