Newly crowned ACM Female Artist of the Year Maren Morris delivered one of the highlights of the 2020 ACM Awards on Wednesday night (Sept. 16), when she led her band in a warm, intimate rendition of "To Hell & Back" from the Ryman Auditorium stage.

In a virtual press room after accepting her trophy, Morris admitted that returning to the stage for the show was a little overwhelming, on a couple different levels.

"Well, I mean, the performance itself was so emotional, because we were at the Ryman," the singer says. "And it had been months since I had gotten to see my band. So even though we were performing for no audience, I felt like, 'Hey, at least we're getting to play live music for the first time in almost a year.'"

They could've stayed onstage for hours, she says: "We didn't want the song to end. We could have just kept going. Because, like, 'Oh, when are we going to see each other next?'

"It was emotional," Morris adds -- even more so because she's a new mom still navigating the balance between parenthood and her career.

"After you have a kid, especially, it's just like, you kind of have to fit back into your 'artist girl' shoes. And you're not just the mom, for a second," Morris says. "So it was a lot to absorb. But I had so much fun up there."

Morris has been open about how challenging it's been for her to strike a balance between life as an artist and life as mom to her baby boy, Hayes. It's been especially difficult being a new mom in the public eye, with plenty of trolls on Instagram ready to shame her parenting skills or criticize her as a mom.

"I mean, I guess I shouldn't be shocked [about getting shamed on social media] because I've had plenty of trolls come after me before," Morris says matter-of-factly. "But for some reason it feels like an extra betrayal when it's another mother shaming another mother.

"I just feel like we all need to give each other some grace. I would never do that, and I feel like I've learned to be less judgmental all around, being a mom, because it's extremely humbling," she continues. "So I would say, let's all do better and not put someone down that's obviously trying their best."

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