Whole Parenting Family

Beware the Sanctimonious Mother (real or in your head)

managing kidsShe never ceases to shower her children with unending, personalized attention without fatigue or Jim Weiss. They engaged all day long with things like a detailed painting project wherein the child ne’er slides their paintbrush OVER ALL THE FURNITURE IN SIGHT whilst the mother is rummaging through the pantry after the toddler discovered the grandmother’s green food dye and now everything on lower shelves has to be moved.

She never shrieks at them to please LEAVE HER ALONE at the swimming pool changing areas, only to emerge and discover the two older had strewn their clothing, wet and dry alike, all over the changing room. All the whilst she was not struggling to get her wet clam-like suit off over her not untanned, unwaxed legs. Whilst she had been getting into said swimming suit, her daughter had asked her “is it supposed to be so tight?” 😐

She never escapes to her sewing studio, and certainly would never perform 90’s dance moves (alone, upper body only) to Uptown Funk (at a volume of 10 out of 5) because her husband is home and she would never need to have a loud longer term break from her darlings.

She never prays for silence inside her own never ending mind list real. She never cries in the bathroom on the phone to her mother over literally nothing. She never ever would think of complaining to her girlfriends (because her friends are lady friends) about her fill-in-the-blank.

And most importantly, this mother would never pray at mass to please please please give her the grace to be a vessel of LOVE. An example of PEACE. A model of KINDNESS. Because she already is.


If you have a friend in your life that you think is like this, either she’s very capable and is on her game and we have to just accept it and not be threatened by it, or she’s lonely and thinks she can’t share that mothering small children is hard, whether she’s working, or at-home, or a combination thereof. If you’re comparing yourself to an ideal, please, just don’t.

Part of why I share here about the challenges of mothering your whole child is to break that loneliness. To tell you I’m with you. And we’re in this together. And I don’t have it all together. And I never ever will. If I had these three kids, or I had ten more. When I had one child, when I had two–it’s not about the number of children.

Small children are mirrors of our inadequacies. I’m not going to feel bad for being inadequate, but I’m going to keep working hard to stay afloat and love those around me, all of us trying to do and be better while still loving where we are and who we are right now. In our wet swimsuited, out of shape, miraculous bodies.



  1. Mary Virginia on September 8, 2015 at 10:28 am

    my words for my morning: ceaseless symphony of snotty sobs. In other words: I feel you, sistah! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 9, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      hahaha XXOOXXOO

  2. Rachel @ Efficient Momma on September 8, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you for sharing and I feel the same way. It makes me so mad when other mom’s try to show off this perfect self and then I later find out they were suffering deep down the whole time.

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 9, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      We want to create a culture where women can share openly about their struggles!

  3. Laura on September 8, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    nell, your last few posts have helped me along in a pretty rough time on the Homefront these days. thanks for sharing and for your insight. I can’t tell you how helpful you’ve been.

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 9, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      Oh, sister. You just made my year. I’m so glad and I’m really sorry for the hard times. I’m with you in spirit and praying for you!

  4. Sandy on September 8, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Well said… it is so easy to think perfection is the goal. Motherhood is hard and also a blessing. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sara on September 9, 2015 at 2:33 am

    What a great post! This came at a time as I was praying last night for the grace to be able to love my children even more, especially my just turned four year old who refuses to use the potty!!

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 9, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      Four. SUCH A ROUGH AGE! Praying for that potty training!

  6. Shannon on September 9, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Your blog is such a lovely, compassionate place! Thank you, thank you.

  7. Christina on September 11, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I just cried a little, reading this. Ok, a lot. So hard not to compare. But comparison is the thief of joy and all that. Thank you for being so open and joyful even about the tough stuff. Needed this today!

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 11, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      oh honey!! XXOO