Whole Parenting Family

On Making Where You Are Awesome

whole parenting family

My newest discovery: I finally feel like where I am, as imperfect as it is, can be awesome without that meaning I’ve given up on ever getting properly dressed.

Maybe it’s the night weaning a few months back. Maybe it’s the return of my cycle. Maybe it’s the awesomeness of a five year old as leader of the pack. Something clicked over for me in the past month or two: I really like where I am, even though it’s not perfect nor is it where I plan//hope to be as a person forever.

Maybe we start with mere acceptance and fortitude of our circumstances, but where grit has gotten us through turns into a place of love. We can love where we are, WITHOUT IT BEING OUR IDEAL PLACE OR EVEN OUR END GOAL.

Now I’ve resorted to shouting on the internet. Sorry.

I’ve been in a place where I’ve cheered myself on the frump mom and told me to indulge myself til the cows come home with more ice cream and Netflix. That’s not healthy. I’ve also been in a place where I’m paralyzed by indecision as to which chaotic pile in my life to tackle first, feel guilty and overwhelmed that I’m not on top of everything, and despaired in not being mom-who-does-it-all. That’s also not healthy.

So beyond both of those places is this place, right now. It means:

The things I don’t like about me and my life aren’t going to stop me from still loving my life.

I don’t want to spend the rest of my life not exercising regularly. I don’t want to not floss my teeth every night. And I don’t want to cancel frequently on plans I really would love to do because a kid has a thing (disease, grumpy, teething, no sleep, insane temper tantrums, whatever). I don’t want to fly by the seat of my meal planning pants. And I don’t want to be late to everything, especially Sunday mass. I don’t want to live in constant messes made by kids who rip up kleenex like it’s an Olympic sport. If I add up all the “I don’t wants,” they would logically equal “I must not be happy then.”

Nope. I’m choosing conscious contentment (happiness? peace? joy? Something like that).

When I list out all the good things about my present day life, I can’t resist delighting in them.

My hormones feel regulated. My brain feels less mushy (mom brain is a REAL thing (there I go shouting again)). My husband is healthy and happy and loves his job and getting up with any stray child at night. My parents are alive. A family friend who’s a second father to me almost died in a fire but didn’t!!!! My siblings want to talk to me regularly. I love their spouses. My nieces and nephews know my kids even though we live thousands of miles apart.

Acceptance can be a celebration without being complacency.

After three kids (and hoping for more), yes, my breasts slope more than they used to and yes my stretchies on my thighs probably aren’t leaving. I may get really good at shout-free parenting someday.  I don’t regularly do (brush?) my hair and never do makeup. I often wear clothing that isn’t cute or even well-fitted and I’m not ashamed anymore. My smile for my husband is sexy, even if I don’t look fabulous anywhere else.

I’m a work in process. God’s working on me to be kinder, more loving, more compassionate, and more understanding. Not only of my kids but of other moms around me. Ladies, if you love to shower & put your face on for the day, more power to you! If you don’t, solidarity. I want to lift you up in love and support. I want you to feel like where you are is okay, even if it’s not where you want to be in the long run.


  1. Hannah Hilgendorf on October 14, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Amen, sister! The fight for (and acceptance of) contentment is one that so often gets lost among all the shiny battles (quiet time! Clean clothes! Punctual dinners! Exercise! Tidy house!) that are worthy of exertion, but worthless outside of contentment.

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 15, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Well said, my friend!

  2. AnneMarie Miller on October 14, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Preach it! I love how you note that acceptance isn’t complacency-we all have different seasons of life that we go through, and it’s good to be at peace in the present moment without desiring that the season will last forever. Having the peace of contentment really flows through all areas of life, and just makes things way better. I’m definitely a work-in-progress in the contentment-in-the-present boat, but I’m getting there! 🙂

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 15, 2015 at 9:48 am

      You say it so beautifully!

  3. Charlene McGuckin on October 14, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Loved reading this and felt like you put into words (so beautifully) everything I’ve been thinking about/struggling with. Seriously thank you and I’m so happy I stumbled upon your blog!

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 15, 2015 at 9:48 am

      I’m so glad you’re here and that it spoke to you! These are challenging times in our lives but they can be beautiful without being set-in-cement!

  4. Gina on October 15, 2015 at 11:38 am

    This is so good. <3

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 15, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      You’re so kind.

  5. Bernadette on October 16, 2015 at 6:40 am

    When I saw the title, I thought, “That’s strange, she has such a gorgeous home!” … Having rented for so long, I always tend to think of this issue in terms of making home and feeling content in a temporary space (physical space). But after reading, I love it even more that you’re not talking about physical space, you’re talking about situations/conditions. Thanks for the encouragement! I tend to keep thinking, “When our schedule settles down … When the baby sleeps through the night … When I can get a handle on this housekeeping thing …” that then we can start enjoying life — meanwhile, babyhood and toddlerhood is slipping by. It helps that October is my favorite month, so I’ve been more inclined to forget the housework and seize the moment!

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 17, 2015 at 11:11 am

      If I wait til things are in place, I will WAIT FOREVER!!! Hugs, mama! Seize that day!

  6. Geena Harrington on October 21, 2015 at 1:10 am


  7. Mary Virginia on October 26, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Seriously. AMEN is about all I can think to say… and
    G’ahead and SHOUT this on the internets. I won’t complain!! 🙂

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 28, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      hahaha love it.