Whole Parenting Family

Mama Blunders and Life with Young Kids


It was just one of the many many lessons I’ve learned from being a mother.

Some of the most important parts of my job are to act with kindness and to own my ish.

Today everything exploded this morning. Miscommunications, missed expectations, running late to a friend’s house, my oldest suddenly with us instead of having big boy time, the instagram charity auction for Zelie & Co bustling, and a bad night the night before.

Cue me shouting and them all shouting and it’s 10 degrees and 20 below windchill and YES YOU MUST WEAR YOUR SNOWPANTS INTO THE CAR.

By the time we were all loaded into the car, I felt it. That regretful feeling in my stomach. I’m the adult. I need to control my crabby temper. Just because my kids are being rude and not cooperating doesn’t give me license to let loose on them. I am the adult. And once again, I’ve proven that mothering, for me, is the quickest way to being a better person.

Because instead of having control over my life, with minimalism well under way around the house, and days of creative output for me, and a well-balanced diet, and clothes that I enjoy wearing, I’m in the thick of real life with small kids. Our house is messy, our days are well worn with book reading and painting and hide & go-to-seek and naps, I’m eating pepperoni & melted cheese on tortilla chips, and I’m out of shape so my wardrobe is limited to clothing I don’t feel I’m yucking out in.

So that apology I issued to my kids in the car because my life isn’t under my control and they’re not robots? It’s sincere. I shouldn’t shout. They deserve respect. If the plans change and they don’t like it, they can voice that (within reason). And when I’m blundering my way through my feelings about my waistline or my sewing time or my playdate tardiness (aka excuse to see my girlfriend), I lose sight of what matters to me right now: how I treat them.

My son said: “We need more respect and to be included in what’s happening around here. I don’t like it when I have no say.” Ouch. OUCH.

Do they have a mama who is attentive and positive or one who is escaping and complaining? I don’t have to be “present” every moment and throw my iPhone out the window. I can scroll Facebook & watch to make sure no one brains another with a lego castle. But am I smiling at them? Am I respectful to them? Am I the grown up who’s in charge of my temper and my feelings?

In the car, I asked what we could have done better that morning to deal with the hurricane of all of it. SuperBoy gave good feedback and SweetPea reminded me it is unlegal for him to stay home by himself. BabyLoves shouted ME TOO and we worked toward a better day the rest of it. I was jolted out of my selfish view of the world.

It’s not my world anymore; it’s our world. And that makes me a better person.

A few good posts from the years gone by about similar things:

Day in the Life with Small Kids

My Day with Three Kids

Sample Day with Two Kids

Lenten Scripture Study for Moms Still Available! and I launched my spring legging line in la shoppe!

waiting in the word



  1. Ana on February 9, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Perfect Nell, so perfect. I really needed this today, thank you!

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 10, 2016 at 8:53 am

      Your post about your drive to ballet the other day was perfect for me, so there you go!!! XO

  2. Emily @ Bacon is the Way to Happiness on February 10, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Oh how I needed this. My son has been so sick… And I have caught his illness… So we’ve been on lockdown for so long, and it’s getting to us both. During this time, I have sunk so low in showing my frustration toward him. It’s so good to know I’m not alone, but more inspiring to see your example of overcoming a bad day.

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 10, 2016 at 8:53 am

      Ugh–so many bad days when the kids are sick. So sorry, sister!! XO

  3. Juliet on February 10, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Hits the nail on the head. So many times its more about my feelings than their behavior. I needed this!

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 10, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      I needed to remember it again, today!

  4. Amy @ Motherhood and Miscellany on February 10, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    I was such a horrid crabby Mommy today. This is so lovely to read, and so, so right on. <3

  5. Rosie on February 11, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    It’s always amazing to me how the times when I fail and speak in an un-loving manner are almost *always* directed at my children. And they forgive RIGHT away, but seriously, they’re people too! Working on it. Sigh.

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 12, 2016 at 12:30 am

      I know!! With you, sister.