Whole Parenting Family

February in like a funk

So what’s that phrase? March in like a lion, out like a lamb? I vote there should be one for February. In like a funk, out like ___. “a fun time?” “a frenzy?”

This month has been bitterly cold. January is always bitterly cold in Minnesota, but this Feb has taken the cake. When I was little, it was cold like this, but now as an adult, it’s been relatively mild for a while. Yes, Minnesotans talk about the weather, a lot. There’s a debate (light hearted? cold hearted?) going on both on my instagram and Facebook about how many layers we bundle our kids up to go out in the morning. Watch me zoom around getting everyone into their duds and you tell me! (I let them play in the snowbanks on the way back in so that’s part of the snow pants part!) (I also was always cold as a kid so . . . projecting?)

The funk has been more pervasive for me than the cold weather.

Maybe it’s because I saw a single mom friend’s support system crumble. Maybe it’s because a friend’s baby is home on hospice. Maybe it’s because we attend kinder-12th grade Mass at our parochial school and I want to earnestly remind all the high schoolers that this is the best way to spend your morning (like a crazy middle aged mom) as some of them giggle in the pew and crack their knuckles.

When my kids are all in school and I’m facing hours of my own time to myself, I’ll find another excuse why the bathrooms aren’t clean and I’m not exercising. I’ll have reasons why I can’t call that older old friend and say hello even if I might not speak to them again. And it won’t be because I’m nursing down for naps.

Hold on, Nell! So profound!

But it hit me deeper, in a raw place, of excusing myself from completely entering into my own life because I’m either annoyed I can’t do what I want, or held back from diving in with the kids for fear of losing what little is left of me.

That which is left of me from pre-kids is pretty slender, given I’ve either been nursing or pregnant for 8 years. I’m still pre-baby me. I’m selfish and I’m small, I’m gluttonous and I’m lazy. Having kids has made me less filled with all these vices because I must tend to them and their needs, even if I’m doing it without a charitable heart. Let’s hope I lose all of that!

I’m using the fact I have littles in my life as the ultimate excuse for not being fully preset to my life.

What’s holding you back from being fully present to your own life? Lent is the perfect time for me to examine these ugly truths, these things I’d rather paper over with chocolate late at night (because no sweets is our thing!). If you’re doing the Lent journal along with thousands of other Blessed is She sisters, I’m praying alongside you. I hope you’re brave enough to face your ugliness too and come out from the 40 days a little more honest, a little more real. I hope to be!


  1. Nicole on February 16, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    This was so good and so timely and so…just YES!

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 18, 2018 at 11:27 am

      In this together, girl!

  2. Lindsey on February 17, 2018 at 7:34 am

    I agree with you on this, Nell. It’s been easy for me with littles to just “let life happen” without taking charge of things myself, to be my authentic self and pursue growth and passions and whatnot. Really hard. At least you sew and make beautiful things and have a great community of women! Let that carry you through for now!

    My husband has been instrumental in pushing me to do new things and to not stay stagnant. I resist so much though! Why?!?! Why would I insist on staying in such a sad and stagnant state? Must be my sin and selfishness struggling with it all.

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 18, 2018 at 11:26 am

      I think this is our lent, sister! we are gonna make big changes! Mostly just to let God in and let Him love us!

  3. Emily on February 17, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Can completely relate! Definitely asking myself some of those same questions – comforting to see other people asking them too. Thanks for your honesty! It helps me with mine!

    • Natural Mama Nell on February 18, 2018 at 11:26 am

      So glad we are in this together!

  4. Pomeline on February 19, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    I love your humble heart Nell! I had a ah-ha moment this weekend where I realized one of my own little ugly truths and I’m glad God gave me the grace to reveal this to me at the beginning of Lent. I now feel encouraged to attack this vice specifically during the rest of Lent.

  5. Ashley on February 20, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Needed. this. SO MUCH. Blessings to you, Nell!

  6. isaqnaser on February 25, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks you from all the Natural Mama Nell’s.

  7. Siobhan on March 5, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    It is as though you read my heart! This is me! Now for the grace to overcome my “ugly truths!”