From One Mother to Another

Before I became a mother, I said and thought really, really stupid things. Truly, I am so embarrassed by these things, it makes me cringe just thinking about them. I was soooo naive. I remember having dinner with a mentor from my church, who had grown children, and she asked me if I was going to stay home once I had kids. Here was my answer (I’m cringing as I write this), “Well, if I do stay at home, I’m going to have at least 4 kids, so that it will be a challenge.” I seriously just threw up. Who did I think I was?!?! And here comes another painful thing to admit. I remember walking through Target and seeing a child scream and throw a fit, and I thought, “Oh, MY children won’t do that.” Seriously, can you believe I thought that?!?!

Well, that pride was stripped away within seconds of having my first, and thank goodness! That person needed a good humbling experience, and what a humbling experience the last 4 and half years have been for me. You see, ever since I had my boys, I have been fighting feelings of inadequacy. Especially since I had such unrealistic expectations to begin with! My head has been filled with thoughts like: “Why can’t you get your baby to stop crying?”, “Why aren’t you cherishing this 2am feeding?”, “Why don’t you love playing with play dough?”, “Why can’t you get your son to listen to you?”, “Why aren’t you happier as a mom?”, “Why do you get so frustrated with them…shouldn’t you be nicer?”, and “Why do you get so impatient?”. As you can imagine, all of these thoughts really had me down. And not to mention, were totally sucking the fun out of being a mom! I just kept wondering, “What’s wrong with ME?!?! IF you were a good mom, you would be able to do all of these things, and you would do them happily.” After all, “these years go by so fast” -AHHHHHHH! Well, I’m on the mend thanks to Dr. Brene Brown’s book, “The Gifts of Imperfection“. In the book she had us take Dr. Neff’s Self Compassion Scale. I had the lowest possible score, ouch! I’m realizing that these kinds of thoughts are not OK, and I need to start being a little nicer to myself. One of my favorite quotes from her book was about self compassion.

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life” – Christopher K. Germer

I’m slowly but surely learning to be OK with myself as God made me, just the way I am. I’m allowing myself to realize that I’m really terrible at bringing both boys to the grocery store. Frankly it puts me in a really bad mood, because I’m really bad at multi-tasking, and that’s OK! I’m allowing myself to realize that if I wake up annoyed with how much my boys are talking, because I’m not a morning person, it’s OK! I still love them! I’m realizing that if I get frustrated and raise my voice at my boys, its OK! I still love them! In fact, when I apologize, it’s a teaching moment that no one is perfect and that apologizing isn’t a weakness, it’s an act of love! I’m realizing that if I don’t love playing Lego’s, it’s OK! I still love them! I’m letting go of the mom I think I should be and embracing the mom I am.

But you know what the best part about learning to be nicer to yourself is? You start being nicer to everyone else. You see, when I started to not expect myself to be perfect, I stopped expecting everyone else to be. I started to accept and love the people around me just the way they were, especially other moms. I started to understand and relate that we are ALL just trying to do our very best, and if we don’t start being nicer to ourselves, we will end up defeated. All of us! So, from one mother to another, let’s be nicer to ourselves, so that we can be nicer and more accepting of each other. This way we can all win, because we are all just trying to do our very best! Love to all of you on this Mother’s Day.

Now you know why I took a picture of this quote from my Lulu Lemon bag!


  1. April Hoff May 11, 2014

    Whoa. This post really spoke to me…especially that last quote. I’m going to get that book! Thanks for the inspiration, Carly! πŸ™‚ Happy Mother’s Day!

  2. Babs May 11, 2014

    Thank you for this.

  3. Happy Mothers Day!

  4. Amber Durbin May 11, 2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Amber Durbin May 11, 2014

    Carly, I really needed this today! Thank you for the honest post. It takes a lot of courage to admit these feelings. It’s something I struggle with daily. I will definitely need to read that book!


  6. KGolden May 11, 2014

    Great post!!! Love you bunches!!

  7. Allison Stasney May 11, 2014

    You are such an awesome mom! Love that you’re willing to grow and let God change you. What a sweet lesson for those boys.

  8. Love you! Love this post! Acceptance and compassion for others and ourselves, thank you!

  9. Devin May 11, 2014

    You are something else. Proud & honored to call you my friend.

  10. Jeanie May 11, 2014

    Excellent post. I can relate.

  11. Susan Pelizzaro May 12, 2014

    Thank you for this post! I love it. Happy Mothers’ Day to you πŸ™‚

  12. Kristin Cogan May 12, 2014

    …and done! Just finished stalking, I mean, reading, your blog. I enjoyed all of it! So many wonderful tips, but I must say that this was my favorite post by far. It is so easy to compare ourselves to the person next to us, but we all have our “things” to deal with. None of us are perfect and as soon as we start accepting our own imperfections it becomes easier to deal with the imperfections around us.

    PS. Brene Brown is awesome!

  13. {Hi Sugarplum!} May 12, 2014

    Such a great post, and all so true!! I think I need to get that book STAT!!! I am laughing at your non-multi-tasking skills…bc I’ve seen that at work first hand! πŸ˜‰ And you may not realize this, but just the few moments you spent styling me, and the things you said, have greatly impacted how I view my body. It’s like something clicked and I’m embracing it…just as it is…different or not, it’s mine! xoxo

  14. Kara May 12, 2014

    This post really resonated with me. Thank you so much for writing this. I think I need to read that book as well.

  15. Shelly May 12, 2014

    OMG. This post IS me!!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I am going to run out and get Brene Brown’s book!!! Love your style AND your outlook on life. Thanks for being real!!! Oh, and I have three little boys and I don’t like legos or play dough either πŸ™‚


    • I hope you love the book as much as I do! Thank YOU for being real! Legos and play dough, got nothin on the amount of love we have for our boys!

  16. mns May 12, 2014

    Love this post! xo molly

  17. ARTENDEAVOR May 12, 2014

    The Gifts of Imperfection was game changing book for me! So glad it made it’s way into your life!

    Love from Memphis

  18. What a great message. I need to get that book for myself and also for my mom and sister!

  19. Margo May 13, 2014

    Love that you mix in such frank talk on your style blog – I think it’s a truly beautiful person who can talk about these things in a humble, helpful way. thank you so much. I have never enjoyed playing with toys with my children – I invite them into my activities and that works SO much better.

  20. Angeline May 17, 2014

    I love this post so very much….how did you know what I’m thinking too?! Such encouraging words that I need to hear now. Your blog is the best…on so many levels…thanks for sharing and inspiring daily.

  21. Kimble April 24, 2017

    thank you for this! I just resigned from an almost 20 year career to stay at home with my three kids (5 and under). I have been struggling a little (lots) even though I know it is where God has me! I. We’d to cut myself a little slack! Geh… the dialogue in my head is awful! Maybe then I can cut others (my kids/my husband) a little slack too!

    • Carly Lee April 24, 2017

      Oh, you should hear the dialogue in my head! It’s terrible! I fight it daily. I refer to it as my “Grump Slump” you can read about it here –> Anyway, I’m right there with you. I’m grateful this resonated with you, and thank you for your comment.


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