My Personal Journey as a Mom

My Personal Journey as a Mom

As I sit with other moms in Chic-Fil-A while our kids play in the indoor playground, I’m reminded of just how hard this job is. We give so much to our kids, and rightly so, but this job is tough. This job is sacrificial. This job is refining. This job is worth it and honorable, but it is hard. I have personally struggled with just how hard this job is. Quite frankly, I had no idea what motherhood looked like. I did not have a shining example of a mom to replicate (I know I’m not alone in this). Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe she was doing her best, but it wasn’t a great example.

Well, the hard job of motherhood started to get to me. For a long time I was taking care of my boys so fervently, I lost myself. I would get a free second to myself and  would have no idea what to do with it. I didn’t even know what I enjoyed doing! I was crabby and exhausted. My relationship with God suffered, therefore my relationship with my husband and my kids suffered. I knew I needed to change things, but I didn’t know how I could when I was so depleted spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

My Personal Journey as a Mom

I sought help and one of the first things we talked about was “self care”. My friend Katie calls it the “oxygen mask” concept- “put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting the children around you”. Also known as, “if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy”. Well, “who has the time for self care?”, I thought! Now, looking back on things, I understand why this was (and still is) so important. How was I going to take care of my boys if I wasn’t taking care of myself? I watched my own mother numb her sufferings and stresses and not take care of herself. In doing so, she hurt a lot of people in her life, including her daughter (me).

My Personal Journey as a Mom

Obviously, it’s a lot easier for me to take care of myself spiritually, emotionally and physically now that my boys are in school 5 days a week. But man, I wish I would have realized how important this was to do when my boys were young. Even if I had to hire a babysitter! Things would have been so much better and maybe sweeter. Now I realize how important it is to take time to spend with God, see my counselor, talk to a close friend or go to an exercise class! I still fight feelings of guilt, but I try very hard to nip that guilt in the bud and celebrate the healthy mom I’m becoming! I’m taking care of myself, and in turn, enjoying a sweeter, more peaceful, God centered life!

My Personal Journey as a Mom

If I could, this is what I would tell my younger self- Take care of yourself on Mother’s Day and every day! Do it for you, do it for your family,  and do it guilt free!

Lots of love to all of you Mama’s on this Mother’s Day weekend! This job is hard! I’ve got your back.

Pictures by Candid Chic Photography

36 Comments

  1. Claire May 5, 2016

    Such a beautiful post and so very true!! I can relate to everything that you are saying. Happy Mother’s Day!! ?

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 5, 2016

      Thank you, Claire. Happy Mother’s Day to you.

      Reply
  2. Phyllis May 5, 2016

    You’re one of the neatest people I’ve never met! : ) Carly, you’re making the world a better place with your honestly and encouragement here. As someone who’s old enough to probably be your mom {or let’s say older sister} ha, I am proud of how you share your life in the hopes that it helps others. Happy Mother’s Day to you! {And oh my goodness, these photos are so sweet and perfect for this post.}

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      Phyllis, I’m so thankful for you. Your comments are always so thoughtful. You encourage me.

      Reply
  3. Marcella Collins May 6, 2016

    Thanks for sharing this! Such good advice! Happy Mother’s Day!

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      Happy Mother’s Day!!

      Reply
  4. Libby May 6, 2016

    Perfect timing on this- I was just asking Matt yesterday if my mommy guilt would ever go away?! Happy mothers day!

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      Mommy guilt be gone! I sound so confident, HAHAHAHAHA! We both know I struggle with it all the time. Remind me of this post next time I mention my own mommy guilt to you. Happy Mother’s Day!

      Reply
  5. Anne May 6, 2016

    Thank you for such an honest and true post! When we want to do things a little differently then our own mothers (God love them), it’s hard to know how much is enough! I like the oxygen mask quote…helps put things in perspective! Happy Mother’s Day and love the beautiful pics with your boys!!

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      I totally agree. I tend to try to be perfect. Obviously, that doesn’t work out well. Hahahaha!

      Reply
  6. Colleen May 6, 2016

    Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing. Those are GREAT family photos!

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      Thank you!

      Reply
  7. Kristen May 6, 2016

    You rock! Thanks for such an honest and uplifting message! Beautiful pics of a beautiful family!

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      Thank you, Kristen! I think you rock, too!

      Reply
  8. Peggy Page May 6, 2016

    I follow your posts and I must say I look forward to each new one. This one touched my heart even as a grandmother. I have regrets but now I realize I still need to take time for me as a grandmother. Thanks for reminding me with your heartfelt thoughts .

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      Peggy, Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Reply
  9. Jennifer Mountjoy May 6, 2016

    Very sweet post Carly! You’re raising your boys to be happy, comfortable, content men, not because you’re a perfect mom but because you’re honest and accepting of your own imperfections. I love your family photos!

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      I’m trying, you know I’m trying! Thanks for your comment, Jen. MUAH!

      Reply
  10. Evan Allen May 6, 2016

    What a wonderful post Carly! A good reminder for me. Happy Mothers Day!

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      E, It’s a good reminder for me, too! I don’t think I’ll ever stop needing an “oxygen mask” reminder!

      Reply
  11. Robyn May 6, 2016

    I wonder when motherhood or parenthood became so difficult? People of my mother’s and grandmother’s generation saw it as a part of life. I love to read Dr. Rosmond and he suggests that we take parenting to seriously. We can love our children but need to realize that parenthood hasn’t recently been invented. People have been doing it for thousands of years or more.

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      Yes, I agree. I think I take life too seriously sometimes. I’ll check out Dr. Rosmond. Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  12. Carolyn May 6, 2016

    I love the last pic of your cute family. My boys are still young and I try to remind myself of this daily.

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      I have to remind myself of this daily, too. But at least we are reminding ourselves! Right? I hope you are doing well.

      Reply
  13. Alice May 6, 2016

    Wonderful post Carly! You are an inspiration to me. You’re the best daughter-in-law ever!
    Thank you for making me a grandmother, Gigi.

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      Thank you, Alice! You have been such a wonderful and helpful mother-in-law to me. I don’t know what I would do, and our family would do, without you. We love you.

      Reply
  14. Brooke May 6, 2016

    What very special and important post! Thanks for always keeping it real and for making it okay to say it like it really is. Happy Mother’s Day friend!

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      Thank you, Brooke! I hope all is well with you and your sweet family! Happy Mother’s Day!

      Reply
  15. Christa May 6, 2016

    Beautifully said. Thank you & Happy Mothers Day!

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      Happy Mother’s Day!

      Reply
  16. Tiffany May 6, 2016

    Thank you so much Carly for sharing. I became a SAHM 5 years ago and it is truly the most difficult job I have ever had! Thanks for letting other Mamas know it’s ok to struggle and that we are all in it together?

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      Thank you, Tiffany. Happy Mother’s Day to you!

      Reply
  17. Jeanie May 6, 2016

    I’m happy that you have found what works for you. Motherhood is a hard job, especially when holding down a full-time job outside the home. I’m so glad my kids are grown.

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 6, 2016

      Yes, I agree. Happy Mother’s Day, Jeanie!

      Reply
  18. Allison May 8, 2016

    Love your authenticity and how you lay things like this out there! Brene would be proud! :). Thankful for messages like this one and the encouragement you provide…I wish I could record an audio of this and play it every day!

    Reply
    • Carly Lee May 8, 2016

      Thank you, friend! I only wish I had Brene as a professor like you!

      Reply

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