My three kiddos are in their 20s. We’ve had quite a few conversations over the past couple years about how things went down in their childhood. Now that they are adults, the kids are assessing their feelings/emotions and rehashing their experiences as they find their way as independent grown-ups. Just like we did the further away we flew from our childhood nest.

Let me tell you, many of the conversations have been quite painful and often feel kinda like swallowing a box of nails. It’s not a real warm and fuzzy feeling to recall the mistakes we’ve made as moms seeing as we tend to tuck our guilt way down into the abyss of our being for what seems like sinister safe-keeping.

By nature, we don’t get a lot of things right as moms. Mostly because we are learning on the fly, are exhausted, feel overwhelmed by career/outside life stuff, or let’s face it, sometimes we’re just lacking the necessary emotional tools to deal.

Which is why I love this quote by Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

We only know what we know at any given point along the mothering journey. For me, I was 23 years old when I had my first son. Um, 23? Who knows who they are at 23? Let alone how to parent, let alone how to be a wife, let alone how to be a functioning adult while still working through the cobwebs and pain points of their past?

I did my best as a child-adult to raise my three kids. Would I do things differently now that I have 25 years of experience and am 49 years old and know who I am? Hell yes. Maturity, healing, and spiritual awakening make for a fresh perspective on the meaning of life and existence.

But, I didn’t know that stuff back in the day. I was still evolving and finding my own way. Still working through the pain of a tumultuous childhood, still peeling back the layers of pretense that masked my true identity, still understanding how love works and how fear doesn’t.

I worked with what I knew at the time along my mothering journey. I did my best..and so do you. You do what you know and hope it’s enough. And when you know better, you do better. That’s the spiritual journey. That’s how we become the best version of ourselves for our families and for others.

Pass the pardons when you look in the mirror mommas. Keep striving.

You are loved. AND you ‘love’… hold on to that truth. When you are loving your kids, you aren’t failing them.

Carry on, beautiful mommas!




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Shelby is a self-described “sappy soul whisperer and sarcasm aficionado” who has a deep love for Jesus and storytelling. She is a wife of 28 years and a momma of three 20-something kiddos. As a freelance writer and author, you can find her words in the national publication, Guideposts, and all over the web at places like Her View From Home, Today, Parenting Teens & Tweens, Love What Matters, Scary Mommy, and others. Shelby also has a new online mothering course called, Mindful Mothering: When You Change the Way You Look at Things, the Things You Look at Change, and she blogs over at