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

Let me tell you, many of the conversations have been painful. Similar to swallowing a box of nails. It’s not a real warm and fuzzy feeling to recall the mistakes we’ve made as moms. Especially since the process unlocks the storehouse of guilt we’ve buried in the abyss of our being for what seems like sinister safe-keeping.

But it’s irrational to think we’re going to get everything right when we are learning on the fly,  exhausted, feeling overwhelmed by career/outside life stuff, and often lacking the necessary emotional tools to deal.

This is why I love the 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. 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, be a wife, or behave perfectly 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. It’s easy to say I’d do things differently now that I have 25 years of experience and know more about who I am. 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’ the best you know how… 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 Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach, Certified Meditation Teacher (CMT), author, freelance writer, speaker, and love enthusiast who is passionate about helping others ‘change the way they look at things so the things they look at change.’ She has numerous stories featured in the national publication, Guideposts. She also has over 160 featured articles at online publications, including Her View From Home, Scary Mommy, Parenting Teens & Tweens, For Every Mom, Love What Matters, and Today. Her book, How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don’t need to say, “I’m fine.”), co-authored with her dear friend, Lisa Leshaw, recently won the 2020 Publisher’s Weekly Book Life Prize as the finalist in the Inspirational/Spiritual category.