(Mommy) Guilt + Grace

“Choosing grace over perfection is about giving yourself permission to let go and settle in.” –Emily Ley

I read this book a few months ago. It’s called “Grace, Not Perfection” by Emily Ley. This book came into my life at the perfect time. I had saddled myself with so much unnecessary guilt, and I was being REALLY hard on myself.

grace not perfection

I felt guilty about the current state of our lives, because it was so drastically different since I left teaching. It got to a point where Steven had to basically talk me down and point out to me that there is absolutely nothing wrong with where we are now. Our bills are paid, we have food, an amazing daughter, we are making slow improvements to our house, and we get to travel. We’re living a pretty rad life, even if it is tough, and even though it is different.

Friends, this book was amazing. Not only was it inspirational in a speak-to-my-soul kind of way, but it was also practical. It shared amazing tips on how to treat yourself with grace, as well as your family and your friends. It gave tips on how to live a simplified life so you can focus on what matters. Tips on how to stop the idea of chasing “perfect.”

“You don’t need the Pinterest-perfect home; you need a home that works for you and makes you feel alive. You need a space, fancy or not, that allows you to be your best self.” – Emily Ley

It took me a while to realize that I’m not the kind of girl who wears heels and statement necklaces. I’m not going to have a wonderfully designed house that is always clean and looks like it belongs in a magazine. As much as I LOVE the way these things look, it’s just not true to who I am. I wear sanuks and tie-dye headbands. I wear clothes until they’re worn through. I shop at Goodwill. My house is full of fun colors and funky designs where hardly anything matches. It doesn’t matter where you fall on this spectrum, what matters is that you are being the best version of yourself that you can possibly be.

As a new mom, I feel mommy guilt regularly. Feeling like I’m not enough for Lily, that I’m holding her back, and I’m not quite as good as other moms (oh my gosh the comparison!! why do we do this to ourselves?!). I’ve gotten to the point now where I can feel it, and appreciate it for what it is in that moment, and then I let it go.

(Mommy) Guilt has no place in my life anymore. All it does is bring negativity and self-doubt and just all around feels crappy. I’m all about extending grace to myself and the people around me. No one is perfect. No one has it all together. Who says we have to have it all together anyway? When did this become the standard that everyone is trying to reach?

Embrace the chaos. Embrace the uncertainty. Embrace exactly where you are in life. Because it’s just a season. It’ll pass and your life will change again. Guilt will always find a way to creep in. That’s okay. You’ve got to see it as it is, and then move on. Remember – Grace, not perfection. Say yes to things that fill your tank, and no to things that don’t. Don’t apologize for it.

“In those moments when we give ourselves the grace to let everything else fall away, we find our most sincere happiness.” – Emily Ley

I HIGHLY recommend this book to women everywhere!! It’s one of my favorite things to have on my bookshelf and I occasionally go back and flip through the things I’ve underlined and written. It’s a gem, really!


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You can usually find me adding books to my never-ending “to read” list; challenging myself to do things like not shop for a year; sneaking crispy m+ms from my secret hiding spot so I don’t have to share them with my daughter; and melting over seeing my children smiling at each other.

Oh and I guess I should mention - I’m a seasoned Portland wedding photographer who provides not only kick-ass wedding photos, but also a meaningful and laid-back experience from the time you book to the delivery of your final images. 

I share all things personal, business, tips, and life as a mom and business owner here on the blog!

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