May 072013

Monkees, you’re in for a treat today! Meet Julie from Rants From Mommyland. Parents Magazine just named Julie the Funniest Blogger in the Universe…or something like that – but what I love about Julie is that her heart is as big as her humor. You’re just gonna love her. Monkees – Julie.

Hi and waving!

I’m Julie and I’m a Monkee. I came across one of Glennon’s posts on Facebook two years ago (it was “A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On”) and as I read it, I found myself sobbing in my living room. It put everything into words that I’d been unable to articulate. I shared it everywhere with wild exclamations like: “THIS! THIS YOU GUYS!! THIS FOREVER!! Fist pump of awesomeness BECAUSE THIS!!”

A couple of weeks later, after reading everything on Momastery, I sent G an email telling her how much her words meant to me and she sent me a very kind reply. I had been feeling lost. Disconnected to my faith and the need I’d always felt to be useful and good. At the time, all I was feeling was: “WHY AREN’T YOU PEOPLE FLUSHING THE POTTY?! GAH!!” and “ANOTHER EAR INFECTION – ARE YOU SERIOUS?”

Glennon’s words (and your comments) reminded who I was. Strike that. Reminded me who I want to be. I felt like I’d found my Yoprah (Yoda/Oprah). Since then, Glennon has mentored me through doing several love projects on my blog and I’ve been so grateful for her insight. When she asked me to write a post for you while she was on book tour, I got scared. Because I’m awkward and inappropriate even when I’m trying to act like a grown up. I say curse words by accident. I was going to screw up this opportunity to talk you and offend the community that meant so much to me. Sigh… I had no idea where to start.

But here’s the thing. I believe in signs. I looked up and saw one. It said “We Can Do Hard Things”.* And I realized that you guys believe in signs, too. Literally. So I wrote a post for you about signs – three little signs that hang in my house.

*Underneath the “we can do hard things” sign was a post it note on which was scrawled “that’s what she said”. This tells you everything you need to know about me.


Okay, Here We Go….


I’m pretty open about the fact that I’m not a good parent.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t like being a mom or that I don’t love my kids. It’s sort of the opposite of that. I love them so much that if I think about too hard, I’ll start ugly crying and by the time I stop, I’ll look like Garfield.

But I get distracted by things like cooking dinner and my job and Facebook. I maybe say things to my kids in a snarly voice that upon further reflection, I should not have said. I try to be present and calm and nurturing but I just cannot seem to be that person every day. On a good day, I can be that person for an hour at a time. I carpe Kairos whenever I can but it can be hard to remember to do that with three kids and two jobs and one husband and assorted critters. But that’s an excuse.

I like to vent about the stupid things that drive me crazy. There is debate as to whether or not venting is a good thing. That’s why I started blogging, to try to put all the little things that were driving me crazy into some sort of manageable perspective. To try to turn them into something funny, so I’m forced to see the absurdity of it all and laugh about it. That’s my go to – turning things into a joke.

But for a while even that wasn’t working. And all the little things I couldn’t laugh at were starting to gather around me in quickly growing piles of anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed, and not knowing where to start, and eventually frustration, resentment, and anger.

And sometimes it would all be too much and I would just LOSE IT. And I would find myself yelling at my kids in a voice I couldn’t believe was my own. And then I would look at them, and hear myself, and feel the ripples that my loss of control caused as they washed over our home. And I would feel gut wrenching shame and regret for not showing the self-control required to be the mother they deserve.

Then the inner monologue would start: What is the matter with you? You just screamed at them to stop screaming. It is all your fault. Of course they’re nasty to each other, did you hear the way you just spoke to them? You’re a tyrant. You’re a nag and a bully. They were perfect when you got them and you’re ruining them. Ruining them.

I hate the inner monologue. If you have one, please don’t listen to it. Your inner monologue is a dick. Listen to me. Listen to the small part of my brain that actually likes me. The part that I can hear if I listen hard enough.

“Just apologize for yelling. Explain why’re upset. Tell them you love them. Shake it off and begin again. This time use your nice voice and remember that you’re all they have.”

If there was one thing that sustained me through the parts of my childhood that were unpleasant, it was the certain knowledge that my mother loved me. I knew she loved me so much she didn’t even know what to do with it. That love kept me whole.

Now that I’m a parent, I get it. I get how you can love with your whole soul and still make mistakes.

So I listen hard to the little good voice. Then I do what it tells me. And that’s when I can forgive myself. That’s when I can start over. Every day is a new chance to do that. Every deep breath is a chance to do that. That’s how I parent. I love with my whole heart and try every day to keep my perspective, to find what’s funny, and to not be too big an asshole. It’s so much harder than it sounds.

I need help with this. So I made a set of reminders for myself and I gave them as gifts to my children. They’re ugly but they do the trick. They are three little painted signs that say three little painted words. They do not say “I love you”.

Here is what they say: No Matter What.



And I took these three little signs and I hung them above the doors of their rooms, where they could see them from almost every angle. So they could see them when I tuck them in at night. Or when I’m telling them they’ve just made a bad choice and they need some time to think it over. Or when they’re making too much noise and they have to decide between being quiet or a closed door.

Because they know that’s how we love them, their father and I. No matter what. And there is no “but” associated with it. It just is and it applies to every eventuality.

When you’re good.

When you don’t listen.

At 3am when you’re up for the fourth time.

When you’re being sweet.

When you hit your sister.

When it takes you 400 tries to just go to sleep.

When you are so deep in a tantrum that you can’t even hear me.

When you’re angry and defiant.

When you forget to flush.

In sickness and in health.

Even lice.

When you forget every single thing that you are supposed to remember.

If you decide you’re suddenly too cool to play with the toys we spent five years collecting for you.

When you hit a home run!

If you’re mean to other people.

If other people are mean to you.

If you fail a class.

If you have no friends.

If you have too many friends and I hate all of them.

If you’re fat.

If you’re beautiful (AND YOU ARE).

If you crash our car.

If I find weed in your sock drawer.

If you never call me back and always ask for money.

If you decide to vote like your father.

Gay or straight.

If you never come home on break.

If you totally f*&k everything up.

If you do things that astound even your grandparents.

If you disapprove of how we live.

If you choose someone who is the complete opposite of me.

If I lose you.

If I’m lost.

It does not matter.

Lately, so many things seem possible. Particularly the bad things, the ones I don’t want to think about. Why couldn’t they happen to us? Of course they could. We must accept that the world is an uncertain place. But this one thing is certain and I take great comfort in that.

And my kids… They keep getting bigger and more complicated. They’re growing up faster than I can deal with. I will not lower my expectations of them in terms of kindness, respect and hard work. This will cause problems sometimes. I’ll try not to yell, but I’ll probably lose my temper at some point. I will make mistakes and so will they. We’ll apologize and start over. And while I’m not always good at being their mom, I will wake up every day trying to do this job better. I will never give up and I will never stop doing that, even if we are parted.

And all I can hope is that they know, as I did, that I love them with my whole heart. No matter what.



Isn’t she great, Monkees? I know.  Here’s the thing. Julie’s not only funny, she’s got a huge heart  and she’s determined to use it in service of women. She’s been working her tail off on a huge service project this Mother’s Day. She’s used her funny to create 14 awesome Mother’s Day ecards for the Real World. The more these eCards get shared this week, the more money her sponsor Sweet Relish will donate to Shelter House – an organization that provides transitional housing and services for families experiencing homelessness and domestic violence. Using our talents to serve women – doesn’t that sounds familiar and perfect???

Go check them out and if you love them, share them!

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  115 Responses to “Momastory – A Guest Post from Julie!”

  1. What’s up i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace, when i read this article i thought i could also create comment due to this brilliant

  2. Finally got a chance to catch up on the blog and here I am sitting at my desk at work, both laughing and crying. I’ve so been THERE… I felt like you were writing about what happened at my house in the past week. Thank you for your gift of sharing and honesty.

  3. Thank You Thank You for this fantastic post!

  4. Oh Julie… I loved you from “that’s what she said…” Thank you, glennon, for the introduction!

  5. This was fantastic and it looks like it was exactly what so many of us were needing to hear today! Love it!

  6. Thank you for introducing me to Julie! As for “No matter what … ” my nightly blessing to my 14 year old is, ” (name) , you are a child of God, and God loves you – all the time, no matter what – and so do we.” It’s amazing how often we end up talking right before or right after her blessing about things that happened during the day, and we often end up apologizing to each other. It’s a holy time.

  7. LOVE this! Love that I am crying, laughing (even lice!) and learning! Thanks Julie!

  8. Hey Julie!

    Just want to add my “thanks” to the collective thanks, and let you know that your post made me cry, laugh, and think (in that order). It took me a few tries to get through because 1) the first time, I fell apart at “I’m pretty open about the fact that I’m not a good parent;” 2) the second time, my husband came into the room where I was supposed to be working on homework, and the kid in me felt all ashamed and embarrassed that I wasn’t being a responsible adult, so I killed the Momastery tab and pretended I’d been writing my research paper all along; and 3) the third time was a repeat of #2. By my fourth try, I’d gotten smarter, and I’d waited for the house to empty before settling in for a nice read… cry… temporary pity party… and inner-monologue ass-kicking. I won’t go into details about the inner-monologue because 1) this is not the time or place to do so; and 2) this is not the time or place to do so. But, suffice it to say that reading your Momastery guest-post was, for me, a total treat, and now I’m back to writing my research paper (i.e., over on Rants from MommyLand, LOLing).

    Thank you, Glennon, for sharing with us, over the last few weeks, these beautiful, heart-warming, inspirational, hilarious women and their stories. Love the generosity in you, Lady! Once semester ends (in 19 hours and 5 minutes, but who’s counting?), I am diving into Carry On, Warrior and Quiet. So glad you’re finding moments of book-tour fabulousness to savor.

    xo Joey

  9. I’m crying. Thank you times 1, 000.

  10. I. Love. Those. Signs. LOVE them!!!

    I tell my girls frequently, “Always remember, I will always, always, ALWAYS love you. No. Matter. What.” They get these little shy smiles on their faces whenever I say this to them, and I love that. My two year old says it to me all the time too.

    I am totally making those signs.

    Thanks for your post. – Amy

  11. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I’m right there with you. I fail at so much as a mother and I’m so not the mom I thought I would be BUT…my kids know I love them. Fiercely. No. Matter. What.

    I adore your sign idea…I think I just might be doing the same thing for my crew. Thanks for the idea! Also, I LOVED your list…Especially loved the “Even if you vote like your father” part! Hilarious!

  12. The “when you vote like your father” comment made me belly laugh – thanks!! Great guest post – thanks for sharing your thoughts, Julie. And thanks to G for sharing Julie with us :)

  13. Julie/Lydia – I love Rants from mommyland and go to your site when I need to laugh…today, you made me cry. Because I felt a kindred soul. I also feel like a rotten parent on many days, particularly when I lose my cool and start yelling at my kids in a voice I no longer recognize. I think to myself, “What kind of example is THAT setting?!” and start feeling awful about myself. But, everything you wrote is TRUE. I love my kids with every single ounce of myself. Thank you for writing this…and for making other moms like me not feel so alone in those moments…and for giving us a place we can just laugh at the absurd moments of parenting. I’m going to steal your signs by the way. Reading your list just set the tears welling at the tips of my eyelids cascading down my cheeks.

  14. Yes!!! This is so me! I’m your newest biggest fan!

  15. I had a pretty rough childhood, with love withheld if I did not comply EXACTLY with my parents’ wishes. Even as an adult with a child of my own, I have always wished for the “no matter what” with my family and never received it. I tell my beautiful daughter all the time those words exactly and I love the idea of putting it up in her room as a daily reminder. Thanks Julie. Great post.

  16. Once again, something I read here is EXACTLY what I’m feeling and it put me to tears. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. For some reason we (or at least I) assume that no one else has as hard of a time as I do with these things, so it’s just really helpful to know that I’m not alone in this. Much love

  17. Thank you, thank you. Reading this was like breathing air. (Sitting at my desk at work and nearly crying.)

    -k- (who’s used my “mean mommy voice” too many times this week…)

  18. Yes! You know those days when you are sitting in church and you swear the pastor is preaching directly to you….
    Well, that was this post today. Thank you for reminding us that we are not the only ones who feel like tyrants somedays, not the only ones who wake up each morning praying that they arent ruining their precious kiddos, not the only ones who realizing mid yelling, that they learned their yelling from you and not the only ones who try really hard…despite everything else….to teach their kids to be kind, to love others and that they can do and accomplish hard things!

  19. Julie, I am a simple girl with simple words. You are awesome. I love you! My “We Can Do Hard Things” sign is over my front door to remind me evey time I run out that door. HA HA!

    (got two grown girls and a granddaughter all at home – heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp!) Add daddy to that (3rd child). :)

  20. Oh MY, Julie…soul sister. I HEAR you!!!
    Thank you so much for all of that – that beautiful writing and truth telling.
    And Glennon, thanks for the introduction.

    XOXOXO to you both.


  21. How do so many amazing people keep showing up in this awesome place? Oh! Because we all have a good bit of amazing in us and this is a great place to showcase it! Julie, I love this post! Thank you for being you! Even though my kiddo is still relatively small, but getting bigger everyday, I have to say: Me too! Also, I’m totally using Yoprah and the sign idea! I’m finding the need for self-forgiveness is pretty much an everyday occurrence. Heck, I have to forgive myself for going to work! Damn Mama guilt. But it’s good to know there are other Mamas out there working on the same thing. And having similar realizations. And who also have an inner monologue that’s a total dick. What is that?? So thanks Julie! Your humor, honesty, and loving openness make the community a little stronger and able to take another step!

  22. Julie,
    I just love you to pieces. You are a warrior! Carry on, girl!

  23. Julie & Glennon,

    I’ve always said to my children (especially when I was upset with them): “I love you. Always. Forever. And no matter what.” But the sign?! Please don’t report me when I swipe that fabulous idea to paint those words and send them to my three college kids…

    And the voice? Queue theme from Twilight: I wrote this about that very part of us, just last week… Enjoy, Monkees!

    Hugs and healing!


  24. This is so amazing. I can’t even find the words for how amazing it is. THANK YOU for sharing this.

  25. Lovely post! You had me chuckling and tearing up simultaneously. <3

    Off to link your blog AND the ecards :)

  26. Thank you so much, Julie! Now I need to go get some paint, have two signs to make:)

  27. Great post, Julie. Thanks for sharing it! No matter what – I love that! I think I’ll make a sign too (smile).

  28. Really needed this!! And now a new blog to add to my reading list :)

  29. LOVE this!!
    You both are awesomesauce and love having you both in the same place, even if just for a day!

  30. I so needed this….after I reminded my kids for the millionth time that clothes go in the hamper not next to it, to put toilet paper on the freakin’ dispenser when they use it up, that the towel rack in the bathroom is there for a purpose, and that shoving everything into your closet and under your bed is NOT cleaning your room. SIGH. The Mommy guilt keeps me awake at night. That inner voice truly is a dick!

    • Just had to add – after I posted I went into the bathroom to find there was no toilet paper on the roll AGAIN. Ahhh, another day in Mama paradise.

      • Kelli, you must have a 9 year old son (liek I do). We also have a 12 yo daughter. Same stuff, same frequency in our house….

  31. Thank you! I am not not alone…phew! :)

  32. Love this. Thank-you. I really needed to read this today, esp the part about the damaging inner monologue b/c I had that exact talk to myself today. It helps to know that others have it to, and that we can talk back to it!

  33. Loved this. And each and every “Momastory” guest post. From the laughs to the tears, this has been a great series.

    Thank you to all the guest bloggers. You are AMAZING!

  34. Oh thank you for introducing us to Julie. Adding Rants from Mommyhood to my favorited immediately!

  35. Julie, you are freakin’ AWESOME! I am new at this blogging business and every day I encounter a new blogger that just inspires me, you win for today!!! You are so funny and so genuine, I just LOVE people that aren’t fake. I love your “Tea Party at Target” post – made my eyes bubble. You are real and brilliant – thank you for more inspiration, both in my writing and my parenting! I too tell my daughter that I will love her forever, no matter what. Not sure at 5 if she fully comprehends what that means, but I hope it sticks in her head even when her eyes are filling with tears because of me…

  36. Nailed it! (that’s what she said!)

  37. Julie you are fantabulous! I have often felt the same way. The guilt can be overwhelming. For Mother’s Day I am going to make my son one of your signs. Yep. And I must go know and subscribe to your blog. Thanks for the inspiration and knowing I am not alone.

  38. Your words resound with me right now. I have been feeling like an awful parent lately. I feel like I’m screwing them up or not practicing what I preach loudly enough. I’m afraid my mediocre self will infiltrate with their beautiful selves and I’ll ruin them completely. I love that “No matter what” idea. I need to remember that no matter how badly I may screw up or how many do overs I need, they know I love them no matter what. Thanks for the reminder!

  39. I loved it all……but really laughed out loud in agreement about “Yoprah” Awesome!!!

  40. Huge “Me too” on the dickish inner voice. There are times I get so wrapped up in guilt over not appreciating them enough. They really are pretty amazing little people, despite all the ways they drive me nuts.
    I keep telling them that I love them, even when I’m angry. One of my 4 year olds seems to like to flip that into “especially when I’m angry.” but we also talk about how the feeling isn’t the problem– it’s whether you are expressing it appropriately. And I need someone helping me with that too!
    Love the signs!

  41. So I am a monkee all the way to my soul and everything I read here reminds me of my young mothering days and my beautiful children and what’s important in each day. I need that reminder everyday. However, TODAY reading Julie’s words resonated with me because I have big kids now. Who need me more than ever and sometimes it’s so HARD. My first son spent this year at home after a horrendous first experience with college. He left home a happy, laid-back, confident young man and he came back damaged and disillusioned. We have spent a year helping him restore his faith…in himself and others. He just finished his classes at a community college and is looking forward to transferring in the fall. It’s a big step and nobody, including him, is sure he’s ready. Furthermore, we’re not sure he’ll be accepted. We’re not sure the community college credits are enough good after so much bad. So we’re in limbo and we’re working hard to stay positive and yet in my mind I think “WTF?????? What if he doesn’t get a second chance? What if he does and screws it up? It’s all my fault! I’m a bad mom! And for the love of God, I have two more sons coming right after him. I’ll ruin them all, I’m sure of it!!!!!” And then today my oldest son sent me a text that said “Thank you for your patience and help.” And thanks to Julie, I could reply “No matter what…”

  42. I SO needed this today. Had a bad mommy few moments last night & am still regretting them. Today after school will be “NO MATTER WHAT” time & I’ll start over with my beautiful girls.

  43. You did amazing! Thank you for sharing your heart – honestly!

  44. Julie Julie Julie. You are LOVED so much. Where you were when you found G is where I feel I am now. Thank you for the sweet validation that I am not the only one struggling with the stress of raising kids. It means so much. I love your 3 signs SO MUCH and I believe I will be stealing that idea in some form or another. For a while I tried to sing a 3rd verse in my kids’ “special song” that I made up for them to the tune of Oh Christmas Tree. It was, “And no matter what you do, I will always love you.” Both of them rejected it as it wasn’t part of the original formulation. But most nights I still sing it silently to myself. Thank you again for sharing yourself here, you have no idea how validating your post is.

  45. Wow, it’s amazing to hear my thoughts spoken by someone else, a complete stranger no less. I find it comforting to know I’m not the only person with such an active inner monologue! I could relate to so much of what you said. I have recently tried to adjust my mindset and reactions to my children (when they make poor choices and I get frustrated, etc) to remind myself that my job as their mother is to lovingly guide them through each difficult situation in their lives, instead of just yelling or punishing them. “Yes, hitting your sister was a bad idea. Do you understand why? No? Okay, then lets talk about it…” And I love love love the No Matter What sign. Thanks so much for sharing’

  46. Hi and waving!

    SO happy to see you here writing for the Monkees! YOU introduced me to G a couple of years ago and I am so very grateful. RFML is still one of my very favorite blogs in the history of ever.

    Your sense of humor and ginormous heart have always made you feel like a soul sister to me. So *snif* proud *snif* of you *snifsnif* for writing this post and sharing it here. You deserve a trip to Target…alone!

  47. Even lice.

    That says it all. Lice, vomit, and the overwhelming need for toddlers to spit things into our hands. Love it all — no matter what.

    BTW: I follow your blog as well. I love what you did for Mother’s Day this year. I couldn’t get organized enough in time to do it myself this Mother’s Day, but I think I could pull it off this summer. I ahve wanted to do something more than just write checks to charity. Love what you are doing.

  48. Julie,
    That was a great post! I too have the same inner monologue and I’m going to try my hardest not to listen to it, thanks to you!

  49. Thanks G – I didn’t think it was possible to love anyone more than you. But now I L.O.V.E. Julie too!!! I guess it’s like having more than one child – your love just expands for the next one. If I could write, I would have written just this – it’s sounds like exactly what I feel all the time – thank you!

  50. Hi, Julie!!
    wow, you are wonderful! Thank you for speaking out loud your shame about yelling at your kids. I did that the other day…and they are 2 and 1. I know. damn. But then I hugged them close and distracted with a new activity (which is what I should have done in the first place).
    I love your sign. I hope you don’t mind, but I think every Monkee is now gathering the materials to make that sign for their kids. I already have most of the materials because I LOVE making things, although I’m not very good at it yet. And have two toddlers so don’t get much practice. Doing it anyway. =)

    You are a treat. Thank you. Thanks for sharing her, Glennon!

  51. Julie, you are awesome and I loved your post. Thank you for writing today.

  52. Thank you Julie! So needed to see this! And your “No matter what” sign inspired me to buy one (on etsy…supporting other women) for my little’s room. Its an AMAZING message and one that I didn’t grow up with.
    And the ugly crying can happen to me at any moment – whether its realizing how much and how big I love my daughter (and how scary that is) or just seeing someone who looks sad or lonely. Sometimes, in the words of Glennon, I feel too much.
    And for you (and for me) – I promise to listen to the good, littel voice that is kind. We should all treat ourselves in the kind way that we want to treat others, no?

  53. My two favorite bloggers in one place! I have been following both blogs for about a year and have never commented on either, but just have to thank you both for showing up and being brave and kind –now go rest :-) Drove 8 hours to see you in Indy this past weekend and it was everything I hoped it would be, Glennon. Big hugs to both you and Julie.

  54. Thank you G and Julie for this post! I am a kindred spirit. I want to do my best but sometimes it is just so hard to stay calm with my kids, and I’m always beating myself up inside after I yell at them. But, I do apologize and try, try again. Getting a break from them really helps recharge my battery, but it is such an infrequent thing since I’m a SAHM with no real babysitter options.

    I look forward to adding Rants from Mommyland to my reading list!

  55. Excellent post! I have also had those shame-inducing moments when I realize I’m speaking to my daughter in a tone of voice I wouldn’t use with any adult. <<>> But, honestly, I bet the only moms that haven’t caught themselves doing the same are the “perfect mommies”, and they probably just won’t admit to it ;)

  56. Julie is the one who introduced me to Momastery during the last love flash mob (so cool!) and I love it here. I also love, love, love Julie (or Lydia to me) and her writing at Rants. So thank you both, for being amazing. I’m not sure if the feelings you express are so universal that every Mom gets this, or if we should be best friends because you are in my head, but I SO appreciate all that you do and write. I too try SO hard to be always patient, nurturing, and kind and I fail… miserably… and yell…. and apologize… and repeat a few days later. The key is that we care enough to try our best. We love them so much that we read about how to parent and think about it and study it and TRY to be our best for them. That’s all any of us can do. So thank you for making me laugh and challenging me to love not just my own family, but lots of others as well. You gals are the best. :)

  57. No matter what…..

    Love this and love your wonderful blog, Julie! xoxo

  58. G, THANK YOU for introducing us to Julie. She’s amazing! I think I’m going to make a “No Matter What” sign for my house, too. Love, love, love!

  59. Julie, darling, you have once again enunciated all of my shames and joys. You are not the only big-hearted, scatter-brained, acid-tongued, imperfect momma who JUST REALLY LOVES HER KIDS, DAMMIT.

    I would give you a big embarrassing hug right now if I could, and probably cry on your shirt. Thank you for writing.

  60. Love the “good little voice” – that’s how God reminds us of our worth. He gives us chances. We all need chances.

    I also LOVE how this ties into your recent post, Glennon, about being an awesome mom! Celebrate the good things. Chase the guilt away – it doesn’t do anything to help anybody.

  61. Yes, yes, yes! It’s like you read my mind. This is EXACTLY what I’ve been thinking recently:

    “What is the matter with you? You just screamed at them to stop screaming. It is all your fault. Of course they’re nasty to each other, did you hear the way you just spoke to them? You’re a tyrant. You’re a nag and a bully. They were perfect when you got them and you’re ruining them. Ruining them.”

    Thank you for your message today. Sometimes when I yell, I can hear my own mother’s voice from when she lost her patience and let frustration take over. I lost her over three and a half years ago and you know what I remember and miss most about her? Not the many mistakes she made as a mother, but that she always loved me no matter what and would do anythting for me. Thank you for reminding me of that on this mother’s day week!

  62. Welcome Julie! We Monkees, or at least this monkee, agree with you. Thanks for adding NO MATTER WHAT to our We Can Do Hard Things lifestyles.
    Rock on sister!

  63. OMGoodness.

    I needed this. More than ever. Julie, you’re amazing. Glennon, you continue to bless by introducing us to these amazing women. Where in the world do you find them and can we all just move to the same block so we can rock this whole “Mama” thing right out of the park TOGETHER?!?! For REAL.
    The laughter this post brought, the connections I was able to make, the HAVE MERCY moments as I look at my life with three boys and go. . .this is SOOOO my life and Yes, my inner voice is an absolute dick as well. Are ours related?!?!? Love this.

    Love everything about this.

  64. Glennon – thank you for sharing Julie with us! Julie – thank you for sharing yourself with us! I did the whole ‘spit take’ thing when I read what your sticky note said – because that’s my type of humor – so I’m off to your blog soon! Thank you for making me think, because while I tell me kids I love them and try really hard to show them, I don’t believe that I have ever said ‘no matter what’ to them. I hope they know but…but what if they don’t? What if they don’t believe it? My heart suddenly hurts and while I’m trying to keep that negative voice in my head at bay, that sucker is insidious. So, instead of beating myself up, I will just carry on and make sure that I throw in a few ‘no matter what’s’. :-)

  65. Thank you for writing this post! Sometimes I feel really alone – like no one is going through what I’m going through as a mom – I always get blank stares when I share with other moms. But it helps to know that at least one other person knows what it’s like. I love what you said about loving your kids so much you don’t know what to do with it. That is how I feel…so when my inner monologue tells me I’m doing everything wrong (yup, mine is also a dick), I get really anxious and stressed and upset.

  66. I never comment but this spoke straight to my heart. Love it!

  67. Such a sweet sign (I’m writing that phrase on a post-it right now) and I love your writing. Thanks for sharing!

  68. Oh I love you, Julie. But you know that, right? I’m making J a “No Matter What” sign. Today.

    Or… you know… this weekend

  69. No matter what- what a message- I pray my kids know it, but I needed the reminder to make sure they hear it often.
    And the cards are superb!

  70. Thank you for this, so much. Because I’ve been walking around for the last week carrying an extra heavy burden of guilt for screwing up my daughter in the biggest way yet. See, I recently made her do something that I thought was a “don’t want to do” kind of thing, and I later realized was a “can’t do because it absolutely terrifies me and I’m following the instincts you gave me” kind of thing. I was a frustrated mama who didn’t put on my own damn listening goggles, so I didn’t hear her right. So I needed to hear that part about her knowing I love her so much it makes me crazy sometimes. And the part about saying sorry and starting over. And all the rest of it, too. Thank you.

    • I love “listening goggles.” I was enjoying thinking about your comment, and then all of a sudden i was all, “Wait. WHAT?”


  71. You Julie and You G……. Thank you…..yep “no matter what” I will love… I will try again.. I will learn…I will keep on keeping on. yep no matter what:)

  72. Great sign. Probably a sign many of us needed to see today!

    My crafty is broken, so I’m going to try using the computer (fun fonts and colors) and see if I can whip something up and emulate you.

    Thanks for the inspiration and the pre-all-staff-meeting tears…

  73. tears …… And a smirk. Love and thanks.
    Shannon, Winnipeg, Canada.

  74. Great, now I am going to be hooked on ANOTHER awesome blog, like Momastery….Julie you are fantastic!!! Thanks for taking time for us….. :)

  75. Thanks, Julie for your candor and humor. I’m stealing the sign idea. Although I tell my kids “no matter what…”, I love the idea of having it displayed for them so it’s always in view. Bless you.

  76. Thank you, Julie – I needed to know I’m not alone!

  77. I’m reading this post trying not to laugh and cry at the same time. She has voiced everything I feel. I tell my kids that no matter what, they WILL grow up knowing that I love them. I WILL screw everything else up, but they WILL know that one fact – they are ALWAYS LOVED, not matter what. Now liking is a whole other story……..

    Julie and Glennon- thank you for being brave enough to voice the truth. Being a mom is so difficult and the expectations placed on us by ourselves and others is a heavy load to carry. Thank you for making it okay to feel the way we do!

    Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  78. To borrow your words, Julie:

    “THIS! THIS YOU GUYS!! THIS FOREVER!! Fist pump of awesomeness BECAUSE THIS!!”

    We are soul-sisters in motherhood, Miss Julie! My constant, daily refrain to my kids is, “God loves you all the time, no matter what. So do mommy and daddy.” I’m determined that if my kids learn nothing else from me, they will learn this — that the love of God, and the love of their parents, is unconditional.

  79. Julie. You just summed up the theme of every blog post I’ve written in the last three years with this one perfect post. Everything I’ve struggled to say- you nailed down right here. I feel like I’ve met a soulmate. Thank you so much for your words! You have a dedicated new reader.

  80. Julie, you are awesome!! So happy to have found you via Glennon & Momastery. I love the way you write. And I love your message – no matter what. I can tell that you are an incredibly funny, truth-telling, fun-loving person and I love that you shared with us your brilliant parenting methods. Because no one is a perfect parent and you so eloquently described how you work on being the best mom you can every single opportunity you get. And I loved reading that because I’m doing the same thing.

    Thank you for being real. Following your blog now and your tweets. :)

  81. Julie. I loved it. You have my inner voice pegged perfectly.

    Well, I guess it’s time to get my crafty on so my kids remember I love them when I send them to time out in their room.
    If I could find my crafty, that is.
    Even if I did, it’s possible that my version of Julie’s lovely swirly “No Matter What” (I Love You) would end up looking like a craggy scary “No Matter What” (You’d better do what I say!)
    Which is not at all what I want them to hear.

    Kristi from Barn Owl Primitives?? Can you please just make me one??

    • I agree! I’d love to see a Barn Owl Primitives version of this sign. I’d get one for each of my boys!

  82. Love the signs! I thought I was the only one that had that inner voice that was a real dick. Thank God! I firmly believe in the “fake it till you make it” way of life. If I try to keep acting like a good mom, I know someday I will be! I just hope my daughter isn’t 45 before that happens! So glad you’re a Monkee, Julie!

  83. Two of my fav bloggers united. Yippee! Great, great post Julie!

  84. Julie, I LOVE your blog and this was another great post. Thanks for sharing!

  85. Hi Julie,

    This is perfect and I love every word. Now, please explain how the hell you got into my house without me seeing you. Next time please hang out a bit – we could have coffee or something after I’m done yelling at my kids and then kicking myself for it. I think we would be fast friends.


  86. No matter what….I love that! I think I need those signs for my boys rooms. Because there are days where my inner monologue gets the best of me. And I hope they know I love them no matter what. The stresses of being the best parent are ridiculous. I’ll just keep showing up for them & trying to show them kindness & respect.

  87. Cue the ugly cry. This is exactly what I needed this morning. Thank you.

  88. You’ve just inspired me … to give some version of that sign to all my children this Mother’s Day. Thank you!

  89. Hi and waving Julie,

    It’s Lou! I adore wooden word signs, whole heart this message, and love you to pieces!

    Thanks for showing up, being brave, and reminding us the best part of what we know but too often forget!

    <3 Lou

    • Hi Lou. I heart you and thank you and thank you and thank you.
      xo, J

    • Lou, I’ve been thinking about thanking you for a long long while, but have never gotten around to actually writing the letter. I probably still will, but for now, this will do.

      I love what you wrote here to Julie.

      You are amazing. I know how important you are behind the scenes at Monkee land and I am forever grateful for you.

      Thank you so much for all that you do.

      • Hi Holly,

        Thank you, Holly. You are very kind.

        And thank YOU for always being here… so consistent and supportive! You are a gem!!!

        Much love and hugs,

    • Hi, Lou! Thank you for being here to support Julie. :)

  90. Julie! After reading your guest post, I went over to your blog…All I have read, thus far is, “A Letter To My Boobs” and “Is This The Right Blog For You”… And I am dying laughing. Your wit and humor is such a gift. I think the line, My boobs used to be SHOCK AND AWE! Now they’re like shock! And awwww…..” may be one of my favorite yet. Hysterical. I immediately sent a link to that post/your blog to so many friends.

    I often say it’s women friends who make the world go ’round…I now include a number of women bloggers…Women I will most likely never meet… Who truly help make my world a better place.

    Rock on sister…You are one funny lady (and the big heart Glennon talks about…Yeah, well, that’s pretty obvious as well.) Thank GOD for women like you…And Glennon…And Kelle Hampton…And Claire Bidwell Smith (and the list goes on and on and on) xo

  91. I so had one of those days today. Thank you, Julie and Glennon. You always know just what to say!

  92. I needed to read this today. More than either of you will ever know. Thank you. Truly.

  93. Congratulations Julie!!!!!!!!!!!
    That was awesome….Your children are very fortunate to have that kind of love.
    Even if they vote like their father!!

  94. Julie, you took the thoughts in my head and put them together on ‘paper’ far more eloquently than I think them. I’m sitting here nodding my head and feeling so relieved that someone else gets it. Today is a new day…I will tackle it with love and as much patience as I can muster. Thanks for sharing your thoughts both here and on your own blog (I’m a regular reader). You have a wonderful gift!

  95. Love this in every way possible. Every single way. With every single part of me. Sobbing and nodding and looking a bit like Garfield myself now.-Ashley

  96. Love this Julie – I am in the midst of every other week travel and when I am home I so want to just pour out all the loving feelings I have (so easily) when I am HOURS away from them. Then I get home and they are screaming and fighting and not flushing the toilet (seriously? why???) and I am tired and depleted so I join in the screaming and fighting (although I ALWAYS flush the toilet).
    It all results in mommy guilt and frustration. I know we can’t do it all, but I’m not sure what the alternative even looks like right now.

    Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone –

    Tired, but still freaking flushing,


  97. wow. I could have written this if I was as articulate as Julie. Well said. And my sentiments, exactly.

  98. Julie, Julie, Julie!!! You did it! Katherine here — hi and waving! And a giant hug if I see you at preschool today! This is so, so, so great! I LOVE it! Love it EVEN MORE than the other post (later??), if that’s possible. :)

    • So yes. You saw my ugly crying in the preschool parking lot this morning. Because this is scary for me to be here. So thank you so much and thank you some more.

      xo, J

  99. No freaking way! I had no idea that Julie was “the” Julie from Rants from Mommyland. I met her at the signing. “What is the matter with you? You just screamed at them to stop screaming. It is all your fault. Of course they’re nasty to each other, did you hear the way you just spoke to them? You’re a tyrant. You’re a nag and a bully. They were perfect when you got them and you’re ruining them. Ruining them.” Whooaa Julie, I feel like you took that right out of my mind.

  100. WOW – Yes – No matter what! I tell my kids, “I love you all the time – all the time – even when you think I’m so mad at you – I LOVE YOU”

    I’m completely, totally, stealing this idea and hanging these signs! Amazing-ness from another amazing mother who admits she is not perfect. None of us are. We do the best we can with the what we have and we KEEP MARCHING! :)

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