I look forward to your Friday question and answers so much! And I have a question for you since you are a big traveler….
Does it ever scare you to travel away from your family? How do you feel about airplane rides? Do you ever leave for a Time Out For Women conference and get that fear in the pit of your stomach that something might go wrong and your kids will be left motherless?
I ask because I am terrified to fly! I don’t even want to drive two hours away for fear that us parents will crash and the kids will be all alone! Is it just me, or do you have those fears too? If so, how have you overcome them?

I do not like turbulence one bit. I remember one flight when I was coming home from something or other and there was so much turbulence I thought there was no possible way we would make it. We were literally jumping through the air. We happened to have a family trip scheduled a couple days after I was supposed to arrive home and I had visions of how sad my family would be that they would have to go to my funeral instead of to Disneyland :(.

But generally I don’t think about that stuff much. I remind myself that life is too short for too much worry and Heavenly Father is in charge. That helps me go forward with faith.

How do you always have so much energy!?! I am pregnant with my first, but just spent the last weekend babysitting three adorable (and well behaved) boys, but by the end of the day I was wiped out! Now I’m nervous I won’t have the energy to be the fun (and organized) mom that I have always dreamed to be.

I feel like my energy has been zapped lately but I’m just sure that things are going to calm down around here soon (yeah, during the holidays things generally seem to be quiet and slow :).

I have always had visions, like you, of being the fun and organized mom in my dreams, but I have realized through the years that motherhood is more about the attitude than about organization vs. chaos or busy-ness vs. peace. When I start out my day with a happy, THANKFUL attitude everything changes and things don’t seem to be so overwhelming anymore. I truly believe that gratitude gives energy. I get energized every time I think about how lucky I am to be a mother, or how beautiful a particular sunset is, or how glad I am that so-and-so learned to flush the toilet 🙂

Also, having your own kids is MUCH different from taking care of someone else’s. Somehow God gives you the energy, when you ask for it, to encompass them around with love and compassion and yes, the ability to get to the important things. It’s all about prayer and priorities.

I am a new mommy to 6 month old little Isley. I am the youngest of 6 kids and ever since i was little i have wanted more than anything to be a mom, a good mom! I learned a lot from my parents, things i liked and things i didn’t like. Things that worked and things that didn’t work. Having never had younger siblings, i feel i could always use more insight on parenting. I find my self overwhelmed with the duties of parenting. How do i raise her to know who she is? How do i make sure she is strong enough to choose the right when there is horrible stuff going on in the world constantly? Some times i think she is so small how do i teach her. My hope is that she and my future children will be obedient and be leaders. How do you do it? What are the little things you start with when they are so little like mine to instill in them the things that will bring them joy and happiness?

I think the most rewarding part of mothering for me is when I remember to share the parenting burden not only with my husband, but also with loving church leaders and most importantly with God. I find that when I ask Him these very questions I am guided to say and do the things that help my children the very most. The trick is to remember to ask. Simple asking has prompted me to read certain books that have changed me, to have discussions with others that have enlightened my thoughts, and to do particular things with my children that create memories and strong bonds. I am by no means an expert at this, but I sure do try, and when I do, I notice a huge difference in how peaceful and empowered I feel.

I think the best way to teach children to be obedient and to be leaders is to strive to live our own lives just how we want them to live theirs.

Do you have any rules for the cell phones. Are the kids allowed to be on them constantly or do you set limits with them. My girls are on theirs all the time till an hour before bed when they turn them in. On weekends it’s the worst because then they have ALL DAY to be on them. It’s getting to be a battle every weekend about it, so any tips would help me.

I do not know why we haven’t had trouble with this yet, but we haven’t. I guess I should brace myself because I’m sure there will be a time they will get obsessed, and I’m also sure we’re in for it when Grace is old enough for a phone :). Max and Elle turn in their phones at night when they go to bed and I read texts on them whenever I want (they are not their phones, rather they are family phones so they are communal property). Max forgets to bring his phone with him most places and I wish he would be a little more attached to it so I could reach him easier, and I rarely see Elle on hers. I’m not sure why this has happened but I guess I should thank my lucky stars while it lasts.

I try to be an example of not being on my phone very much myself, but Dave will laugh out loud when he reads that. Sometimes I’m pretty bad at putting my phone down. Our new rule is that if they ever my family needs me when I’m texting then I have to give them 20 push-ups. That’s a sure way to correct my trying-to-get-things-done-quick-on-my-phone obsession.

How do you manage to spend time with your kids after school? I feel like after being gone for 7 or 8 hours, they come home and they’re STILL not mine because we’re slaves to homework. Does your school pile on the homework even for the little ones?

This answer kind of goes along with the last one on cell phones…I just really, really try to turn off any electronics including phones and computers and be “theirs” when they get home. Whether it’s helping with homework or starting on dinner with them, etc. Notice I used the word “try” next to “really really” because that’s what I want to do, and the afternoons turn out SO much better when I do, but I’m not always that disciplined. Doing homework together is one of my favorite ways to spend time with my kids.

I’d love to know how you copied that facebook page onto your blog {from this post}. I know it’s okay to do that since it’s a public forum and all, so I’d really like to know how. Was it just a simple copy and paste?

Yes, it is simple. Just click on Command+Shift+4 and it will let you select a portion of your screenshot, then when you release what you select it will automatically save that image on your Desktop. That’s just how you do it on a Mac, not sure for PC’s.

Does your big boy tease the girls? My 2 big boys tend to be huge teases to the 3 little sisters and I would love some tips on dealing with it! Thanks!

Absolutely. But I don’t get too mad because I always wanted a big brother to tease me growing up. I know that sounds silly, but my friends had them and I thought the attention they got was awesome. If it gets out of hand though, they have to do the “fighting bench” thing (I talked about that somewhere in the midst of this post) and that stifles the teasing pretty quick!

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  1. Bahahaha….
    I asked the airplane/traveling question, so this morning I got a phone call from my sister, "Did you ask a question on 71 Toes because this sounds JUST like you!"
    Thanks for the response. 🙂

  2. So funny MegJill about your sister knowing it was you. That was a good question and I feel the same way. I worry if we split up and drive to the same place but different cars, what if something happens to one of us and no the other ones. I try really hard not to think this way but it happens often. Hope Shawni's words can help us both.

    I had the question about the cell phones, so if any of the readers could help me on this please do so. My girls want them 24/7 and their friends are allowed to have theirs even during the night, which I won't allow. They barely come out of their rooms so they can just sit in there and text the day away. I'm glad you don't have this problem yet with your oldest two.
    Thanks again for answering our questions.

  3. The holidays are coming, Thanksgiving is especially on my mind. I want to have a really thankful holiday season and I wondered what things your family and your Eyre family do to keep the focus where it belongs? Thanksgiving seems to be 'just another day only with a really big meal' at my house. I long to create traditions that my little kids will remember so that this time of year become MEANINGFUL to them.

  4. Great questions and answers, as always!

    To copy a screen on a PC, just hold down Windows + S (start button on keyboard and S). Then select the area you want, and Control + V to paste it.

  5. I'm still thinking about the great question about connecting with children after school. I agree, I feel like school gets their "best" hours, and yet when they get home you have to be on them to do homework, practice piano, change into ballet clothes, etc. I have two thoughts: I think I got this idea from your blog Shawni, but wherever it's from, it's stuck with me: After time apart, your first interaction with your children will set the tone. I think of this when I wake them up in the morning, greet them at the door after school. That is when I really try to look in their eyes, smile, and listen with love.

    My other thought is: It's getting better, but this last year or so I wanted to cry every day after school. My kids are young elementary, but with a 3-4 yr old and baby added to the mix, it was hard to handle all the needs in that pressure-cooker time after school/before dinner. I always loved it when the baby was taking a nap when they got home, because I could give undivided attention. This part is getting easier (a bit) but I just have to remember that adding a little one to the mix makes it tricker.

    (p.s. Having most of dinner prepped before kiddos get home is crucial to me!)

  6. Question for you or your parents perhaps!!

    We have Saturday morning chores. Everyone has a checklist for the things they are responsible for in their own rooms, then they also are assigned a room in the house to clean (we rotate the rooms every week). We have one daughter (6) who is sooooooo very slow at everything and HATES to clean or work at all.

    We have tried many things to change this, but it usually always ends up with her getting in trouble, tears, etc. Have you or your parents had a child like this, and if so, what worked for you or them?

  7. Shawni,

    I LOVE your blog!

    I also love doing school with my children. It seems there is a stronger bond when we do school, teach the gospel at home and teach our children to work. Of course one thing at the time.

    I agree with you, we need to protect our time with our children and leave any distraction for later.

    We are currently homeschooling and still there are a few distractions. I tell my children that if they want to continue talking to me they can find me in the kitchen and we can continue our conversation. Some times they come and some times they get distracted playing after doing school and chores. 🙂

    Do your children get distracted too?

    Take care.

  8. I so appreciate your blog. Thank you
    for the time and attention you give to it– as I feel that I truly benefit from the sharing. I wanted to ask you a few random questions. Maybe
    you could consider them for a Q&A?
    **What are some ways you and Dave make time for each other on a daily basis?
    **Would you mind describing your basic
    beauty routine?
    **What are ways you give to yourself each day or each week or
    when you can? 🙂
    Thank you again!

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