Yeah, it was a while ago. But I have to document it.

Because although it was a great day, it was kind of a crumby day too.

Let me back up to the day before to explain why. Because the day before was one of the best parts.

One of the things Dave likes to tell our kids is that we work hard and then we play hard.

And on the day before Mother’s Day we did just that. I decided I was going to give myself an early Mother’s Day gift: clean, sparkling baseboards AND a pedicure with my girls. You must understand that this pedicure business is like a once-every-other-year kinda deal…we’re not the family of girls that gets to do pedicures all the time so this was extra special. I mean, don’t get me wrong, “fancy” pedicures are given out pretty much daily around our house (my personal favorite is posted in the middle of this post).

But I deemed a real pedicure a worthy reward if my girls would pull out the Magic Erasers (LOVE THOSE by the way) and scrub every baseboard downstairs. So we all worked our little hearts out (yeah, they were really dirty and we did all the kitchen cabinets too). I love when there’s a very worthy goal at the end of hard work because it actually makes the work fun. Apparently my girls agree because wowzers, those baseboards were shining and fingers were rubbed raw but smiles were stretched across every face as we headed out for our reward.

On Mother’s Day morning Dave made his signature omelets (my request each b-day and Mother’s Day), and I was showered with all kinds of sweet notes and services.

But here’s where the day got a little bit crumby:

When the time wound down for us to get in the car to head for church no one could seem to find Sunday shoes. Well, a couple girls found one shoe. But that wasn’t going to do us much good unless we faked we had a couple broken feet and wrapped ace bandages around the feet with missing shoes…should have done that 🙂

That little thing snowballed into frustration on a lot of fronts. Why can I not pull my life together enough to get my children to church on time for once? Why can I not have a better schedule so that things can run more smoothly? And these thoughts led slowly to lamenting about how I cannot keep up with cutting all the fingernails or keeping the laundry folded or responding sweetly when children are disrespectful. I can’t keep up with Lucy’s doctor schedule and so many of my “big ideas” seem to go by the wayside with the hustle and bustle that fills up the nooks and crannies of our life.

What made it worse is that I’m supposed to be this really great mother. I even have a title for it and everything. But for some reason for a while there on Mother’s Day all that I could think of were my shortcomings.

Sometimes, despite valiant efforts the job of a mother seems to be so overwhelming. Things don’t seem to work out how we plan. We lose our temper. We make mistakes.

But I guess the trick is picking ourselves up and keeping going on the path.

I looked around at my children later that afternoon and realized that they forgave me for all my shortcomings. They love me just the way I am. Sure, there is always room (a lot of it!) for improvement. But when we give with our hearts and we try our best it’s enough.

Even if sheets aren’t changed every week and our kids aren’t miraculously the best “hard workers” on the block. Life is long (as my Mom always says). And we have to take baby steps to become the kind of person we dream of being.
I’m so grateful for this family of mine who looks over all the not-so-great aspects of my motherhood and honors me for the good stuff that comes out here and there.

We ended the day with a manicure and some back rubs…
…and a family trip to the park:
And once again I was washed over with gratitude for that blessing I get to have…

That of being a Mother.

Their mother. I am one lucky lady.

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  1. This post, everything you said right here, this is why you're young mother of the year.

    You didn't win because people think you're perfect. Because nobody's perfect. You won because you look at yourself and your skills as a mother in a constructive way. You forgive yourself when you feel you've not done your best and you're constantly learning about how to be a better you.

    I'm only 18, but when I'm a mother, I hope that I can be JUST like you.

  2. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I'm swimming in laundry, yardwork, housework, and juggling the needs of my young family this morning (and everyday). Sometimes I get frustrated when my intentions for greatness don't get realized fully. But, what a great reminder that the greatness is in the journey.

  3. oh i love this! we frequently lose shoes right before church, our sheets don't get changed weekly and last night my kids had cereal for dinner. Good to know other moms are the same!

  4. Oh man, seeing the title of the post I came here ready to say I'm glad I'm not the only one who hasn't written about that yet even though I want to, but this post has blown me away.

    You ARE a great mother!

    I love this! All mothers need to hear this. We're not superwomen, nor saints, we do the best we can under whatever circumstances we're under at the time. Some days all we can do is put one foot in front of the other, take real deep breaths and pray we won't get admitted to the looney bin before the day is up. Picking ourselves up, carrying on, and trying to do better each day teaches us a lot more than sailing through life.

    Keep on keeping on!

  5. Thank you so much for your post today. I love when people share not only their joys but also their frustrations. Sometimes we think that we're the only ones who fall short and that's not the case. I love that through blogs like this we can share in each other's joys and successes and in the things we learn from our challenges. Thank you for always being real and never trying to paint an unrealistic picture of yourself or your family. Your blog is truly an inspiration!

  6. Can I just say I'm so relived the Mother of the Year is late to church? Otherwise I'd shoot myself. I'm the kind of girl who believes strongly in military time which is to say 15 minutes EARLY to everything. Yet week after week my husband screaches into a parking spot because we are late and somehow it's my fault. I didn't properly calculate how long it would take to do my daughter's hair, or I almost forgot the notes for my RS lesson.

    It may sound odd, but your tardiness gives me hope. There's a beauty to your imprefections.

  7. I believe that, despite our best efforts, we have the shoe problem every week! And, like you, it leads us to think of how much more prepared we should be, how next week we'll have all the clothes pressed, shoes shined and shirts perfectly whitened… And then Sunday rolls around again.

    Great blog!

    Jake and Melissa Gariepy

  8. Shawni, it is so good to know that I'm not the only one who can't get my act together, despite my best efforts. Lately, our problem on Sunday mornings has been ME. I couldn't figure out why every Sunday I kept breaking out in hives as I was trying to get ready for 9 A.M. church. It was miserable. To make a really long story short, it turns out I'm not allergic to Sunday, I'm having anxiety attacks. Who knew? Me, who supposedly is the most laid back gal around, who can deal with major hospitalizations without batting an eye, I'm having anxiety attacks. Learning that has really caused me to stop and evaluate the things that I didn't realize were stresses for me, but actually are. I'm realizing that I'm going to have to be more proactive about preventing stress, because apparently I'm not so good at handling it as I thought. Sigh. That entails preparation, which is not one of my strong suits. Bottom line: we moms need all the love we can get, because it seems like we have so far to go!

  9. Love this post Shawni! I have been a blog stalker of you for months, but this post hit me to hard that I had to say something. Thank you for being so real, I look up to you so much. I needed to hear this today and grateful to have such a wonderful example.

  10. Thank you so much for posting this! I had my first child in December, and I'm still adjusting. I'm lucky if I get more than a workout & laundry or dinner done in one day. So I loved hearing that that's okay – especially that "the trick is picking ourselves up and keeping going on the path." Thank you for sharing this. I needed it today, more than you know.

  11. I am a new mom, and I struggle with these thoughts every day. My sister is a ten year vet (veteran mom) to four kids, and I am certain she too thinks the same thoughts. But I see her as the most amazing, patient, kind, loving, organized, creative, and fun mom there could ever be. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could see ourselves, even for a second, how others see us?

  12. You forgot to mention that you spent most of the day trying to get ALL your mother's kids to send in pictures and current "sayings" so SHE could have the best mother's day ever! Thanks again for that but we better change the date of the mother's mother's day next year! LOVE YOU!

  13. We just finished our family motto and I put a little blurb about you on my blog. Hope you don't mind:) You are so dang great!

  14. Thanks, Shawni. You just made me feel like it will all be OK and I don't have to throw in the towel because it's not perfect – I can keep trying. 🙂

  15. Thanks for sharing, we can all relate to loosing it and then feeling terrible. I am glad that you were able to end up having a good day.

    As for the Sunday shoe problem, I learned from an amazing woman years ago to put the Sunday shoes on the top shelf of their closet when they come home from church. Then when Sunday rolls around you know right where they are. You have some older kids so they might not need that help (or maybe they do :)) but it has been a life saver more than once.

  16. Thanks again Shawnie for sharing your learning experiences with all of us. I have felt the same way and I'm glad that I'm not the only one.

  17. Shawni, You are forever bringing tears to my eyes. I surely can relate as can every mother. Sorry for the extra pressure you feel from your position but you are ideal for the position. Love you and looking forward to our reunion!

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