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real life

by Shawni
I have a list of Q & A’s that I can’t seem to get a minute to answer.  Those things take a while I tell you and I don’t have very many “whiles” these days.

So instead of trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes that I actually have it together around here, I’m just going to share what I wrote in my journal last night.
Here you go:
I am so, so, so tired.  

It is only 9:45.  

Dave has been out of town again.  And has been sick on and off for what seems like forever.

Single parenting can be rough I tell you.

I just stomped up the stairs and slammed my bedroom door because I’m so tired and sad that my kids don’t listen to me (I am invisible) and no one is doing jobs this week and it feels like all I do is nag and sometimes my teenagers are so grumpy and sullen and I will never, ever, EVER get on top of life.  Claire has another UTI (I can tell) and Lucy’s OCD things are killing me.  I am horrible at communication skills with my teenagers lately.  And Grace needs more attention.

But even still, I know that life is good.  Tomorrow the sun will shine and I will apologize to my children and we will hug and our eyes will twinkle at each other again.  

Because God is a God of second chances.  And boy does he ever give me a LOT of them.  

And guess what?  I was right.  (Except about the “wait ’til tomorrow” stuff cause I had to go apologize to Max before I could sleep).  Today the sun is shining and eyes are twinkling again.
How grateful I am for second chances.


Haunani Thunell February 22, 2013 - 4:14 pm

Ditto! About second chances and the sun coming up tomorrow. Love that.

I don't know why it always makes me relax a little to know that EVERYONE has the same challenges and frustrations at their house. Thanks for sharing your real days with all of us.

Saren Loosli February 22, 2013 - 4:21 pm

Shawni (and everyone),

Interesting timing. There's a free webinar on Wednesday by this amazing woman I've gotten to know through Power of Moms, Amy McCready, and it's about EXACTLY what you're talking about in this post – the endless struggle to get our kids to listen to us in a positive way. Here's the link for more information: http://powerofmoms.com/free-webinar-on-wednesday/

Brigette Little February 22, 2013 - 4:26 pm

I always enjoy reading your posts. We have a lot in common. 🙂 Thanks for being willing to share the reality of it all. It's easy to talk about the rosy stuff, but I think it helps us all to realize that we're not doing EVERYTHING wrong when we have a bad day.

Lindsey February 22, 2013 - 4:34 pm

Thanks for this. I think everyone appreciates the "real" things documented. AND I'm glad to hear your teenagers are moody, because they always look so dang happy.

dresselfamily.blogspot.com February 22, 2013 - 4:38 pm

I LOVE that you keep it real!
I love that you can't sleep until you apologise.. I have driver to school and pulled a child out of class to say sorry, as I was mad at them when they left for school LOL.

your amazing!

ellen February 22, 2013 - 4:39 pm

You have a lot of smiles and laughs in your life; you are very lucky.

Beach Mamma February 22, 2013 - 4:40 pm

So glad to hear others have days like that too. I can totally identify. Thanks… 🙂

Janelle February 22, 2013 - 4:42 pm

Thanks for sharing Shawni. Although I only wish you happiness it is nice to know that you feel the same way I do sometimes 😉 Those teenagers are something aren't they! I never knew it just gets harder and harder.

Becki@Just The Three of Us February 22, 2013 - 4:45 pm

Thank you soooo much for posting this!

Sierra February 22, 2013 - 4:57 pm

I needed this, it's good to know you and your family are still humans just like us, love reading your posts. My husband is in the army so I know all to well what those single parent days/weeks/months can be like! Keep going because your right, tomorrow will be better 🙂

nye.jessica@gmail.com February 22, 2013 - 5:00 pm

Was encouraged by this post as well. Thanks!

Shauna February 22, 2013 - 5:17 pm

Thanks for sharing. Just lost my temper and was feeling horrible and hiding downstairs for a break. I have the same feelings of always being behind. Satan is working hard on me since I have to speak in church on Sunday and making me feel guilty since my talk is about teaching our youth the gospel and helping them develop strong testimonies.

Anonymous February 22, 2013 - 5:27 pm

I really feel for Claire because I too was prone to UTIs as a youngster.

Not to sound gross, but she may not be wiping herself correctly or completely after BMs. This will cause UTIs in a heartbeat.

Arianne February 22, 2013 - 5:46 pm

That sounds exactly like real life! My husband was gone for just under a week last week, and I was so tired the whole time. Single parenting is hard; I don't know how people do it all the time! Thanks for sharing your real, raw thoughts. Sometimes, it's nice to hear that someone as 'together' as you has bad days too; because, we all do. But, even though it's hard to remember, but easy to look back on, it's true that 'everything will work out.'

Owen February 22, 2013 - 6:08 pm

Geez. thanks shawni. i hope that in 10 years i am like you!! turning 30 this year and having baby number 3 as well- OVERWHELMING. oh so overwhelming-as i type this my two little rascal of boys are chucking cars and making as much noise as they possibly can…so i only have a minute to write to tell you thank you for your daily help in my life as a mother. the sun isn't shining here in northern idaho but i guess above the clouds it is right?? thanks again for your daily posts- they help me more than you know!

Cheryl February 22, 2013 - 6:16 pm

I had a night just like that last night! My almost 14 year ol came to apologize to me though! Miracles never cease!

chelsie February 22, 2013 - 6:33 pm

You're an awesome mom, Shawnie!

Katie Jane February 22, 2013 - 6:38 pm

I want to move and be your neighbor! You are so very real and awesome. I love to come to your blog and feel inspired and validated. I am reading the Power of Moms book and it is just what I needed. I found out about it through reading your blog, so thanks a million for taking time to write this blog. It helps bring joy to people you don't even know.

rachfishop February 22, 2013 - 6:51 pm

Aaaah the joys of teenagers…. they're just gently softening us up so that we'll be prepared to let them go 🙂

Anne Marie February 22, 2013 - 7:08 pm

Thank you for your words and thoughts. Life's pretty messy and crazy sometimes. Hope you get some R and R this weekend.

The Tremendous Thomas Family February 22, 2013 - 7:13 pm

Man!! You will never know what it does for people to be real sometimes. I love your blog seriously it is amazing, inspiring and encouragingly positive. However this might be one of my favorite kinds of posts to know that I am not alone. That as mothers we can fall down, slam a door, need to apologize and that is ok. We keep moving forward!! You are simply marvelous!

Shelly Cunningham February 22, 2013 - 7:14 pm

Thank you. Thank you for being so candid and letting me feel less alone in being tired and overwhelmed by responsibility.

marlowe February 22, 2013 - 7:33 pm

While our boys are off recharging their batteries … with all those same things on my mind last night, I allowed myself to curl up with "I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better" by Gary and Joy Lundberg.

The sun always comes up in the morning 🙂 Miss you guys!

Jackie March 1, 2013 - 6:13 pm

That book is a real gem! 🙂

valerie February 22, 2013 - 7:45 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It is somewhat reassuring that even a mom as great as you has hard days too. Last week was my tough week. In tears I told my husband how I was giving it my all, why were my kids not responding the way I wanted?!?! We decided I may set my expectations a little high. They are kids! Everything we are trying isn't in vain. The things we are doing will come together one day. I heard a great quote too – "Kids are like investments, you have to get in early for it to pay off in the future." (Elder Shane Bowen)

likeschocolate February 22, 2013 - 7:52 pm

Your not alone and thanks for keeping it real.

Janan February 22, 2013 - 8:44 pm

I'm right there with you! My kids are Nearly 16, Nearly 14, Just 12, and almost 10.
On a unrelated note: Have you read Nurture Shock? It contains a lot of studies about kids, one of which basically says that a majority of problems that seem to come with Teenagers are because they are sleep deprived. Because so much growing/changing is happening they actually need more sleep than say a 10 year old. My mom was always a stickler of us getting our adequate sleep and I turned into one too! How'd that happen;)? Anyway, not saying that's your issue just found it fascinating and wanted to share.

Janan February 22, 2013 - 8:47 pm

p.s. I sometimes fear that my descendants will think I was a miserable person because my journal has basically become my venting tool! Guess I should work on changing that:)

R and S February 22, 2013 - 9:22 pm

Thank you for this real life post, it meant a lot to me. I have 4 girls and one boy – ages 18 months up to 17 years old. Teenagers are so tough for me, but you are right about 2nd chances and the sun coming up tomorrow. I have to remind myself everyday to look for the positive and try to love my children the way Heavenly Father loves my children, me and all of us. Thank you!

Andrea February 22, 2013 - 9:27 pm

So nice to know that my kids aren't the only ones who don't listen all the time and that I am not the only Mom who gets frustrated about it. Thank you 🙂

K February 22, 2013 - 10:16 pm

I could have written this post. I'm often "invisible" to my kids unless I'm making cookies. 🙂 and I wonder if my kids will remember me as the nice mom or the cranky one. Thankfully we can all lean a little on each other and proceed forward. The sun will come up tomorrow!

Debbie Jones February 22, 2013 - 10:28 pm

Thanks for this post. Sometimes I read your blog your family looks so amazingly perfect and think that I am just so out of it and so NOT perfect. Three of my four kids are grown ups now and I wish I could have do-overs on so many things and I can't. It is good to know that we all have struggles. My husband has been gone a lot during the past two years for his job and so I know about the single parent thing because my youngest is 16 and 1/2 and sometimes I am just not the best with teenage boys. Mostly, I pray A LOT and know that God will make up for what I lack. Thanks for "keeping it real."

Eyrealm February 22, 2013 - 11:05 pm

I'm with you kiddo!

Andrea February 22, 2013 - 11:33 pm

Thanks for being real. It so helps me. I said the same thing to my husband last night about being invisible to the kids.

Mallory February 22, 2013 - 11:58 pm

along with everyone else i am glad you posted this. i read your blog all the time, but never comment. but i had to comment today because this post was my favorite so far. its nice to see that even you, a women who's parents wrote the book on parenting, still has bad days, like me. 🙂

{Lindsey} February 23, 2013 - 2:37 am

I totally appreciate the 'realness' of this post. I love looking at your blog because your life puts a smile on my face. It's always uplifting, full of advice and very helpful. But it is good to know that you are real. you are human. and that you have days like me. you're an inspiration to me and I have to share that I was disappointed today when I looked at the TOFW schedule for StG Utah and didn't see your name. someday, maybe.

Holly Decker February 23, 2013 - 3:50 am

thank you. i have been feeling like the worst parent on planet earth. i needed this. especially because tomorrow i am supposed to bear my testimony at a womans conference and all i can think is what a hypocrit i am! thank you so much.

MamaT February 23, 2013 - 4:17 am

I have followed your blog for a while, and I always appreciate your insight to parenting. No post was more important than the one I came across tonight, that the sun will shine tomorrow.

My husband works 10+ hours a day and we have 4 children 5 and younger, making for long days of feeling just what you have this week. I thank you a million times over for putting into words exactly what I needed today and for the reminder that God forgives and tomorrow is a new day to maybe be better.

Katherine February 23, 2013 - 5:09 am

Hi! I love your blog… I've been an avid follower for quite sometime 🙂 I recently started my own blog (3 posts so far!) about my life, my family, motherhood, etc. It is new and I do not have any followers yet. Would you like to follow/subscribe to my blog? In case you are wondering, I am a mother to 7 (almost 8 children!), including 4 biological children and 4 adopted children. I also homeschool and have two children with special needs. I plan to blog about everything I just mentioned. Would LOVE if you'd follow/subscribe/spread the word about my blog!

Paola February 23, 2013 - 5:23 am

Social media can be so deceiving. Pictures and stories about perfect husbands, perfect children, perfectly cooked meals , perfectly clean homes, hair and make up done and so on make you wonder what planet that is. And on those days when I am feeling like a failure (every normal woman feels that way at one point or another) blogs like that make me nauseous. Your blog has a different effect on me. It make me feel peaceful. You celebrate the things in life that matter the most without going overboard and decorating your words with unicorns, cotton candy and glitter. And you are also honest when you have a bad day without sounding like a Debbie downer. I wished we were in the same ward and you were my VT, you are such a wonderful woman!

Danielle February 23, 2013 - 7:08 am

I love this! Thanks for keeping it real- it's nice to know I'm not the only one that has days like that. 🙂

Rebecca February 23, 2013 - 2:17 pm

Thank you.

Mmm...mama♥ February 23, 2013 - 2:46 pm

Oh this post just made my day! This week has been rough and I feel like the worst mother when my only child, a three year old, acts up so much. But there is always a new day, a new start and a new chance to do better!

Linda February 23, 2013 - 3:19 pm

I, too, am an invisible, "single", mom with huge doses of reality lately. SOOOO comforting to know you go through this too! Thanks for your post!

anne February 23, 2013 - 3:20 pm

AMEN sista! I am so grateful for second chances as well. So grateful for the days we are allowed to have to practice again and again and again, to stretch our hearts and souls around this most difficult job of mothering. Thank you for sharing. I have followed your blog for some time and you are an inspiring mom and woman. Thank YOU

Jessica February 23, 2013 - 3:52 pm

Second chances each new day are the best.
Hang in there!

Anonymous February 23, 2013 - 6:34 pm

Thank you for keeping it real.

helen Poelman February 23, 2013 - 9:23 pm

Nice to know you are normal sometimes my dear. You and your kids are wonderful (as you always know in your heart.) It's just too bad that we (mom's/individuals) can't always be in control of everything and everyone and that our energy and control runs out from time to time.
Glad you "vented" and got back to a happier place now!

Skylar and Lauren February 23, 2013 - 11:58 pm

I LOVE this. I have to admit, I've had my days of thinking EVERYONE else has everything together, except for me of course! I love the honesty. thanks for being willing to share the good with the bad to make the rest of us feel human!

Kimberly February 24, 2013 - 2:58 am

When reading your mom's book last fall I loved the part where she said people love to hear about your family's problems. It's true. It makes you seem more human…you can't be gorgeous, thin, have impeccable taste, beautiful children, a great husband, ETC…AND be perfect all the time. It would make us hate you. Reading posts like this make the good posts feel more genuine. We all have bad days.

Just ME February 24, 2013 - 10:47 am

So glad to hear you do it too!!

Kelly February 24, 2013 - 4:41 pm

Thank you for this. Because sometimes, truthfully, I look at your life and think I am just failing horribly because my girls don't ever want to do their chores, and I have slammed doors, and feel as though I am invisible and have failed my children.

Then, like you, I remember that God is a God of endless "second" chances, and through Him, I can start again.

Thank you thank you, for your vulnerability in sharing this:-)

Sarah Craft February 24, 2013 - 11:51 pm

We are all in this together. Motherhood is beautiful and unbelievably frustrating. I feel such guilt when I have to apologize for my behavior towards my little girls but it is reassuring to know we all get a fresh start every day. Blessings to you and thank you for sharing your family via your blog.

Katie February 25, 2013 - 2:32 pm

I was a teacher before I became a mother, and one of my favorite parts of that job were the second chances. Tomorrow could always be different. Always be better. That's definitely one of the greatest blessings of motherhood for me, too. Thanks for helping me remember that this morning.

Katee February 25, 2013 - 4:23 pm

All I can say is, Thank you!

The Rodriguez Crew February 25, 2013 - 5:14 pm

Between yours and Ashley Ann's post today, I don't think I need to look at another blog. THANK YOU!!!

Wyoming Steenbakkers February 25, 2013 - 6:31 pm

Thank you for keeping life real! Some days I feel like I'm the only one that is nagging and tired. Boy do I get it! You are right though–the sun does come up the next day and I get a fresh start. 🙂 Hang in there!

Erin February 26, 2013 - 12:58 pm

Thank you so much for making me feel normal! I admire the way you run your home and family and aspire to be half as put together as you seem to be! 😉 I have 5 kids ages 7 and under and we currently live abroad in SP Brazil. Life is always insane, but I wouldn't have it any other way!


Anonymous February 26, 2013 - 4:13 pm

You perfectly described how I felt last night! Nice to know we are all in this together. 🙂

Jill February 27, 2013 - 6:06 pm

This is the best post you have ever written. Period.

Tammy March 1, 2013 - 3:24 pm

investedMy daughter follows your blog and is always finding something to smile about, it is so easy to relate to you and your family. I have been thankful for your sharing, you have a special gift. I agree with the other posts, motherhood is a fantastic roller coaster ride at best! Big highs and of course, low lows, that is the "test" part. I think that it takes courage to roll with it gracefully or maybe not so gracefully, sometimes. My husband has done some traveling abroad, so I relate on some level to what you are sharing. When he was traveling, my kids would fall apart too, in like 17 directions, it was very frustrating. It occurred to me that we were just feeling the absence of our amazing priesthood holder! We definitely underestimate the day to day strength of having the priesthood in our homes. So, don't be too hard on yourself, without your incredible husband and dad, the kids are freaking out, (you too, maybe) just a little. Be patient, get some blessings and you can handle these times, even if it isn't beautifully! Hopefully, my insight can help to focus on what will be helpful for you! You are enough for your family, even if you don't feel it! Smile, cry and carry on!

Heidi Broberg March 5, 2013 - 9:45 pm

I am not alone, yeah!


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