My friend commented to me after reading this blog the other day that it seemed like things are running pretty seamless in our household.

And that made me realize I haven’t written much about the nitty-gritties lately.

I’ll tell you what, things are far from “seamless” around here. I don’t like when I start to sound like all is perfect here in suburbia, because let’s face it, it’s not.

I love blogs.

I love to document life. It’s such a great outlet to me to sit in front of the computer and spill out my feelings and details of life. I love to have the knowledge in my back pocket that although I have the worst memory known to man, I can come back and read what the heck happened last week and still relish in the memories…of the sad and the happy…the good and the bad.

The only thing I don’t like about blogs is that sometimes they tend to highlight only the rainbows and butterflies of life. Don’t get me wrong…remembering the good stuff is so very important.

But I think blogs sometimes tend to mistakenly make the mothers who write them seem to be some sort of superhuman creatures…because we’re more likely to document the good stuff. Blogs can create mistaken impressions that a mother can single-handedly whip up a nutritious, whole-grain dinner, make up fun cleaning games for her kids, pamper her husband, decorate a perfect house, read her scriptures in a little spiritual bubble each morning, fulfill her calling in church to a T, and feed the homeless in the twinkle of an eye…all with a smile on her face that she had time to put make-up on that morning.

Often blogs don’t tell the “real story.” They neglect to inform the reader that that same mother who is single-handedly “changing the world” also yelled at her kids that day, and burnt the pancakes for breakfast (come on, how hard can pancakes be for crying out loud!), and locked herself in her bedroom when the commotion in her “perfect” household brought her to a breaking point.

I’d like to hang it out there and make sure that I am very clear that I, for one, am very far from the superhero range of motherhood.

Sure, I have some good ideas here and there. Sometimes I go for a long streak of having an extra share of patience. I genuinely adore motherhood and waited for it with baited breath my whole life, which helps to keep things in perspective. But boy howdy, do I ever have a lot to learn.

I do try to keep it real here on “71 Toes.” (If you don’t agree, read here and here and here and here and here….I could go on but you get the point.)

Elle’s friend can tell you the real story.

As she stood there in swirl of activity in the kitchen waiting for Elle the other morning three kids were begging for lunch money (one of them to the point of tears because I couldn’t write out the checks fast enough and she didn’t want to be late), Claire was crying because her bum was itching so bad (sorry if that’s too graphic…she’s got issues), Grace still had a welt on her arm from where Max got a little too close doing his dishtowel-whipping-scare-joke earlier that morning, the kitchen was still strewn with breakfast residue because since Max has to leave before clean-up it seems that everyone else slacks on their jobs, Elle was incessantly on the phone with various friends trying to figure out what mode of transportation they wanted to use to get to school that day, Lucy was yelling for someone to come get her out of her “tent” that keeps her in her crib, Grace was begging for me to take her out to lunch that day for the fifth time and I had to explain for the fifth time (trying my best to stay calm) why I couldn’t do it that particular day, I was sweaty and stinky from working out and still had mascara all around my eyes from the day before and my hair was still up in all kinds of crazy clips from a hairdo one of the girls did on me the night before during story time…

I was a total mess…and I lost it with the kids.

Yep, that cute little friend of Elle’s got a good show of what a “great” mom I am.

I’m just saying, life is full of chaos in Motherhood. And no mother can be perfect. We all get distracted from what’s most important a lot of the time. We lose our balance. We yell. We get emotional. We criticize. We make mistakes…sometimes really big ones. At least I sure do.

But I’m a firm believer that although no mother can be “perfect” in the sense that she does everything right, every mother can be the perfect mother for her particular kids. I firmly believe that the “perfect mother” for our kids is a mother who tries her best to get help from up above, still makes lots of mistakes, learns from them, and helps her kids learn from what she learns along the way.

In my mind a perfect mother is a very imperfect mom just trying her best.

Sorry, just rambling. That’s what happens when I worry that I’m painting the picture a little too rosy. But chaos or not, in my mind it is rosy because I’m thankful for it…craziness and all. Because there is nowhere in the world I’d rather be than right here, right now.

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  1. I think you've kept it real on here — yes, we all paint rainbows…but that's because later on, all we really want to remember is the good. For now and for blogging purposes, it's nice to keep it real now and again.

    I'd love to send you a camera strap — just for being you and inspiring me.:) What color would you like? or color scheme…and also, do you want quick release nylon straps or no?

    you can see what I"m talking about on

    email me your address — if you dare.:) Thanks for keeping it realy sistah!

  2. You are so right about being an imperfect mother. I can relate in so many ways. Often I feel that I paint the rainstorm more often than the rainbow on my blog just because I worry about it seeming too rosy too often. You do often amaze me in your posts and endeavors as a woman and mother, but you also keep it very real. It's why I keep coming back 🙂 (I'm sure Elle's friend didn't even blink! We're human after all.)

  3. Well said. Thanks for keeping it real. I so identify right now.

    The trenches of motherhood can be overwhelming, treacherous and painful at times.

    But the blessings are so worth it!

  4. Thanks for this post. Sometimes it seems as if others are doing it so much better.

    I just finished reading your book! It was great…and i loved it. I ordered one for a friend who is of another faith that is expecting her first child and was wondering if I mailed it to you with a pre-paid return envelope if you would sign it for her? I know you are super busy and I just read your blog about feeling guilty about not responding to comments, but if you could email me at i would appreciate it! thanks!

  5. i know you've seen a rant or TWELVE on my blog and that is why i give a disclaimer before they get to deep into my post. if you want the truth come to my blog if you want only the perfect stuff go somewhere else cause it's not always pretty. 🙂

  6. I am totally guilty of only sharing the rainbows — I am too conscious of my in-laws reading, I think.

    Thanks for keeping it real — you inspire me either way, though. And I am glad I am not the only imperfect mom in blog land.

  7. You are wonderful, Shawni. I think you definitely "keep it real" but honestly, it's so great to document the good stuff in journals or blogs because then, on those hard mommy days, you can go back and see just how much you're accomplishing. Or, how much love you're giving out. When my schedule is crazy and no one is cooperating and the house is messy, it's therapeutic to look at pictures I've posted because then I see the high from the low I'm currently in. I hope that makes sense. You continue to inspire me, with the good & the bad!

  8. Thanks for the reality check. We all need a good reminder once in awhile that we aren't expected to be perfect yet, and that no one else is perfect yet either.

  9. I am a huge fan of "keepin' it real" but sometimes ona blog it's hard to do. It's not like anyone wants to read the 100 things I hate about my life all the time.
    You know, you also have to keep a blog positive. 🙂

  10. I don't know, Shawni, that friend, who you claim got an ear full, thinks you make the best chocolate chip pumpkin cookies on the block. She thinks you're a fab. mom to an ever more fab. daughter.

    But I know you're keepin' it real over there, and that's what I love most about you!

  11. LOVED this. Just wrote this same sort of post on mine just moments before reading yours. I had to quote from yours as I loved how you said it, there is no place I would rather be… I wish we lived closer. We would sure have fun and so would our children and husbands. They are a lot alike. You keep being the great mommy you are. You inspire me to keep being better. Thanks.

  12. Shawni, I have been so busy since our trip that just got the chance to finally sit down, read, and say hello. It was so great to meet your family! I love that I can quietly keep up with those we met at Aspen Grove through everyone's blogs. You are such great people and we feel blessed to have met you!

  13. I like to read your blog because I enjoyed your book so much. I know things are not perfect the way I want them to be. I really want to NOT yell or get involved in the tantrums my kids throw. But I do sometimes, and Shawni, you have a talent for being positive. It's refreshing to hear other peoples struggles so as to not feel alone in the trials of motherhood. But it's so important to focus on all of the wonderful things more often. So many of our hardships CAN be wonderful depending on our perspectives. I love yours.

  14. I love when you tell about your not so perfect days, because it gives me hope that I'm not the only one. Unfortunately I mostly put the good on my blog. I don't know why. Maybe if I keep reading yours I'll learn. You're the best!

  15. I really love this post. You are most definitely keeping it real, and I hope to do the same. When you have the time maybe you can check out my new blog " Unique You" I only have one post so far but I am working on it. I would love for your support.

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