If anyone wants to know what a place called “Wit’s End” looks like, just ask me. I’m there right now.

It’s amazing how you can go from one day feeling like you could conquer the world in motherhood to the next wishing you could just go curl up in a corner and give up.

I guess the fact that life won’t seem to slow down doesn’t help. And because of that, there’s no time to turn “off.” Lately it seems that life is stuck indefinitely in the “on” position. There’s always something that needs doing, and sleep is hard to come by. And in my case, the result is a frustrated and impatient mother.

From sitting on the piano bench helping kids plunk out the new pieces they’ve been assigned, to following up with a doctor who didn’t send the the blood work lab sheet for Lucy they promised, to changing the sheets on Elle’s bed for a visitor, to changing Claire’s sheets because she wet the bed…again, to cajoling kids to clean up after themselves and trying to positively reinforce how great it is to have a clean house, to dropping everything I’m trying to juggle every time one of Lucy’s therapists comes over, to comforting a crying child (inevitably one who doesn’t really deserve comforting because it’s the tenth time she’s burst into tears that hour, and in reality there’s really not anything wrong. That smart child has just realized how to negatively get positive attention, and they’ve got you wrapped around their finger!), to figuring out how to use a new laptop (which I LOVE by the way, but it takes time to figure it all out), to preparing to teach a parenting class, to editing a photo shoot, to figuring out the best way to deal with naughty behavior from a particular child, or trying to build up another child you’re worried has low self esteem these days…it seems like I have to be “on” every time I turn around to take a breather.

The list goes on and on and on. Most of it consists of good, fulfilling things. When they come at me a few at a time I can take them on, no problem. I can handle it. That’s what moms do, right? But the past couple weeks they’ve been poured on by the bucketful and I just can’t keep up. I know, moms do the “bucketfuls” too. But right now I don’t feel like I’m one of the tough moms. I’m the wimpy one who can’t handle it. I’m sitting here in my laundry room/office/project room with stacks of mail and unfinished “ideas” crowding in on me, and it makes me just want to cry because I’m thinking how will I ever catch up? Tomorrow’s Father’s Day (and Dave deserves a great one) which means I need to be “on” again. And all I really want to do is lay in bed all day and beg Dave to give me one of his amazing back rubs.

Then there’s Grace’s birthday (party year this year you know…gotta get going on that) and our anniversary next week, a trip to the mountains this weekend, another photoshoot on Wednesday, an outline for a project I’m doing with my mom I need to work on, drawers jam-packed with junk to be organized, scheduling for doctors and Max’s braces appointments… ok, I’ll quit, you get the idea, right? It just doesn’t stop.

But you know what? Tomorrow’s going to be better. I just know it. Because it always is. Max will say something to make me laugh, Claire will give me a hug and tell me she loves me out of the blue. Dave will wink at me from across the room. And suddenly all the “on” time will seem worth it.

But not tonight. Tonight I’m turning off and going to bed!

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  1. You are amazing and you inspire me! You are raising 5 wonderful people…such a hard task. I can barely handle two and they are the same age as Lucy. Just know that you are awesome…really you are…I love your blog and I’ve learned so much from you. Thank you for being you and being honest and for being real! Tomorrow will be a better day and on Monday you hide away for a time and recover from the beautiful madness!

  2. Thanks for the great reality! I am visiting “Wit’s End” also…where there doesn’t seem to be enough patience, time, energy or me to go around! But I love your thought that it is just a visit–that tomorrow will be better (even if I just finished cleaning up from a party and am sitting down to finish putting a lesson together for RS tomorrow and it is midnight ;-)).

    BTW–I LOVED LOVED LOVED the parenting class. You did such a great job. I left feeling so inspired. Thank you!

  3. Shawni it is so good to hear that other moms feel this way too. I have been feeling the exact same way lately!
    You seem like a really amazing mom though.
    I have to think that every mom must have these moments.
    You have FIVE kids! I only have four and I feel completely stretched!
    I know what you mean about being “on” for Father’s Day too….it’s a lot of work.
    I have to remind myself that it’s all temporary and we will probably miss it when they are all grown….when our houses are spotless we will miss all those little finger prints every where….right????

  4. AWWW Shawni, I am so sorry about your day. When it rains it pours I guess. It is so nice to know that tomorrow is a new day and you can rest and recharge for your family. You are AMAZING!!! Keep your chin up!

  5. I hope you got some rest last night and will get to relax today. This summer has been a little crazy. You have been going non-stop. I hope you get some down time today. You are always an amazing mom! Its tough when someone like you is so good at what you do. Its a full time job and can get you tired after a while. You always seem to pull it off though.
    I cant wait to hear about your laptop. I think you’ll love it once you get the hang of it.

  6. Well you sure looked “ON” when I saw you Saturday! Keep up the incredible work. You have a lot on your plate! It’s embarassing to say that I often feel conquered and I only have 2 kids…and not too many activities or lessons planned yet! So, it was so good to see you at the baptism! And the compliment I recieved from Dave was so sweet (I told Trent he needs to take lessons from my cousins on how to give me compliments…ha ha.) Hope to see you all again very soon! Have fun at Bear Lake!

  7. Shawni! I can’t believe we both live in wit’s end. I’ve lived here a month and I don’t like it very much. Maybe If I had a friend who lived here, too… 🙂

    Seriously, I hear you. You are my twin in motherhood. This month has not been fun. Stuff I haven’t posted about because it’s kind of private. An Accident (not me…), a weirdo neighbor, a dishwasher melting itself to smitherings, and let’s not talk about having to wash your own dishes by hand. That in itself is enough to make me crazy.

    But then Adam has been out of town three out of the four weeks last month, and I got sick. And tired.

    So, glad to know I have a friend down the street here in “wit’s end.” We’ll have to get together!

  8. Shawni-

    I’m so sorry things have been overwhelming for you. I know I’ve contributed to it. I really appreciate you editing those pictures for Ella’s baptism. It was so nice of you guys to come too. We just love you so much. Let me know if I can watch some little ones and help you get some things done.

    Oh, and the parenting class was AMAZING!! Seriously, you inspired me so much. Thanks for your work, preparation, and just being such a great person!

  9. And the worst part is that you didn’t even mention a tenth of the things that I saw you do with my own eyes while I was there! I’ll be so glad to get you to the lake where you have to slow down just a little!
    Love you,

  10. I am typically not one to give suggestions or advice, especially to someone more experienced and obviously wiser than I, but since the idea wasn’t my own, I’ll share it. My genius of a friend who is always doing great cleaning games with her kids and such just posted on her blog about a summer reward idea for her 5 kids this summer. It really is the smartest idea. If you go to my blog then to the Johnson family you can read it a few posts back. It may just spark something that will help with something.
    And speaking from my own experience, everything seems cyclical. It seems like things get overwhelming and trying for a bit of time, then, one day, when you’ve just complained to your husband about life, you wake up and everyting is back to normal and I’m “on” without even trying. When things are tough, I just keep reminding myself that this is when I matter most for my kids and I have to be my best, because it’s hard and that’s when we grow as a family. I hope that morning is tomorrow for you and things settle down!

  11. Hang in there, Shawni! You are awesome. I admire your frankness in these posts! We all feel that way once in a while for one reason or other, and then a few days later it seems somehow odd that we felt so burnt out, until it all happens all over again! Hey – our new sister missionary is Sister Eyre from Boise! But she says it “air” and her brother is on a mission in Romania. Isn’t that kind of a small world? Te pup!

  12. Hey, Shawni. Hope you don’t mind, but I referenced you on my blog. I talked about this post, how I live there, too. I can’t figure out how to link to you, though. That’s my husbands specialty. So I used your name. Is that okay?

  13. Shawni,
    Keep up the good work. You’re amazing, and every mom deserves a little “wits end” once in a while. The only problem it comes around alot more often for me.

    You inspire us all, that’s why we love your blog. I have to say, it is nice to know that you are human.

  14. Ha! I’m at my wit’s end every night! 🙂
    It’s refreshing to know that I’m not the only mom in the world that gets fed up and tired with our day to day routines.
    It always gets better, tho – doesn’t it?

  15. boy i know this. and i only have two little friends. especially changing the sheets. I hate the sheets. good luck with all of the things you are doing. when i grow up i want to be like you=). we have to have the rough times so the sweet ones are even sweeter but it is hard to think they will come back sometimes.

  16. This post is so great Shawni. I know i am a “shawni blog stalker” and as such — we aren’t personally aquainted.:) LOL

    BUT, I appreciate posts like this so much. I try to post them now and again as well. We ALL struggle from time to time and as women, particularly us Mormon Women, we have such guilt. I blog for a journal for our family — I read blogs to gain wisdom, strength and ideas from others out there….your blog does exactly that for me….this post did exactly that for me. It helped me to remember(as I do often) that we are all REAL people, we all struggle with priorities, perception and my personal list goes on and on.:)

    This comment is getting long and probably doesn’t make sense — I just wanted to say thanks for keeping it real!!!:)

  17. PS your Mom’s comment sounds like words from my own Mother — they never stop worrying about us, do they? 🙂 Sweet Moms!!

  18. Oh you sound so busy. I felt the same on Father’s day. Not wanting to have to be “on” but knowing my husband deserved it. It’s hard to be “on” all of the time! I always think someday we’ll be sittin’ in a rocker doing nothing and miss these crazy days!

  19. It’s just comforting to know we’re all in it together, except now I can’t ever complain cause you have a kazillion more things going on it sounds like! I play it lazy all summer long and STILL have those days. But you’re right, tomorrow will be better. Oh, and sorry for Charlotte’s luring Lucy a little too far up the church aisle on Sunday 🙂

  20. You are one go getter! All I do all day is sit on the couch and eat bon bons all day!J/K I wish! Life is crazy but it is also Crazy good! I feel like I am so up and down all the time! I get to my wits end way to fast lately!Great post!

  21. Thank you once again for sharing. I recently told a friend I think I need to join a support group or something. Reading posts like this one is that support group to me. You are great.

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