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Cathy Swandal

Yes we are fighting the same fight. Feeling the same guilt and raising kids who love us for exactly who we are :) I love that when I go to work I wear something like pajamas (scrubs) and when I get dressed up for a big occasion my kids notice and tell me that I look "even more beautiful". Be proud of the Mom you are because your kids are lucky and they know it!!!


Super glad you are coming to terms... I love your highlight reel...more importantly, I love that you keep sharing. Just remember, Don't stop... unless YOU want to. And I forgot one thing, Don't blog unless YOU want to either. A million thanks to you for sharing your family and your knowledge. You are a giver of gifts and maybe just maybe... you need to recieve a few to help you see what a gift YOU are to the world. Hugs!

young nanny

Hi Karen, You are so right with the mum thing - we are all fighting the same fight. Rest assured that your blog speaks to all of us and provides encouragement that we're all in this together. Remember also, that we are all precious in God's eyes no matter who we are, what we wear or where we live. And I love that about Him. God bless xx


Six years ago, my baby girl was born (my fourth child). A week after that, my friend's baby was born (her 8th child), but he only lived 17 days. Fast forward two years, and I was overly frustrated that my little two year old wouldn't stop getting into the toothpaste, desitin, and handsoap and saturating her hair with it. I made a plee for anyone to take her. Lowest bidder wins. Well, my friend, who's baby had died, offered up her empty arms. "Send her to Aunt Jen; I'll take her" is what she said to me. I immediately felt like the worst person in the world, who didn't appreciate the good thing I had. Fast forward again, three more years, and this same friend came to comfort me when my next child (my fifth) was born with severe heart defects and would require immediate intervention to live after birth, as well as many heart surgeries throughout his life. His life is still rocky, with three open heart surgeries already under his belt, at 2 years old, and more planned for this year. I'm not sure how much time he will have on this earth. But one thing that I hold dear, is the life lesson this friend taught me. Take advantage of what you have, the moment you have it. Don't compare to other people, because you never fully know their circumstances. Love yourself. Love your family. Love your life. God gave it to you for a specific reason. That's all that matters.


And even at 60 we fight the same fight...we know the real answers, but it still plays that song....And I keep telling myself..."this too shall pass". Loved your "highlights". Thanks.!


Thank you, Karen. You are so right. We ARE all fighting the same fight. Very eloquently said. I do not have a way with words at all, but when I read something like that, I'm like, "Yes, what she said!" LOL. Thanks for your lovely blog. I love the little insight you give into your life and family. Take care and may your husband come home soon!

Jennifer Fike

I'm a stay at home mom of three. Being a mom is the most rewarding job, but in the same breath it's the most guilty one too. Yes we are all fighting the same fight.

Julia Spencer

I read that same article and felt the same way. Whew... relief and release. Sigh... Freedom feels pretty d*mn good. ;)


this is the first time I've left a comment on your blog. I love reading about you and your family because you are "real". You don't sugar coat things - you don't make your life out to be perfect, etc. I quit reading the blogs that did that..made me feel bad because I couldn't live up to them and I felt like a bad mother...but I knew better. Now a couple of these people who seemed to have it all are struggling with divorce and people are "so shocked"... ummm....that's because all you were seeing was their Highlight real.
Please keep you and your adorable blended family!

Lynne Ashcraft

Wow! Thank you for sharing this! I am a new mom to a 5 week old and feel like such a perpetual failure for all those chronis moments I am experiencing! This really hit home for me!

Terry D.

I'm not a mother, but I get what you are saying. Thanks for sharing.


Yes,I feel that way all the time and always try to remind myself that NOTHING is perfect and to just keep trying to do my best with what I have been blessed with!


I hope you read The Momestary post today... it will speak to you even more (especially since you mentioned how cute and talented she is). Go read it!! :)
And don't keep blogging for us (even though we love you) - do it for you.


Thank you, I needed to hear this. I love the highlight reel analogy and hadn't heard it before (and I am on FB, Pinterest and Twitter!!). Definitely a holy sh*t moment here too :)


Karen, I hope u don't mind attaching This blog post to my Facebook account. YOU are as real as it gets. Moms everywhere just had a ah-ha moment reading your post. Thanks for being so honest with life....because thisis really how it goes.

Juli P

FYI, there is someone on FB that is using your name and photos....just an FYI. I noticed it and then got rid of it. You may want to have that taken down....
Now, I will go back and read the full post. Thanks.


I've always thought you were a better mom than me because you serve fruit with every

And get your booty on facebook! All of us "bad" moms are on there and it's fun!!! ;)


Read her blog post from today.
We all struggle behind the scenes.

Manon Keir

You're so right

and ps. you're pretty cute yourself miss Karen!!


karen, you're awesome! enough said.


my kids are grown and I still have that same fight all of the time in my head. You're not alone...hope that makes you feel better. I wanted to tell you that I was just waiting to see if ya'll danced in the kitchen during Christmas. I've always loved that at your family gatherings ya'll dance. It made me want to dance! So this past Christmas, my daughter and son-in-law gave me and her mother-in-law a CD with all of the songs from their wedding this past June. And we all danced in the kitchen on Christmas! yay!


My kids are almost grown, and yes we are all fighting the same fight. There were a group of the 'bench moms' who sat outside the elementary school waiting for school to get out years ago - we shared the good, bad, and hilarious. It was great and so comforting knowing everyone is going through the same thing. Thanks for being so 'real' on your blog. It's a blessing to so many.

Kim P

Your blog is my favorite because you have the highlights and midlights and the lowlights - real life. I try reminding myself about those cute, fun loving blogs that are oozing happiness ALL.THE.TIME. that they too have moments - they just choose not to share. I'm glad you share yours because we all can relate and that is what helps us all feel better - that we are fighting the same fight even though it's not always the same life lessons. No matter what, you are an inspiration to a lot of us out here in blogland with your stories and pictures. I hope you keep blogging. I'd miss you and your family so much!

Jen CT

You are the best, thank you for sharing this. I laughed, I cried - and yes, you are BEAUTIFUL too my dear!! Thank you for introducing me to Momastery -great inspiration. And, being a working mother of three under 4yrs, the levels of craziness just can't be put into words, but when my Audrey asked for my socks to put on her hands (so she can have sock hands) as she went to sleep - I knew that was a moment that made all the craziness worth it. (what are sock hands anyway?!)

Kirsten J

Well said, m'dear. I have that same kind of organic/sugar debate in my head all the time. And this isn't quite the same train of thought, but you made me think of this thing my brother-in-law says to my sister. She's in a constant battle with her weight (and really, she looks fine, but is maybe a size 8, surrounded by size 0 or size 2 friends) and she is constantly worrying about what to wear, and what will camouflage her arms or tummy, or whatever. And then worries about what is the first thing people will notice when they see her, and she has anxiety about being late to the party or gathering, and heads turning and seeing her look like a "whale" - real insecurity issues. Her husband says to her, "hey! got news for ya - you're not all that." Not everybody is looking/analyzing/comparing. I have to remind myself of the same thing.

Nicole Reid

That is one kick ass highlight reel Karen! I too read that article and have posted it on my refrigerator to remind myself to chill out.


Maybe I'll finally go read that article now that YOU've recommended it. :) I've tried many times but keep getting pulled away by ... hmmm ... my kids. Anyway, I'm right there with ya, fighting in my pjs.


love this post!! I think I will need more time to really make this quote mine although that is what I really need!!
can I ask how you get your pictures to be so full of light??? could you give me (us?) a tip?? thank you


"(Seriously, I don't mean to question the God of the universe here, but is it really fair that one person gets to be that cute, that funny and that eloquent? I'm just merely suggesting a little more even distrubtion of genetic blessings.)".......................I totally say this about you!!!!!! But you have to add in "and takes such awesome pictures".I love that you keep it real and I love reading your blog. You always put a smile on my face or give me something to think about. Thanks :) I also noticed the facebook thing...if its not you its kinda creepy that someone would steal your pics :/

Lisa V.

I wish I could find the article, but I don't know the name of it. But a church leader recently gave talk directed to us Moms. To summarize,he said we are too hard on ourselves, that we compare our weaknesses to other's strengths. That really hit home with me. He encouraged us to look at our strengths, not to compare ourselves to someone else, who has their own weaknesses, we just don't see them.

Gayle Shrader

Love it! From another pajama wearing mommy I just want to say thank you!!!! We really all are fighting the same battle and hopefully with God's help we will all get through it! Thanks for being so real and honest always!!!

Denise~Paper Ponderings

LOVE your post...and I think I've recently realized the same thing. I came upon a mom yelling at her child in the shopping cart because she didn't know I was there...when she heard my footsteps her tone changed completely and went to a soothing "honey I've told her before" tone. It actually made my day and it actually makes me want to be a better mom when I know nobody is around!

Colleen Barron

Isn't it funny Karen? It's all about perspective. I want to be you when I "grow up" and I'm 52!!! You seem to have it together even when you tell us you don't. Love you! Love your family! Love your blog!
Thank you to you and your hubby for his sacrifice for our country!!!


LOVE IT ALL!!! And I am LAUGHING because when you talk about "but is it really fair that one person gets to be that cute, that funny and that eloquent? I'm just merely suggesting a little more even distrubtion of genetic blessings.)" I realize that you have NO idea that you are THAT CUTE, FUNNY, ELOQUENT, CREATIVE, BEAUTIFUL, TALENTED person to so many of are just rocking it in your jammies inspiring us instead of making us feel CRAPPY! :)


Amen, Sista!


Thank you for this post Karen, for keeping it real for all of us moms. That quote is so true. Funny thing, I always think your house looks so beautiful in your photos, and mine never looks that good, so thanks for reminding me to stop comparing. And I totally get the hot cocoa/sugar guilt. Right now I am conflicted because I want to make my son a cake because he won his science fair, but I am feeling guilty about too much sugar. Ack! Why do we do this to ourselves?! I also have barely taken out my camera since the new year, sometimes a tiny break is necessary.


oh karen... you just lifted mommas up all over this world... thank you


Good subject today! Hits home!

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Don't blog unless YOU want to either. A million thanks to you for sharing your family and your knowledge. You are a giver of gifts and maybe just maybe... you need to recieve a few to help you see what a gift YOU are to the world.


I'm so happy for you that you've had that holy sh*t moment!! As someone who struggled with major insecurities for years (created by my own mother, for whom nothing was ever good enough), I can say with confidence that once you quit beating yourself up you will feel like you've been let out of prison. I finally sought professional help and have never looked back. Once I gave myself "permission" to be imperfect, I felt like a bird that had been let out of its cage. That was 20 years ago and I've lived my life comparison-free since then. Don't waste any more time on it. Go and LIVE!

carole R

Oh you are so right!! I have a grown up daughter and our relationship is complicated and I dont often see her. When I am at my scrapping crop and everyone shows off their photos of all their mother/daughter/family events my heart aches. And I judge myself, and wonder 'how come'. Of course, I'm hearing the 'show reel' and seeing the glossy photos. So, your post was so spot on. Many thanks - you rock!

Joni H

I love that you keep your blog so real. I need to post that quote on my fridge to remind myself daily that I rarely see people's lives behind the scenes. I remember a few years back talking to a friend I hadn't heard from for years and during our conversation she kept telling me all the wonderful things she had been doing. I hung up the phone feeling like a total loser when my husband said to me "she's miserable and wants you to think that her life is great." He was right, a year later she made public that she was getting a divorce and had been hanging in there the past ten years. Thanks for always keeping it so real! Hope it's okay that I borrow this quote and post it on Facebook, it's the first time I've heard it.


Ah! Im so glad you GOT it!! Your home is so incredibly gorgeous. And if you didnt mention your life is not perfect one would never know because is sure does look like it! Speaking of Honey we Shrunk the Kids...did they like it? My daughter just cried and cried over the baby ant. And asked Why did you make me watch this SAD movie mommy?! Guess I didnt remember it being so sad!

Paola Norman

We sure are "fighting the same fight", Amen :)


Thanks for sharing this - I am not a facebook person either. I love your blog for all the reasons all ready shared by others - you keep it real and that is so refreshing. I honestly don't know when parenting gets easier, my kids are 20,17 & 12 and most days I feel like its harder now than when they were toddlers! I find myself wishing for the day when they will all move out but then regretting the thought immediately and feeling like a bad Mum for even thinking it. I will now be looking for the Kurios moments each day. I don't know how you find the time but I hope you keep blogging.


These shots are priceless... the everyday! Love it! I haven't had my camera out in a really long time and this just reminds me to do it.... and by the way you are an inspiration....

Ashley S.

I read that article recently and loved it. I laughed about the same parts you did. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Karen. You are amazing. I appreciate how real your blog is.

diane herman

same fight going on in this mums head all the way over here in Australia xx :)


I love this post and the link to the Kairos post. This was exactly what I needed to read right now. I love my kids fiercely, but most days I want to throttle them just as fiercely. I try to enjoy each moment, but honestly, how enjoyable is bickering? And the mommy guilt...oh the mommy guilt. Why are we so good at beating ourselves up?? We are doing the toughest job in the world. And most of us are pretty damn good at it, even if we don't believe it ourselves most days.


Karen, to me your blog is an inspiration to get out there and live. nothing has stopped you from showing your family love, life and the world. Thankyou for making me realize that there is nothing stopping me either. Thanks also to your mum and step mum for showing me that you can be friendly to your partners ex.

As long as you keep writing I will keep reading because your highlights are what I need to remind me of how good it can be during my low times.


I think you are very eloquent! And you're right, we're all fighting the same fight, somedays with broccoli and other days with sugar. And you're right, no man has ever had this conversation in his head. He doesn't feel guilty about every little thing. But I do. And I'm constantly consumed with worry and fear over the health and safety of my family. I think it's partly because I have an only child and I waited through one failed marriage and some ultimately sucky relationships to find my beloved. I don't want to lose either of them. Hang in there. You're doing fine. Oh, and I pasted this quote onto my FB page. You're totally right, it's totally true.


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It doesn't matter what you feel, it only matters what you now on a sticky note attached to my office computer. Thank you so for sharing such deep inspiration today. Like everyone else...its just what I am needing today (and everyday!)

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