Jenny’s Journey

Meet IW’s newest blogger – Jenny Masche! Chances are we don’t really have to introduce you to Jenny. You are probably already familiar with her. Jenny and her former husband Bryan were stars of WETV’s “Raising Sextuplets” along with their charming and adorable children – Bailey, Blake, Cole, Grant, Molli and Savannah. We watched Jenny and Bryan struggle with the demands of raising their sixpack while juggling marital pressures and careers, along with fulfilling a long held desire to move to Florida from their native Arizona.

IW caught up with Jenny last August.  At that time, Jenny was indeed embarking on a new season. She and the kids were back home in Arizona and Jenny and Bryan were close to finalizing their divorce.

IW’s interview with Jenny generated a lot of reader interest and discussion. When Jenny agreed to become a regular contributor to IW, we were thrilled. If there is one thing we know about Jenny it’s that she is passionate. Passionate about motherhood, faith, family, fitness – the list goes on and on. Jenny will be touching on these topics and more in her regular contributions. She hopes you will join in the discussion.

Mommy Guilt

By Jenny Masche

Hi friends!  I have never officially blogged before, so this is a new journey for me!  I journaled quite a bit before children, but of course, since I had children, I hardly have time to brush my hair, let alone journal!  So what I think I’m going to do is just write what is going on in my life. I’ll write thoughts I have been having and just maybe writing them down will help me process some things I never get to talk about. Prayerfully, they will even help some readers along the way!

Something I’m dealing with a great bit right now is mom guilt.  Truthfully, I started struggling with mom guilt when I first found out I was having sextuplets.  I thought, “How in the world am I ever going to have enough love, enough time, enough of ME to go around?” Then I had these six precious healthy little babies!  And guess what?  Mom guilt!  Tears over “They each only get to nurse one time a day,” or “I don’t get to hold all six during their feeding times,” or “I don’t get to spend enough quality time with them at bedtime, and sometimes when they fall down and get hurt I’m knee deep in some other child’s poopy diaper, and I can’t make over to the other child to comfort them immediately!” I struggled like crazy with my guilt!

After much prayer and deep discussions and debates with God over why He would do this to me, He gave me an incredible peace that when I was not present, He was present, and where I would fail or not meet needs, He would meet their needs.  And those times they had to wait for my attention, or didn’t get enough attention, or had to be more patient than any singleton would have to be, He said, “They will develop character qualities that only I can teach them in these circumstances.”  I went through a true season of peace knowing that not only could I not meet all their needs, I didn’t have to meet all their needs, because somebody greater than me was!

So here I am again, the kids are 4½, precious, precious, precious, little people with crazy fun personalities!  And guess what? I am once again having terrible mom guilt!  After my separation and divorce, I have had to share my kids with their dad, and rightfully so (of course I have terrible guilt over the divorce, but that’s another blog.)  I want my kids to have a great relationship with their dad and I want them to have that time.  Between my working nights in the ER, and my kids leaving to go their dad’s, and there being SIX of them all having the same needs, I just don’t feel like they get enough of me.  There are certain moments when they all want me at the same exact time.  They all want to sit on my lap at the same time, or for me to hold them at the same time, or when I’m the helper in the girls’ class, the boys are so sad that I’m not the helper in their class.  In addition to this, the lack of “me time” or my just not wanting “me time” when the kids are with me, eventually wears me out. Then I get crabby with the kids, and the guilt compounds.  Do you know what I’m talking about? There are days that I feel I just can’t do anything right with them!

I doubt I’m alone in these thoughts or emotions, whether you have one child or ten.  So encouragement to all moms: It’s OK! It’s normal!  When I’m feeling this way, I will put on some of my favorite praise music and find a song, close the door to my bathroom, and fall on my knees for five minutes.  I ask the Lord for mercy; tell him I’m simply not enough; and gently He whispers to me, “You don’t have to be enough because I am. In your weakness I am strong.” I’ll take a few deep breaths; maybe quote one of my favorite scriptures such as Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Then I’ll walk back into the mad craziness of my day with six 4½ year olds. I’ll just be thankful that we are all here, thankful that I get to be a part of their lives, and thakful to God that He has it all under control so I don’t have to!  So all you imperfect moms out there:  LET IT GO!  Let go of the guilt!  You will never be enough; but you’re not meant to be!  Give yourself five minutes when you need it!  Maybe ten!  Remember He says, “There is Joy in HIS presence!”  And believe me; I’m talking to myself as I’m writing all of this.

Click here to read more of Jenny’s blog posts and interviews.

JennyMasche200 About the Author:

Jenny McClendon (Masche), star of WETV’s “Raising Sextuplets”, blogs about her journey and her passions: motherhood, faith, family, fitness.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Gretchen says

    Hi Jenny! I always enjoyed watching your show. I could relate to you on many levels. The kids got so big (obviously, it’s been awhile since the show was on :)) they are adorable. I’m really looking forward to reading your blogs. I am at the time of my life where just turing 30, with a great hubby and 2 kids, I need some “guidance”. Hope you are doing well. How are your parent’s doing? They were amazing on the show! :)

  2. Deborah says

    Its very uplifting reading your thoughts Jenny and so nice to meet you. What a wonderful addition you are here at IW.

  3. Samantha@IW says

    So excited to have Jenny!

    Jenny, I have no doubt that your words will bring encouragement to other moms. Even with my two children, I have those same thoughts and feelings.

    Great first post!

  4. says

    Thanks for the scripture. It’s great advice for anyone struggling. Welcome back to IW, Jenny. We are so lucky and happy to have you here.
    .
    Your family is just beautiful.
    .
    I know you are a runner. I hope you’ll have something to share with us about that in a future blog.

  5. Mojito says

    Welcome to IW, Jenny! Great first blog. I know of the mommy guilt… Its awful to feel like you’re not at your best all the time. You are definitely not alone.

  6. says

    I would say the Mommy guilt eases but it isn’t true. It shifts in focus…am I making sure the kids have the most I can give them, did I spend enough time teaching them what they should know, should I have taken her to the doctor sooner, is that car safe enough, why didn’t I make him practice that instrument, and on, and on.

  7. MsGoody2Shoes says

    Hi Jenny and welcome to Imperfect Women. I watched your show on WETV & thouroghly enjoyed it. Juggling a family as a single parent is difficult. I think many women feel guilty about their children after a divorce. I did, so t letting go of the guilt.

    I support you and I look forward to your future blogs.

  8. Lily@IW says

    Welcome Jenny! We are so pleased you are here. I look forward to your blogs.
    /
    Mommy guilt, I had a lot of that raising my first two. It was constant battle to keep it in perspective.

  9. says

    Welcome, Jenny! I too was a viewer of your program and loved it. The kids are so big. 4 1/2!?
    .
    I think you are a wonderful fit for IW and we are so blessed to have you in this community. Can’t wait to read and interact more! <3
    .
    Anya@IW, (Still Feeling The Mommy Guilt with My 20yearold!)

  10. Roozerdo says

    Hi Jenny, we all have (or had) mommy guilt. it comes with the territory of being a mom. My oldes is 33 and I still have moments when something is now right in his life, that I feel I failed at protecting him. You are a beautiful women with beautiful babies. Perfection? No thank you.. I wouldn’t want to hold that title.. Welcome to the world of Imperfect Women. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  11. Anonymous says

    Welcome Jenny! My little one (7yr old) loved watching your show! She misses your babies on tv! Great to be able to read and share mommy tips with you on IW

  12. Baylor says

    Hey Jenny,
    ARe you going to do that show afterall about blended families that you talked about doing in your last interview?

  13. Jennie@IW says

    Welcome, Jenny – great piece! I don’t think mothers can be told enough that their feelings and frustrations are normal. There is so much pressure – both external and internal – to be perfect in all things. I’m so glad you have something that sustains you through the challenges of sextuplets!

  14. momsby says

    Welcome to IW Jenny, what a great first blog! IW is an awsome site with some of the best women on the net..your going to love it here. :)

    Cheers Momsby
    P.S. I’ve had this mom guilt affliction since 1998…but I’m working on it

  15. Jackie G says

    I loved your blog! Are we going to be seeing your family on tv anytime soon? You seem to be such a great mom and it was refreshing to watch you and your interactions with your 6!

  16. momsby says

    Thanks to all the ladies who shared their guilt issues, I’d love to talk about this more with all of you. It’s a subject I find very interesting to discuss with other women. Do you think men experience it the way we do?

  17. Pam@IW says

    momsby,
    .
    I don’t think so although I had an interesting conversation with a 35 year old man the other day and he mentioned that he was dealing with guilt for not being able to do it all. He has two childre, age 2 and under, and a pretty busy career. I know my husband had guilt about not being able to make all of my kids school sports. He really made a great effort and attended almost all of them in addition to fundraising and summer coaching. But he still had guilt about the things he missed.

  18. Deborah says

    My sons are well into their thirties and ‘mommy guilt’ still happens.
    I think of the times one of them wanted a book read to them or to play a game and I was to busy making dinner or cleaning up.
    Also after they got older and we would talk about something that happen in the past and I get the real story I feel bad that I didn’t see what was really happening to one of them. Didn’t look into it enough.

  19. Pam@IW says

    I agree, Deborah. There is always that did I do enough, was I there enough, did I respond the right way stuff going on in your head when you look back. Even my 83 year old mother still has a few of those thoughts every once and awhile and she was and is such a loving, caring supportive mother to all of her kids.

  20. Deborah says

    Just think what it would be like if they were all the same age Pam.
    I only had two sons but raised four (two step-sons)
    When I try to think about them all needing me at the same time when its not humanly possible to stretch that far it kind of blows my mind.

    Just my opinion but I think its easier for a lot of dads to live with the fact that they had to make a living but I do think a lot look back and wish their priories were different.
    I see it more in men that have second families later in life.

  21. Diane says

    Great blog entry, Jenny! OY, the Mommy Guilt. A friend and I were talking about this just the other night and likened it to the scene from the movie ‘Parenthood’ where in the space of a few minutes Steve Martin’s character imagined his son thanking him at his college graduation for being the inspiration in his life and then in the next instant imagining him shooting people from a clock tower.
    No matter what, all parents have their share of guilt.
    I loved your observation that even when we can’t be present GOD can and is. What a comforting thought.
    I’m glad to see you contributing to Imperfect Woman. I look forward to reading the things you have to share.
    I wish you and your children the best always.

  22. Ann@IW says

    Momsby, great question…do men suffer from Daddy Guilt like moms suffer from Mommy Guilt?
    My husband avoided the promotion, promotion, promotion route when our kids were younger. He tried to be home by 5 for dinner; we ate together almost every night. But he made a conscious decision to do that and I supported it. We gave up some material wealth/comfort to make that happen. My attitude than was, “I need a Daddy here more than I need big house.”
    .
    A few years ago he lost that good job, and ended up in a better job with more responsibility and pay. We have discussed it many times…we would trade the money and responsibility for more time at home in a heart beat. He misses seeing the kids…who are teens now…and feels guilty about missing some of their activities. Still, he attends what he can. His job now is very rewarding and challenging, but ultimately “Dad” is the title he values most.

  23. claire says

    Jenny you are addressing all things that mothers over the years have experienced. I am wondering how you justify living with a man, not your husband, who is married to another. Where does this life style fit into your Christian walk, your praise music, your prayers, etc. What does this say to the darling children about marriage and fidelity? I have always believed if we are living in known willful sin, that our fellowship with the Father is broken. I think you need to take a very low profile until you have straightened out your Christian life and walk with the Lord. Jenny, what has happened to you??? It is so heart breaking to watch your decline in your Christian walk.

  24. Kirkland says

    Hi Jenny! I am so glad you are a blogger on this site. I just wanted to say Welcome, and I look forward to your future blogs.

  25. Deborah says

    Hey Jenny, Sometimes you just have to ignore it when you find someones nose all up in your business.
    Christian guilt logic is just another tool to control in my opinion.

  26. JennieIW says

    Claire, I’m not religious but I know enough about Christianity to know that you don’t need to be worrying about how good of a Christian anyone else is or if they are sinning. I think Jenny can worry about herself and you (and others) can just worry about yourself.

  27. Deborah says

    Well I don’t see the nasty comment I was going to comment on. LoL, Good, I hope it doesn’t show up. EVER!!!

  28. Baylor says

    In Claire’s defense, when you put yourself out there in public as any sort of public figure, you should expect to be judged/criticized. Jenny has choosen to continue to not only be a public figure, but to put her walk out with the Lord out there. If you are going to try to advise people, be some sort of example, or put yourself out there as a “good devout Christian” then you should expect people to question/point out/criticize any inconsistancies in your behavior. Right or wrong, that’s just the way it is.

  29. Deborah says

    Baylor #33 As you can see claire’s comment is still standing.
    Jenny is sharing her struggles with us and how her faith brings her comfort.
    Its true, right or wrong their is always going to be somebody feeling like its their RIGHT to judge, there is also going to be others that have a RIGHT under the same faith to tell them they have no right to judge.
    That is between Jenny and her creator IMO because it is only Jenny’s creator that knows her footsteps or her path.

  30. CJWhodunit says

    Welcome to IW, Jenny. :-) I have never seen your show, had seen some magazine covers but didn’t know your story. Sorry to hear of your divorce. :*( That must have been such a difficult time for you and your children! As a fellow Christian I can relate to leaning on Him when life is overwhelming. :*) I became a mom to my 11 y/o and 3 y/o b/g twins late in my life due to infertility issues (I just turned 50 last fall!) and I am well aware of that mommy guilt too! Not so much with my oldest, but definitely with my twins. There were many times I would cry along with them because I felt so guilty making one wait while I was dealing with the other! Thank God as they get older it gets easier! :-) and my twins too have become more independent IMO because of that, so there are good consequences I hadn’t foreseen. :-) Prayers going up for you, Jenny, and your kiddos, and I’m looking forward to more inspirational, uplifting posts from you! :-)

  31. momsby says

    Oops I posted & ran! Now I have bloggers guilt lol.
    Agreed, I do believe men probably experience parental guilt..but maybe they just don’t talk about it or dwell on it as much as we women do? At, least the men in my life don’t seem too!
    It also seems like some of our mom guilt might be created from social pressure, there are so many “rules” now..even before you get pregnant that women are expected to follow beginning even before you concieve. What to eat what not to eat, what vitimins to take, the perfect birthplan etc..is it any wonder that by the time we actually have the babies & begin making parenting decisions we’ve already placed enormous pressure on ourselves?

  32. momsby says

    Ann, Ironically we are currently in discussion about promotion pros & cons at our house. My husband often works extra hours so that I can be a SAHM & we can continue to live a “comfortable” lifestyle. Unfortunately, sometimes he does miss things & some schedules can be harder than others.

  33. Amy says

    Really enjoy this blog! Looking forward to hearing more. I am Mommy of 2 and a runner Mom so also interested in hearing more about that. Also need more faith in my life, trying to build up my spiritual life so I can pass that example to my kids. Thank you!

  34. JennieIW says

    Baylor, regarding your post #33, I kind of hate it when people put out the “well, what do you expect?” argument about fame and criticism. It’s one thing to say that the reality is that being a public figure leads to people judging you, but we shouldn’t confuse the reality with the right. People are still being unduly judgmental, IMO, even if it happens all the time.

  35. JennieIW says

    Oh, and I don’t think Jenny talking about her faith means she’s putting herself out there as some expert on Christianity. I haven’t seen her be judgmental or superior about being Christian.

  36. says

    I just got cable tv a couple months ago so I’ve been without it for 5 yrs and have never seen your show. I’m looking forward to reading your blogs here. It’s such great perspective to get to talk to other moms who obviously have more responsibility to handle. I have 3, ages 10, 4, and 2 yrs. I wish you the best with your 4 yr olds!

  37. Baylor says

    I think she uses talking about her faith to her advantage or to make her look good at times. Not saying she is is not a true believer. However, remember when she said she was going on a prayer retreat to pray about her marriage and ended up meeting Levi?!That really rubbed me the wrong way.

    Also, she has the experience of having people judge her due to her putting her family out there. YET, she is willing to do it AGAIN. She wanted/wants to do a reality show about mixed families, is doing this blog, and has been interview for other media outlets. She has choosen to put herself out there and perhaps her kids too AGAIN.

    All I’m saying is that she is going to get negative feedback sometimes and she best be prepared.

  38. Deborah says

    So Baylor, It sounds like all you like minded Christians are collecting a big pile of self righteous stones just waiting to attack if she dares to have a dream that you don’t approve.

  39. Deborah says

    I hope Jenny does get a show about ‘mixed families’. It would be a reality ‘Your, Mine & Ours’ to some degree.
    Baylor, you are welcome to not watch just like you are welcome to not read Jenny’s blog here or any media outlet that CHOOSES to interview her.

  40. Poorbabi says

    Hey Jenny,
    I think all moms no matter how many kids have mommy guilt at one time or another. I always enjoyed watching your show and how you handled the daily struggles.You will find some people who will admire all you do and you will find some who will find ways of putting negative spins on all you do. Stay focused on your children and know all your choices are for them.Block the negative and let the positive lead you daily. Hope to see you and the children again soon o TV.

  41. Billie says

    I am not a sin free person, I have made mistakes in my marriage. Everyone makes mistakes, unless they are God himself. However, we must learn from our mistakes and not continue to make them. To continually comment on your walk with God and praying while continually conducting the lifestyle with the man that you have left your husband for, doesnt seem right to me. However, I have to agree that Brian seemed like a butt on the show alot and you should have left him, but not the way you did.

  42. Marajade says

    At Billie the longer she stayed with Bryan the worse off it could be we all make mistakes….. How things work out it sometimes Gods way Maybe God placed the new Man in her life for a reason at a time when she needed him most I don’t feel she was wrong Bryan was an immature Jack ass! Not a good supportive husband at least from what I could tell on the show…….let’s hope Bryan grows up from this & they can both be there for the kids as mature loving parents

  43. Baylor says

    I am welcome to not watch/read etc. However, I am also welcome to do so if I wish, for my own entertainment,if I deem something fit to criticize I will. If I deem something fit to praise I will. After all, the entertainment business in any capacity is just that. It’s for entertainment. Not just an avenue to praise said person doing the entertaining.

  44. Baylor says

    Deborah,
    If you notice, I didn’t attack Jenny. I only defended Claire, because people were acting all appalled that someone would have anything but praise for someone who puts themselves out there for entertainment! Imagine that!
    I also pointed out why anyone would think she may not be the best example of Christian behavior or why they might doubt her sincerity.Think what you wish.
    Lastly, Jenny sought Levi out. God didn’t “place him in her life.” If he did, it was as a “test,” one that she failed. No one is saying that she had to stay with Bryan. People understand why she left. They are just saying she went about it wrong. There is NO Excuse to cheat. Levi was married too at the time. We all make mistakes. It how we learn from them that matters. If you continue to make excuses or blame others for your actions, it won’t end well.
    I won’t keep going back and forth with you. You are free to think what you wish. It’s a topic we will have to agree to disagree on.

  45. Deborah says

    Fair enough Baylor but this part of your response made to choke.
    “Jenny sought Levi out. God didn’t “place him in her life.” If he did, it was as a “test,” one that she failed.”
    As if you know Gods mind & plan for another. Also I don’t ever remember Jenny implying “Brian made her” seek out Levi.
    There was a time in Christian history when putting aside your mate for another or ‘divorcing’ only required leaving and taking another if certain standards or requirements where not met. Of course the act was reserved for men only.
    What I know about the ‘Spirit of Christ’ is that wherever you are on your path so is the ‘spirit’. When there is no one else, there is the ‘spirit’. There is nowhere in ‘The Word of Christ’ does it say if you make a mistake I will shun you.
    Why would anyone question Jenny’s “sincerity” ? She talked about the comfort and renewal that her savior brings to her when her heart is troubled.
    But fair enough Baylor, no sense in going back and forth, we can both agree to disagree.

  46. Lisa says

    Welcome Jenny, I look forward to your contributions to this site. I enjoyed your show, and your children are lovely.

    I must say..it irks me to no end when women cut other women down. As if we don’t have enough of that from males/cultural-societal mores….whatever. If a woman is doing the best she can, then she should be supported, not denigrated. I thought the name of this website was imperfectwomen.com, not shiningexamplesofchristanmotherhood.com therefore, no one should expect “perfection” from anyone here, and if wont to criticize for entertainment sake, should maybe look elsewhere. I see the same criticisms towards Kate Gosselin, and I can’t help but wonder how many children these perfect woman have, that they can find the time to know so much of these strangers business?

  47. Kristi says

    M25 kids here..good luck in the long road ahead…don’t have guilt, kids love you for all the things you ARE doing. Some of my favorite tips: color wonder markers, giving them jobs at the market, buy each one a stick vacuum, and don’t sweat the small stuff!

  48. Jane says

    I too watched episodes of this show on WE tv. Some people need to take the blinders off here, television programs such as this are produced to make money for their networks. Do we honestly believe that WOMEN’S ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK would not script their program to make women feel good about other women at the expense of men??? None of us lived with them, were neighbors, or family, we don’t know what happened when not behind the networks cameras. I have read the interview out here with Bryan, read the comments as well, yes he is bitter, who wouldn’t be. Jenny portrays herself as a devoted Christian woman … must be a different God she believes in than me. She has an affair with a married man, breaks up her marriage and continues the same affair. While she is divorced, he is not. How do you, as a good Christian, expose your children to that. Bryan’s comments may be bitter but they show more concern for his children and family, Jenny’s … well it does seem to be all about look at me …..

  49. Kmom2 says

    I disagree. Brian made those bitter comments while his children were within earshot of all he was saying. That doesn’t show concern for his children to me. The show first aired on TLC not WE tv so I don’t believe it was scripted by either network. I’m not saying that what Jenny did was right. But it’s between her and God. Did she confess her sin to God? Did she ask for forgiveness? We don’t know. Jenny has acknowledged wrong doing and it will be up to her to explain it to her children when the time comes.

  50. Jane says

    Kmom2, please do a search on “raising sextuplets, you will see it was WETV, the original show did not show did not show all the drama, it was a nice family program. Once WE took over it was very different. If it didn’t seem theatrical to you on many occasions, well then lets agree to differ on opinions. I have yet to see any reality show that was not twisted to the wishes of a network, something that is a bit less than reality. As for the kids being in ear shot, that is an assumption. Anya said it was quiet in the background until an interruption by one of the sextuplets.

  51. Baylor says

    Bryan has said repeatedly that he made mistakes and was trying to change. He did so much that at one point, Jenny told Levi via email that Bryan was being so kind and sweet that it was a turn-off. Yes, it was probably a case of too little too late. However, I think Bryans point was to get his side of the story out there and to let the public know that Jenny isn’t this perfect sweet devout Christian woman that was such a victim. He was trying to even the score. Right or wrong, I can’t say I blame him.

  52. MamaP says

    Jenny, thank you for this. I know it’s been a month since you posted this, but it was just what I needed to read today – I’ve been struggling with almost overwhelming mommy guilt lately, and I think this is giving me some peace, and hopefully I’ll be able to let go and allow myself to be guided to the right path.

  53. Let the truth be know says

    Wow “Baylor” & “Jane” (AKA Bryan or Bryan’s family member)…nice try, you are fooling no one. People can see right through your lies…give up already. It’s funny how obvious it is by your comments. Thank goodness Jenny is too mature to stoop to your level.

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