Finding Joy

Motherhood is the hardest job I’ve ever had, more than working midnight shows at the movie theater, getting home between 2am and 5am – then having to be in my graphic design class by 7am.

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It can be absolutely exhausting, frustrating, irritating, boring, monotonous and everything I do my three-year old mimics! I said stupid one time in front of him and for two weeks everything was stupid… including daddy… sigh.

I spend so much time trying to discover the secret equation to becoming a “good mom”… balancing cleaning to-do lists, blog posts, banner designing and assembling, grocery shopping as well as visits to the park, the library, figuring out when I’m going to find time to teach reading lessons and switch us all over to clean eating while celebrating a holiday every day!

Most days nothing goes as planned. Yesterday I was so mad at my son I burst into tears. I did everything right too – I stayed off the computer, took the boys to the park, played with them, was patient… but all that left me with was a boy who would not listen and loves to antagonize his little brother.

My day ended with the dread of another one to come plus the guilt… oh the guilt!

I hate the feeling of guilt… knowing I lost my patience AGAIN… but unsure of how to handle the situation I lost it on. Losing sight of every difficult moment I experienced in a day – my stinker son, once gone to bed, suddenly seems likes an angel and I a beast. The huge weight of “I’m a bad mom” thoughts swirl through my head late into the night and all I see are my faults.

My natural reaction is to be overwhelmed and discontent as I walk through the daily battles of motherhood, it’s so easy to respond this way.

As much as I LOVE being a mom, it’s HARD to find joy in a screaming toddler and a teething baby – but I want to!

One of my biggest fears is to be another mother reflecting back on these young years – wishing she would have cherished this time more and been able to see the blessings in it all.

“Instead of mourning the passage of time, I want to live with a sense of abundance in the here and now, knowing that what we have is exactly enough.” Katrina Kenison, The Gift of An Ordinary Day

What I’m learning is joy and thankfulness are a choice. Gratitude for this life and joy for the simple things are like muscles, needing to be worked to grow stronger.

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I want to be a better mother as well as a more positive person. So a first step I’ve taken is to fill a journal with encouraging quotes, Bible verses and writing down lists of things I’m thankful for. It’s a good place to return to and read through when I’m discouraged.

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No day will be perfect but we can always start practicing, building our joy and gratitude muscles, trying to see the beauty in our homes until we see the beauty without trying. Especially the beauty in our learning, growing children and all their quirks!

“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Here are some books I recommend:

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

The Gift of An Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir by Katrina Kenison

The Way of Serenity: Finding Peace and Happiness in the Serenity Prayer by Father Jonathan Morris

God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours by Regina Brett

3 thoughts on “Finding Joy

  1. Everything so well said and I’m sure a lot of moms feel the same. Being a mom is the hardest job and at the same time the most rewarding. You are a wonderful mom and our little guys are so lucky to have you:). (It made me smile to see your journal- I have one just like that) love ya

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