Thank you so much for joining me for the Rediscovering Joy in Motherhood series. You can read all of the posts in this series right here.
We’ve reached the final day of the Joy in Motherhood series. We’ve talked about three hang-ups that steal the joy from motherhood, one seemingly negative phrase that’s okay for moms to say, Scriptures for joy, helpful resources for overwhelmed moms, and encouragement to get organized so you can enjoy your family!
In the journey of motherhood, our joy comes from the Lord. That’s really the bottom line. Situations change, days come and go and our children make their way through each stage of life, all of which present their challenges.
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32
The beautiful part of this mess is that God has given us all things that we need for life and godliness. His Word contains a wealth of knowledge and wisdom for parenting. There is no greater source. Practically speaking, it’s sometimes hard to carry out those Biblical exhortations and commands, but each morning we can commit ourselves and our children to a loving Father who cares deeply for us, His creation, whom He has bought and redeemed through the blood of Jesus.
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
Cultivating joy as a mom is simply an outflowing of thankfulness for the grace God has given us. When we don’t receive that lovingkindness (another word for grace!), we are unable to pass that same gracious, forgiving spirit onto our children. Thankfully, we can have that grace every day by coming to Him in repentance for where we’ve messed up and receiving the forgiveness that allows us to carry on and continue in our pursuit of motherhood.
I wanted to close this series with some thoughts about finding day-to-day joy as a mother. Too often, I get caught up in the momentary annoyances and struggles and I want us all to be purposeful about how we pursue the gift of each day with our children.
It is only by God’s grace that we can be intentional and have it be a truly lasting change.
I will probably be working on cultivating joy in the day-to-day of motherhood until I go on to glory and chances are you will be working on it too! I am thankful that there are so many things to take joy in as a mom!
5 Ways to Find Everyday Joy in Being a Mom
Stop what you are doing and give your child a hug. This is such an effective tool, especially in the moments that we find our children starting to misbehave because they are wanting our attention. The text message, the baking bread and the drink of coffee can wait (well, most of the time, ha ha) until our children have received a big hug and heard, “I love you”!
I love how my 19 month old runs over to me, asks to be picked up and then throws her arms around me and snuggles into my shoulder multiple times a day. She so freely gives and receives hugs at any moment. I want to be like that with all of my children, every day! Stopping and pausing gives perspective as well.
Pray for an attitude of joy before you begin your day. It’s such a simple thing to do but is often forgotten! It might be a quick prayer uttered in the shower or as you swing your legs out of bed but it is still a good reminder. A great way to remind yourself to do this is to hang a notecard in a spot you go to everyday (on your bathroom mirror, over your kitchen sink, etc) with a prayer for joy or Scripture verse written on it.
Learn to pursue contentment in your circumstance. It’s very easy for me to compare myself to other moms and base my “success” in mothering on what they are doing or not doing. Social media causes me to think that everyone else’s children are always well-behaved, loving toward their siblings or happy all of the time. It’s also difficult for me not to say, “well, if I had that much money, I could…..”, “if my parents babysat my kids all the time I could….” or something similar.
The truth is, not only is it unfair for us to compare ourselves to other families in this manner, a lack of contentment is also a huge joy-stealer. I believe it could be the biggest thing that tears away the joy of motherhood.
If you feel like you don’t measure up or that you’re not living your dream as a mom, I pray that you’ll take this to the Lord (as I have had to quite often). He does provide all we need and will not forsake us, even if we are going through a difficult season of motherhood or feel inadequate next to all the “perfect moms” out there. He has gifted us and graced us with our children. They are ours and we can take joy that God has entrusted them to us, with all of their unique needs that only we can address!
Take time to play with your kids each day. Not only is this a chance for me to have one-on-one, quality time with each of my children (my friend Jennifer, a mom of 8, has some great tips on doing that!) but I think it helps me refocus. When I feel scatterbrained and can’t seem to get anything done, it’s usually a signal that I need to take a break from trying to “kick against the goads” and just play!
P.S. I didn’t used to like playing dolls either, until I just decided to see it as me reliving my childhood through my 6 year old daughter. Ha. Plus, look at these vintage paper dolls I found at my parents’ house!
Let yourself laugh over something that would normally make you cry. You know what I’m talking about–the spilled milk, the hundreds of foam stickers all over the floor (and I’m really talking hundreds), the “number two” you found in the tub during bathtime. No other explanation necessary! All I can say is that it’s true what they say, “a joyful heart is good medicine.”
Step by step, one day (and sometimes one moment!) at a time, the Lord can cultivate in us an attitude of joy, true contentment and a loving spirit toward our children. It is possible to rediscover and continue to have joy in motherhood! Grace and peace to you today.
Sally Clarkson’s book The Mission of Motherhood, is one of my favorite parenting books! I have read it several times over and there is always something new that I glean from it.