This post is based on the topics discussed by me in Brynn Wise’s podcast: Grace Momma Grace. Listen to the episode here.
Motherhood is tough. I’m not gonna lie. It’s hard work. Too often we see it as a job, and we get burnt out because we won’t allow ourselves to take a break. Sometimes we forget this is a relationship and there is no break from motherhood – you can however set some boundaries and stop seeing household chores as motherhood.
Motherhood isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be miserable. We don’t have to suffer through it. We can ENJOY it.
Can you honestly say that you enjoy motherhood? Or do you need to make a few shifts for that to be true?
Don’t worry if you need to do some inner work to start finding joy in your motherhood, that’s what this post here is all about. I’m going to give you 7 strategies to find joy in your motherhood that you can begin implementing today! You’re not in this alone, and you’re not the only one who’s struggled with this. You’re doing a great job, momma. Keep it up.
1. See the good by focusing on gratitude.
A mother’s main role is to be the comforter to her children, but how can we provide comfort when the chaos is all consuming? Kids bring chaos into our lives, that’s an unavoidable fact. BUT chaos doesn’t have to be the main character in your story. By choosing to turn our gaze to the blessings, we can overcome the burdens.
A favorite exercise in gratitude of mine is to choose gratitude in the moments I feel it the least. I’m not going to judge you if you say you sometimes feel resentment towards your kids (or husband), maybe you sometimes feel like burning the house down because the mess is too overwhelming. I get it, I feel it too. This is the perfect time to be grateful.
When you feel those feelings of resentment or like running away instead of dealing with things, take a moment to write out all the things you are grateful for ABOUT that specific thing or person who is causing your frustration.
I’ll be honest, I make these lists about my kids all the time. It’s a great way to remind yourself of all the good that comes with this role as Mom. It helps to keep you centered on the reason you stick around and it helps you to see things from a new perspective. Not only all that, but it also gives you a minute to calm your central nervous system that’s sending you into fight or flight mode and making a possibly small situation appear much larger and world ending than it is.
2. Seek the good by living intentionality.
What do you want to be remembered for? What kind of a legacy do you want to leave behind?
Take the time to discover your life goal and find ways to move in that direction every day. My life goal is to be known for the love and the light that I share. At the time I chose this for my life goal, I wasn’t moving towards it at all. I was pessimistic, I was short fused, I was irritable and depressed and angry and pushed people out of my life every chance I could. My heart was surrounded by a brick wall, no love or light was ever going to shine through.
Knowing where you want to go, and acknowledging where you are, are the first steps to living the intentional, meaningful, powerful life that you seek. Know who you are, and know where you are going. You’ll get there.
3. Self & soul care to keep your cup full.
I feel like there are people who get it, and there are people who push back against the idea of self care. In case you’re under the impression that self care is vain, selfish and narcissistic, I’m here to tell you that it’s the most important key to your survival.
Self care is doing what’s necessary to exist in harmony with yourself. Soul care is simply an extension of self care. Think of the hierarchy of needs: base needs are safety, food, warmth. Then you have needs for relationships and self worth. At the top we have our soul care, needs of meaning and enlightenment.
Soul care is where our purpose is found and nourished. Our soul is where our passion dwells. Our soul is ignited and driven by engaging in pursuing our purpose. Soul care is the highest form of self care, rising above the needs of our body and mind.
4. Survive the bad days with targeted affirmations.
Affirmations are the phrases we tell ourselves about ourselves or our situations. Affirmations can just as easily be lies and negative thoughts as they can be positive and encouraging statements. Our goal is to tell ourselves more positive truths than we do negative lies.
How often do you notice having negative thoughts like: I’m not good enough, I could never do that, I’m not worthy of the time/money/energy, or I don’t deserve that? Every time we tell ourselves a lie, we are affirming that lie in our minds.
The trick is to tell yourself so many truths about who you are and what you were made to do, that all the lies are drowned out.
A targeted affirmation is when we identify the specific lies that are holding us from fulfilling our purpose and we remind ourselves of the truth that directly cancels out that lie. For example, if the lie is “I’m not good enough,” the truth is “I am enough.” This truth can be supported by scripture or quotes or experiences that help to prove the truth to you. “I am enough because I am a daughter of the one true King.”
5. Set yourself up to win by planning well.
Nothing takes away the joy of a good day like dinner time rolling around without a plan. I am not a fan of cooking, and I’m especially triggered by trying to decide what to make for dinner on an empty stomach when I don’t have any meat thawed yet. Meal planning each week is a major game changer if you’re at all like me in the kitchen.
Another great way to ruin a good mood is to have an unexpressed expectation go unmet. Something like expecting your husband to be home for pizza and a movie only to get a text telling you he’s going to work late – or hit the range with his buddies after work – can really ruin the plans you made all by yourself and never told him about. Communication is key when any other person is involved, and a lot of unmet expectations can be avoided if we sit together and make plans each week.
Get in the habit of making plans to avoid in the moment meltdowns throughout your day.
6. Strive for personal excellence to have the best day possible.
Excellence is all about perspective. It’s completely subjective to who you’re asking. I think too often, we get the idea in our heads that excellence is doing all of the things, all of the time, for all of the people in our lives. That ain’t the truth though, sis.
You may have noticed a theme already, it’s all about how you look at things. Mindset is everything. The way you perceive your reality, is the reality that you will live in.
Decide what excellence means for you, and strive for that.
Not what you think your neighbor expects of you. Not what your bestie expects of herself. Not what you imagine your role model expects. Strive for what excellence, realistically, looks like for you.
7. Silence the distractions of media, messes, and meaningless time wasters.
It’s hard to find the joy in life when we’re busy being distracted by all the things that just don’t matter in the end.
Distractions like social media and the comparison game it encourages, messes around the house that make you feel like less than because you “should” have those under control, and meaningless time wasters like games on your phone or staying up far too late watching a Netflix series you don’t even care about, can leave you feeling empty at the end of the day.
My challenge to you: pay attention to all the things you do each day, pay attention to whether each activity is serving you where you are. Is your rest truly restful? Are you getting what you need from who you’re following on social media? Is the news bringing down your vibe and putting you in a place of perpetual fear? Are the messes around your house making you feel incapable, can they be ignored or are they quick fixes that don’t need to be bringing you down any longer?
Pay attention and make changes that need to happen to guide you into a life of love, light, peace and joy.
There is so much joy to be found in motherhood, in homemaking, in life. It’s our responsibility to get out and find it where we are.