Finding joy amidst the trials of motherhood is not always easy. In fact, it’s something I need God’s grace with daily. Today I’m sharing the process I use to find joy even on the hardest days.
Let’s face it – sometimes motherhood is just plain hard.
There are beautiful days when everything goes according to plan, and then there are days that have you questioning – “is this really happening?”
Circumstances that feel like a scene from a movie. Accidents that take your breath away. Messes you never dreamed were possible.
And they all happen it once, it seems. Especially with little ones. And especially when you’re nursing and you feel helpless, haha.
This morning I was breastfeeding Isaiah, and Caleb (my three year old) called out – “Mama! I pooped! Come wipe me!”
For fear of him wiping himself (he’s newly potty trained and wiping himself never ends well), I set Isaiah down to go take care of Caleb, wipe his bottom, rinse out his potty, and get his shorts back on.
Isaiah began to fuss while I cleaned Caleb up, and Gabriel (my five year old) decided to pour granola onto his smoothie bowl. The box was too full and heavy for him, so granola dumped all over his bowl and onto the floor, and the box itself landed into his smoothie.
When he tipped the box backwards into an upright position, smoothie ran down the inside of the box and mixed into all of the granola.
I finished up with Caleb and started cleaning up the granola fiasco, picking bits of smoothie out of the cereal box as Isaiah began to cry. While cleaning, Ethan (my eight year old) started telling me a story about a fish he caught, completely oblivious to the whirlwind happening around us.
I patiently listened to his story, transferred the granola into a fresh bag, and picked up Isaiah to begin nursing him again.
Not even five minutes later, Caleb called out once more.
“Mama! I pooped again! Come wipe me!”
These are the days, mama.
The moments when we wonder what on earth is happening.
The times we look up towards the sky and it takes every last ounce of us not to scream.
If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re a young mama who can totally relate to my morning.
Or maybe you’re a grandma who is done raising kids, but you’re smiling because you could share stories just like mine, as if they’d happened yesterday.
So how do we do it? How do we respond with joy when motherhood is just plain hard?
I’m not talking about happiness. Believe me, I wasn’t happy when I saw granola all over the place, nor was I happy when Caleb called out to me a second time.
My dad always used to say that happiness depends on happenings, but true joy depends on the Lord.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. John 15:11
Have you allowed motherhood to rob you of your joy?
I know I have.
I look back at those years when motherhood was all new to me, and I have so many regrets. I wish I had been more patient, and kind. I wish I had slowed down and worried less about the house and the to do list.
Eight years later – by God’s grace – I’m not the mama I once was.
No, I’m not perfect and I still make mistakes all the time. You better believe I raise my voice (a lot) in a house with four boys. But I won’t let motherhood steal my joy. Not anymore.
God has used those precious, crazy, dirty boys to mold me and shape me into the Mom I am today, and I want to share the thought process I go through when mothering is just hard.
Here are the steps I take in those whirlwind moments –
Breathe and Choose Joy
Seriously. Don’t react until you take a deep breath. I promise it helps so much!
Next, remember that you have a choice. You are not a victim of your circumstances! You can choose to spiral downward, or you can choose to have joy.
I recently read this book by Jennie Allen and it was so good. If you struggle with your thoughts and gaining the victory over your mind, I highly recommend it!
Remember that it goes by fast…
This is just a blip in time, mama. This hard moment you are facing right now? You will blink and it will be a distant memory.
My prayers usually go something like this –
Lord, I need you! I need you in this moment. God help me not to react in the flesh. Fill me with your strength. Help me to be patient, and kind. Lord give me the power to react with grace and love, just like You respond when I mess up. I know you’re here with me, Lord. I’m relying on You!
Prayer is the most powerful tool we have as moms. Let’s use it more often!
Quote Scripture to Yourself
Is there a verse that really helps you when everything seems to be falling apart? Here’s one of my favorites –
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” 2 Corinthians 12:9
There are so many more, but this one comes to mind often. 🙂
Think of Those Who have Lost…
There are so many people who have lost spouses, children, loved ones. Is what I’m going through really that bad?
If I’m honest with myself, it’s not. People are facing real trials and tragic loss every day. Reminding myself of this helps me to change my perspective.
Count Your Blessings
An attitude of gratefulness does wonders.
Yes, this is hard.
Yes, I am overwhelmed.
But what do I have to be thankful for?
Start naming the little things…
Then move on to the big things…
A place to live.
We are blessed beyond measure, and when I remind myself of all that I have, my joy remains.
I hope that by sharing my thought process with you, it will help another young mama out there.
Motherhood is the greatest blessing! There is someone out there that would give anything to have what you have. Thank God for this great responsibility you have been given.
Finding joy amidst the trials of motherhood is no easy task, but with God’s grace you and I will always have the power to experience that beautiful joy!
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