Finding Joy in Motherhood
Finding joy in 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 and finding joy in motherhood can be even harder.
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 in motherhood is no easy task, but with God’s grace you and I will always have the power to experience that beautiful joy!
Love you friends!
Wise words. I’m a grandma of 6 wonderful teenagers. It’s amazing time has passed so quickly. I remember the days that it was very hard to be the mom I knew I should be. We just to need to try our best and remember we’re only human and not perfect. God listens to our prayers and answers them in His time.
So so very true Susan, thank you ❤️
You are so right, we have all had those days with our children. I remember several very difficult days when my children were small. I can also relate to the prayer. As I think I told you, I was o riviledged to be able to care for my mom for most of the last three years of her life, which I wouldn’t take for or change. It was hard some days, but I would ask God to grant me patience, and He did. My mom was hard of hearing and almost totally ind so life dealt her a double whammy. She was mostly Belfast, except I got her up to go yo the bathroom and for many months sit in the shower to bathe. Lots of days had their trials, but we always made it through. When I would ho to bed, mom would always hold my hand. I miss that so much. March will be 3 years since I lost mom and Christmas day will be 7 years since daddy passed.
I said a prayer for you while I read that, so sorry ❤️
I read this post even though I don’t have children. I thought maybe I would tell you about my experience, and maybe you could think about or anyone else who might feel overwhelmed because you may feel better about your own situation.
I worked really hard to become an English teacher. I loved my students, and I was newly engaged when I was diagnosed with cancer. I was in my 20’s; it was an aggressive skin cancer on the roof of my mouth. No, I didn’t use tobacco. I was healthy, but skin cancer is in my family genes. The radiation damaged my mouth so bad that now my speech is really poor, so I can’t teach. It also harmed my immune system and has given me many health problems. I wanted children, but now I will never be able to have any. My husband and I barely keep afloat financially with medical costs. My father has prostate cancer, and my closest friend now has deadly cancer. I had to move for my husband’s work, and I have nobody close to me nearby. It is hard to make friends when people don’t understand your speech. People treat me like I am stupid often when they hear me speak, and I am far from stupid; I have 3 degrees. I still find happiness and joy where I can, but some days are hard. I tell myself that I had stage 4 cancer, so I am lucky to be alive.
I am not writing this for any pity or anything. I am writing this, so you can think that if I can find joy, then it is possible for others who are having a hard time.
Oh my goodness, I am so sorry and I prayed for you so many times as I read this comment. Praise the Lord you are alive and have your husband by your side, thank you for sharing this!
I hear ya! I am a Mother to two sons and four grandsons. Also two granddaughters. II was raised in a family of three girls and no father, so was not sure of little boys! They are my heart. Little boys pull at your heart strings in a different way then girls. My grandsons are grown men now and i have such a special bond with them. You will get through the busyness and find that the boys love their Mother’s always. Just enjoy the messes, as it will pass all too quickly.
Such wonderful advice, Andrea. As I was reading the wise words from your Dad, I was reminded of what my Grandmother used to say. She would call to check on me when I was home alone with a newborn and all that it entails.As I, like you, jumped right back in to do all the things, without giving my body proper time to heal as you’ve mentioned you used to do. I would proceed to vent to her of how hard “Momming” was, even though she managed to raise 5 of her own. She would listen ever so patiently and then say that, “The days are long honey, but the years are so very short.” I would always tell my husband that it didn’t make any sense, that she just didn’t understand what I was going through. Over the years, I often think about those conversations and oh my, she was so very right. Now, we’re empty nesters, patiently waiting for grandchildren. What I wouldn’t give to be able to have a bottom to wipe or fishing story to hear about. Those years just rolled on by like it took forever and then poof, she was off to change the world one child at a time in her teaching career of precious little first graders. Now I give her advice that I’m sure doesn’t make any sense either, but some day it will. You’re a wonderful Mother, those precious little men are so very blessed to have such kind, gentle, patient parents. Have a wonderful weekend.
How very kind and sweet your words are; comforting and true. Life passes by in a flash.
I am a mother and grandmother. I remember those days when I would feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Your days ARE difficult for you right now. You have a newborn and physically you aren’t yourself just yet. My advice is to let go of a clean house and high expectations you might have for yourself. Your boys are so very blessed to have you for their Mama. They are going to love you in the special way sons love their mothers. My son and I have such a close bond. And my 14 year old grandson still wants to stay with us any chance he can get! I just started babysitting our 10 month old granddaughter. Oh my goodness. I am so exhausted. You are doing all the right things, especially asking Our Lord to help you raise your children. Try to enjoy every moment and be grateful for them all. Time flies by. Someday all you will remember are the hugs and kisses.
Thank you ❤️❤️
And one day you will look back on all those moments of craziness and smile💕. And you’ll know that it is all part of your story, and you did it well(believe it or not). The boys won’t remember many of those moments, but you will. How blessed I experience and share your story.❤️
Aw, thank you so so much ❤️❤️
This message is a wonderful reminder for me. I am currently walking this journey as a still relatively new momma. We adopted our son at birth. He is now 17 months. What joy and richness he has brought to our family! The days are long, I already see them flying by. Thank you for urging us mommas to be what we should be in the Lord.❤️
That is so special, I am so happy that this was an encouragement to you, I needed it just as much! ❤️
Your words are beautiful…encouraging…heart felt and wise. My children are now grown adults. I miss them as they live away from me. But I am thankful for all the moments…all the memories…always looking forward to the next time!!
I am thankful that you are living your faith out loud!! May you continue to have joy in all things. Grace with your children AND yourself.
I will be praying for you as you seek to continually serve The Lord.
Keep seeking what lasts.
Thank you so much Lynne for your sweet and encouraging words!