When I first became a mom, I was totally overwhelmed. And, 3 kids and 9 years later, I still am some days. But, the longer I am a mom, the more I realize that finding the joy in the everyday job of motherhood is so important to my own happiness. Because, being a mom is sometimes a thankless job, and if I’m being completely honest, some days it can feel mundane to do the same thing day in and day out.
I don’t believe in focusing on perfection though, because, honestly, it’s impossible for you to feel grateful and happy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Being a mom is hard. No matter if you work, don’t work, are a single mom, have one kid or twenty, it’s hard. work. And, being thankful all the time is impossible.
Whether it be a stomach bug traveling through your house, or a teen that is having troubles, mothering can get us down. But, these 5 things help me find more joy in the everyday moments as a mom. And, remember, no mama guilt if you’re not perfect. We’re all just doing the best we can. This motherhood thing can be tricky.
- Make a list of daily accomplishments. On one particularly bad day, I remember the overwhelming feeling that I had accomplished nothing. Until I made a list. Then, I realized that I had accomplished quite a lot. And, I don’t mean housework and chores, or your 9-5 job. I mean, things you did as a mom to be the mom. Some things on my list included not losing my temper when an accident happened, and taking my boys to get their haircuts. We take for granted what we accomplish because it is so much a part of what we do. But, making a list of your accomplishments will help you be grateful that you get to be a mom, and serve your family the way you do everyday.
- Find the humor. This one has honestly saved my sanity. I’m not naturally inclined to think positively. So, when bad things happen, I tend to focus more on the negative. However, laughing about it, or making a joke about it, has helped me appreciate that the moment, whatever it is, will be over before I know it, and I’m at least grateful for the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes, the worst moments today make the best memories tomorrow. Find a way to poke fun of yourself, and you’ll find it easier to be grateful.
- Slow down. This one is hard for me. If I’m not “doing” something, I often feel like I’m wasting time. When you’re mom, there is always a task to do. Always. But, I’ve also realized when I’m the busiest, it’s hard for me to connect with my kids. And, connecting with them makes me happier. I try to take 15 minutes to focus on each of my kids. On our super busy days, it doesn’t always happen. It can be not rushing through the bedtime routine, or playing a game with the preschooler while the big kids are at school. Slowing down re-focuses you on what is the most important and helps me find more purpose in my mothering.
- Don’t compare. Every mom has her own unique strengths and talents. Comparing yourself to what another mom is doing will only lead to unhappiness and feelings of inadequacy. Instead, focus on your own strengths. I’m a big believer in writing them down if that’s what it takes to make you see them. If you’re the best hugger, or story teller, or you’re the best at staying on top of laundry, or providing for your family, then recognize it and don’t tell yourself that someone could do it better than you. You are the best mom for your kids.
- Stay away from the “I should” mentality. I should do the dishes right now instead of ____. It’s an easy trap to fall into. While, it’s a good motivator to accomplish tasks, motherhood is unpredictable and is not just about keeping the house clean. Instead, if you can have an attitude that you will take each day as it comes, and not put the pressure on yourself to accomplish x, y, or z, then you’ll find that what you should be doing is your best as a mom. Maybe that means today you didn’t shower because you had to hold a colicky baby all day. Or that today you got take-out because after work there was no time for dinner. That’s okay. That was what you needed to do that day to be your best self. You’ll happier if you don’t use those two words: I should.
Of course, there are lots of things we can do besides these to feel happy. But, finding joy within is key. What do you do to find joy in your everyday job as a mom? Tell me in the comments. I want to know!
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