We all know mothering is hard. That's just the way it is, right? No real way around it without losing something important by taking shortcuts and sometimes it can make us flustered. We can get so focused on getting our task list done that we fail to see the joy of mothering right before our eyes. The wonder of our children learning new things can often get lost on merely "getting things done".
I know because I have been there. I sought out to be a joyful mother because I found myself so consumed and overwhelmed by responsibility (which is important still) that I forgot to just see my children as people and not projects. I know. It's awful. So, here are some things I've learned that are helping me grow into joyful mothering.
1. Seek Jesus First
He always comes first, every time. When we fail to meet with Him, we struggle to find joy in all the wrong places. He is our Source of joy and where we find our never-ending supply. He is the beginning and end of everything we are and everything we do.
2. Allow Time for Yourself
Please do not buy into the lie that time for yourself is selfish; unless you're abusing the need and making it that way. I used to believe that wanting time alone was selfish so I never sought it out; and everyone suffered, not just me. Moms need time to rest and refresh, too! And since we live in and with our duties and responsibilities 24/7, it's tough to get a break. Sometimes it really requires we step out of the house for an hour or two each week.
3. Get Moving
Sometimes we don't need exercise to lose weight but we do need it to keep our energy up. It's amazing what endorphins can do for a mom! I have found myself going to bed feeling tired but not exhausted and I've also been able to get up earlier much easier. Exercise helps your mentality as well. It's not just good for your body, it's good for your mind.
4. Stop and See
See your children. Be with your children. Enjoy your children. Don't just co-exist, soak in their smiles and laughs, their accomplishments and small victories. Walk with them when they're struggling, don't merely hand out directions or instructions...but walk hand in hand. Journey together.
Lack of joy in mothering is a result of a mix of factors including neglecting time with Jesus, fatigue, discontentment, and lack of rest...time for YOU. We all need to get away to gain perspective and refresh ourselves. Taking a break will help alleviate stress and not be bogged down by depression, fatigue and other joy-stealers.
These are rather intentional steps but one thing I have learned is that doing the same thing over and over again wasn't getting me different results. So I made some changes and I keep growing into joyful mothering.
For His Glory,
Christin, Joyful Mothering