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Finding Joy in Motherhood & Embracing the Madness

by Ivy B

Feeling like you’re losing your mind dealing with the ups and downs of motherhood? I’ve been there and can tell you I haven’t always liked being a mom. Sometimes I still don’t. But I can also tell you I’ve learned the importance of finding joy in motherhood and can share some tips I’ve learned along the way. I encourage you to spend some time clarifying what you need as a person to find more joy in your journey too.

Remember that morning when your coffee turned lukewarm halfway through your first sip, just as your toddler launched themselves like a human catapult into your cereal bowl? Or the time you spent an hour crafting the perfect playdough castle, only to have it demolished seconds later with a gleeful shriek?

Yeah, me too. Motherhood is a beautiful, messy, heart-exploding, brain-melting adventure. There are days when you feel like you’re winning at life, creating miniature masterpieces and fostering tiny geniuses. And then there are the days when you’re covered in mashed banana, questioning your sanity while singing the Wheels on the Bus for the 1,000th time.

Let me be honest: I haven’t always loved being a mom. There were moments when the exhaustion felt like a tidal wave and the chaos threatened to consume me. But somewhere amidst the tantrums and bedtime battles, I discovered pockets of joy hiding in the everyday. It wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows (nor is it now), but I learned to become more appreciative of the silly giggles during bath time, the quiet snuggles on the couch, and the unexpected burst of pride when my little one finally mastered that tricky zipper pull.

As a mother of two young children, I know firsthand how challenging and rewarding motherhood can be. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, from joy and love to frustration and exhaustion. But despite the ups and downs, there are plenty of ways to find joy in the journey and stay positive along the way. In this blog post, I want to share some of my top tips for embracing the ups and downs of parenting, staying positive, and finding joy in the mundaneness (and madness).

Grab a cup of (hopefully hot) coffee, and let’s navigate this wild ride together!

mother giving daughter ride on back in the park - finding joy in motherhood
Mother Giving Daughter Ride On Back In Park
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How to Find Joy in Motherhood

Parenting is HARD!

While there are plenty of rewarding aspects of being a mom, it’s a challenge to be on call and try to be at your best for your kids at any given moment.

Trying to fit fun amongst all the responsibilities, if you’re anything like me, you’re a scatterbrain and feel like you’re failing. And, if you feel as though the mundaneness of motherhood is terrifying, you’re also in good company. But, I’m sure you’re a good mom, you just need to find some joy to keep you going!

Here are some strategies for finding joy in motherhood:

Tip #1: Practice Gratitude and Focus on the Positives

As a mother, I’ve learned that one of the most transformative practices is focusing on gratitude. It’s not a panacea for all the challenges of motherhood, but it certainly casts a golden glow on the everyday moments. Amidst the whirlwind of parenting – the sleepless nights, the never-ending laundry, and the tantrums (both mine and theirs!) – pausing to appreciate the good can be a lifeline.

I remember reading about the power of starting your day with a gratitude practice. Honestly, at first, I thought, “Who has time for that?” But, desperate for a shift in perspective, I gave it a try. Each morning, before the chaos ensues, I spend a few quiet moments in reflection. Sometimes, it’s as simple as being thankful for the hot cup of coffee in my hands or the rare mornings when both kids sleep past 6 AM. It might seem trivial, but believe me, these moments add up.

Throughout the day, especially when I feel overwhelmed, I remind myself to find something – anything – to be grateful for. It could be my daughter’s impish smile, or how my son scrunches his nose when he’s concentrating. Yes, it’s not always easy, especially when the house is a mess, and everyone’s cranky, but it’s in these moments that gratitude feels like a small act of rebellion against the chaos.

And it’s not just about internal gratitude. Expressing it outwardly is equally important. A simple thank you to my partner for taking over bath time, a quick text to a friend who sent a supportive message, or even acknowledging a stranger’s kindness in the supermarket. This practice of external gratitude doesn’t just shift my mood; it often brightens someone else’s day too.

Gratitude hasn’t solved all my struggles with motherhood. There are days when I forget to practice it, and the gloom seems to settle in. But on days I do manage to focus on the positives, the world seems a little brighter, a little kinder, a little more manageable.

So here are a few gratitude practices that have been helping me:

  • Gratitude Journaling: I try to jot down three things I’m grateful for each morning. It sets a positive tone for the day.
  • Gratitude Showers: These are moments, especially during mundane tasks, where I mentally list the things I’m thankful for. It’s surprisingly refreshing.
  • Expressing Gratitude: Saying thank you, not just as a reflex, but with genuine appreciation, has made my relationships more meaningful.
  • Gratitude Jar: On good days, I write down something positive and put it in a jar. On tougher days, I pull out a note to remind myself of the good.
  • Mindful Practices: Incorporating mindfulness and meditation helps me stay grounded and appreciate the present, even amidst chaos.

Remember, it’s okay if some days are harder than others. The journey of motherhood is not about perfection but about finding joy in the imperfections.

Tip #2: Make Time for Self-Care and Prioritize Your Own Well-Being

As mothers, we often hear the phrase, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” yet how often do we neglect to refill our own? I’ve learned, sometimes the hard way, that self-care isn’t selfish; it’s essential. It took a while to realize that taking care of myself is not just beneficial for me, but for my entire family.

I used to think self-care meant luxurious indulgences, like a weekend spa retreat. But now, I understand it’s about the small, everyday acts of kindness towards myself. It’s about finding those precious moments to recharge, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. For me, self-care has taken many forms, like regular gym visits to keep my body strong and my mind clear. Sometimes, it’s as simple as declaring an impromptu dinner out so I don’t have to cook or clean.

But my absolute favorite form of self-care is indulging in my passion for motorsports with my husband. Sending the kids off to their grandparents for the weekend and hitting the racetrack is my ultimate recharge. There’s something about sharing the adrenaline and excitement with my husband that makes me feel alive and connected, not just to him but to myself.

Being out in nature is another simple yet powerful form of self-care. Whether it’s a walk in the park or just sitting in my backyard, being outside helps me reset and regain perspective. It’s amazing how a breath of fresh air and a bit of sun can clear the mind and lift the spirit.

Prioritizing self-care has helps me to be more patient, present, and honestly, happier. It’s crucial for us moms to recognize that taking care of our needs is not a luxury, but a necessity.

Here are some self-care practices that have been a lifeline for me:

  • Micro-Breaks: Stealing a few minutes for deep breathing or a cup of tea can be surprisingly restorative.
  • Movement: Whether it’s a gym session, a brisk walk, or dancing around the living room with the kids, movement is my mood lifter.
  • Nutritious Eating: A balanced diet keeps my energy levels up. I’ve started my days with protein-rich smoothies, using Daily Harvest mixes blended with my favorite protein powder. It’s a small step that makes a big difference. And hey, if you’re interested, use my code RE-6GHG8B2 for a discount on your first box!
  • Engage in Hobbies: Dedicating time to a hobby, be it painting, gardening, or anything that lets me zone out and relax.
  • Nature Connection: Even a brief moment outside can be incredibly grounding and refreshing.

Finding joy in motherhood also means finding joy in yourself. Your well-being is the foundation upon which your family’s happiness is built. So, don’t hesitate to take that time for yourself. It’s not just okay; it’s necessary.

Ivy's finding joy in motherhood with Daily Harvest | sahmplus.com

Tip #3: Building Your Village – The Power of a Supportive Community in Motherhood

In the tapestry of motherhood, each thread represents a connection, a supportive touchpoint that makes the whole picture more resilient and colorful. I’ve learned, sometimes the hard way, that trying to be a one-woman show in parenting is not only exhausting but also unnecessary. Building a support network, your own ‘village’, is not just beneficial; it’s vital.

Joining a mom’s group initially felt intimidating. I worried about fitting in and being judged. But what I discovered was a circle of empathy, laughter, and shared experiences. These women became my go-to for everything from diaper brand debates to deep conversations about balancing motherhood and personal aspirations.

Connecting with other parents at school functions or neighborhood gatherings added more threads to my village tapestry. These relationships have blossomed into more than just playdate coordinations; they’ve become sources of mutual support and understanding.

In the digital age, the village also exists online. Social media groups and forums for moms have been like lighthouses in the foggy nights of parenting. Whether it’s a 2 AM query about baby fevers or a place to share the wins of the day, these platforms have brought me closer to mothers across the globe.

But here’s a piece of hard-earned advice: curate your village. Surround yourself with people who uplift you, who share your values and parenting style. It’s crucial to feel validated and understood, not judged or pressured.

And when the going gets tough, as it inevitably does in parenting, lean on these connections. Whether it’s for a heartfelt chat, some practical help, or just a moment to vent, your village is there. It’s a two-way street; being there for others brings its own joy and fulfillment.

My journey in building my village has taught me that motherhood was never meant to be a solo journey. It’s a shared experience, filled with diverse voices, helping hands, and understanding hearts. So reach out, build your network, and cherish your village. It doesn’t just change the way you parent; it changes the way you live and enjoy motherhood.

Tip #4: Embrace the Imperfections and Appreciate the Journey

Let’s face it, motherhood is messy and imperfect. There will be days when the laundry piles up, the dishes are dirty, and you’re just barely holding it together. But that’s okay! Embracing the imperfections of motherhood can help you stay positive and appreciate the journey, rather than getting caught up in the chaos and stress of trying to be a perfect mom.

I’ve learned to embrace the imperfections of motherhood and appreciate the journey, even when it’s not perfect. Whether it’s a messy house or a toddler tantrum, I try to take a step back and remind myself that this too shall pass. And in the grand scheme of things, these small imperfections are just a tiny part of the overall journey of motherhood.

How to embrace imperfections:

  • Transform messes into memories: Embrace the flour-dusted faces during baking, the paint-splattered masterpieces, or the fort constructed in the living room. These are temporary messes but create lasting memories.
  • See the love in the tantrums: Remember, even tantrums stem from strong emotions and a desire for connection. Find calmness amidst the storm and offer empathy and understanding.
  • Appreciate the chaos as a sign of life: A busy, noisy household is a vibrant one! Embrace the energy and liveliness that your children bring into your life.

Tip #5: Find Ways to Inject Humor and Fun into Your Daily Routine

Finally, one of the best ways to stay positive as a mom is to find ways to inject humor and fun into your daily routine. Whether it’s silly dance parties with your kids or making up ridiculous songs, finding ways to laugh and have fun can help you stay positive and present in the moment.

For me, this might mean taking a lighthearted approach to motherhood and not taking everything so seriously. Yes, there will be tough days and moments when you feel like you’re at your wit’s end. I know I have days I get off of work feeling completely incapable of further human interaction … and then I pick up cranky kids from a long day at school.

But finding ways to inject humor and fun into these moments can help you stay positive and keep pushing forward.

How to inject humor into daily routines:

  • Silly Song Time: Make up funny lyrics about mundane tasks like folding laundry, cleaning up spills, or getting ready for bed.
  • Dance Parties: Blast upbeat music and have impromptu dance parties with your kids, no matter how goofy the moves!
  • Exaggeration Games: Turn boring errands or chores into fun competitions by exaggerating your actions and reactions.
  • Embrace Laughter Games: Play games that encourage laughter, like tickling tag, pillow fights (for older kids), or funny charades.

Tip #6: Shift Your Perspective on Mundane Tasks

As you fold the 4 billionth pile of laundry this week, view it as an opportunity to connect with your child.

My kiddos don’t love doing chores, but aside from the benefits they get from chores, this is a great time to chat with your children and learn something new.

Feel like bedtime routines are just another chore? Having the same bedtime battles every night or reading the same 5 books on rotation can make any good mother feel like they’re going to lose their minds. But, reminding yourself that this is the perfect time to snuggle and talk. And in just a few years, snuggling is going to be out of the question…

Motherhood is a journey full of ups and downs. But by focusing on the positives, prioritizing your own well-being, cultivating a support network, embracing imperfection, and injecting humor and fun into your daily routine, you can stay positive and find joy in the journey.

Remember, you’re doing an amazing job, and you’ve got this!

FAQs About Finding Joy in Motherhood

How do I find joy in motherhood?

Pick your battles, set out to have fun and laugh, and take a well-deserved break when you need to prioritize your own mental well-being.

What brings you joy as a mother?

This is different for everyone. For me, it can be as simple as laughing at my kids’ immature fart and poop jokes to more complex things like helping them learn to race karts.

What is the greatest joy of motherhood?

The love you give and receive, that you become a better person, and that you have a greater purpose in life, just to name a few things.

What is depleted mother syndrome?

This is the result of an imbalance in the increased demands on mom’s resources while her ability to keep up with these demands diminishes. This usually involves the mother becoming overwhelmed and sensitive.

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the backrooms May 24, 2023 - 10:16 pm

Your blog shares a lot of good things about how to raise children from an early age. Thank you for sharing it

Youngandoldermum May 6, 2024 - 9:38 am

Love this post, especially the idea of injecting fun – it makes such a difference.

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