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!
How to Find Joy in Motherhood
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
One of the most important ways to stay positive as a mom is to focus on the good things in your life and practice gratitude. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and chaos of everyday life, but taking a few moments each day to reflect on what you’re thankful for can do wonders for your mood and mindset.
I’ve read that starting your day with a few minutes of quiet reflection or journaling is useful. You can write down a few things you’re grateful for, whether it’s your children’s laughter, a supportive partner, or simply the warmth of the sun on your face. It may sound small, but this simple practice helps can help to start your day on a positive note and sets the tone for the rest of the day.
For me, reminding myself to be grateful several times a day, especially in challenging moments has been a wonderful practice. I’m trying to train my brain to focus on positive things, even when I’m experiencing unpleasant emotions.
Maybe it’s a spontaneous hug from your child or a funny joke that makes you laugh out loud. By focusing on these positive moments, you can shift your mindset and find joy in the everyday.
It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it feels magical.
- Start a gratitude journal: Dedicate a few minutes each day to write down at least three things you’re grateful for. This could be anything from your family’s health to a delicious meal.
- Practice “gratitude showers”: During quiet moments (like showering or taking a walk), mentally list things you’re grateful for. Visualize them and savor the positive feelings.
- Express gratitude to others: Thank your partner, family, friends, or even strangers for their kindness and support. This reinforces positive connections and boosts your own mood.
- Create a “gratitude jar”: Write down things you’re grateful for on small pieces of paper, fold them up, and put them in a jar. On tough days, draw a note and read it for a reminder of the good things in your life.
- Engage in mindful practices: Mindfulness can help you focus on the present moment and appreciate the simple joys around you. Consider trying short meditation sessions or mindful breathing exercises.
Tip #2: Make Time for Self-Care and Prioritize Your Own Well-Being
As a mom, it’s easy to put your own needs last on the priority list. But neglecting your own well-being can lead to burnout and exhaustion, making it even harder to stay positive and present for your children.
That’s why it’s crucial to make time for self-care and prioritize your own needs. This might mean carving out a few minutes each day to meditate or practice yoga, taking a long bath after the kids are in bed, or simply indulging in your favorite hobby.
For me, self-care means going to the gym a couple times per week or prioritizing quiet time to read. My favorite, however, is sending the kids to stay with one of the grandparents so that my husband and I can spend time participating in motorsports. This is a passion of mine and sharing the time with my husband makes this an epic form of self-care.
I’ve also found that getting outside in nature can do wonders for my mood and overall sense of well-being.
By prioritizing your own needs and taking care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to handle the stresses of motherhood and stay positive along the way.
- Micro-breaks matter: Step away for 5 minutes to meditate, breathe deeply, or simply enjoy the quiet.
- Move your body: Find joy in movement, even if it’s just a quick walk or dancing to your favorite song with your kids.
- Fuel your well-being: Nourish your body with healthy foods and stay hydrated. It impacts your energy and mood.
- Engage in a favorite hobby: Dedicate 15-20 minutes to a calming activity you enjoy, like reading, painting, or listening to music.
- Connect with nature: Step outside for fresh air and sunshine, even if it’s just for a few minutes on your porch.
My new favorite self-care routine is to ensure I start the day with a protein filled breakfast. So I’ve begun ordering smoothie mixes from Daily Harvest and blend with my favorite protein powder to start my day off right! If you want to give it a try, use my code RE-6GHG8B2 for up to $65 off your first box!
Tip #3: Cultivate a Support Network and Lean on Others When Needed
Being a mom can feel isolating at times, especially if you’re a stay-at-home parent or don’t have a lot of local support. But cultivating a support network of other moms can make a huge difference in your overall well-being and happiness as a parent.
Whether it’s joining a mom’s group, reaching out to other parents at your child’s school, or simply connecting with other moms online, having a support network can provide a much-needed sense of community and belonging.
I’ve found that having a few close mom friends who understand the challenges of motherhood can be incredibly helpful when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed. When possible, choose those who have similar views on raising children so that you’re not feeling the weight of additional guilt or judgement in a crisis. Who needs that shit?
And don’t be afraid to lean on your support network when you need help or a listening ear. We’re all in this together, and sometimes all it takes is a little encouragement from another mom to help you stay positive and keep pushing forward.
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.