Finding Your Joy in Motherhood

September 30, 2015




I realize my post title today may have caused you to pause for a moment.  Finding your joy?  Isn’t motherhood always joyful?


Maybe for you it is.  Me?  I must admit that there are often times I have trouble finding my joy in motherhood.


I know what you’re probably thinking.  How can she say that? 


I know.  I hear myself read the words aloud and I would probably be having the same thoughts you may be having about me right now.  It sounds terrible.  But in this current season of mommyhood, it’s honest.  So today, if you're a mama who is struggling to find her joy in motherhood...this one is for you sister.  


Let me start by saying, I absolutely find joy in my children.  I love them more than my own life and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in this world.  But one night I was standing over a sink full of bottles that needed to be washed in a kitchen that looked like a tornado had come through it, and I realized that I was having some serious trouble finding my joy in motherhood.


You see, becoming a mother utterly rocked my world.  I was no longer responsible just for myself, but now held all responsibility for this tiny, precious child.  I was now a co decision-maker for someone else's life and I took the weight of barring that responsibility heavily.  


My husband and fellow co-decision maker,  is wonderful and we absolutely are a team {playing man on man defense most days}.  But I began to hold resentment towards him and the fact that in my mind, I was carrying the weight.  I was the one responsible for making sure everyone got to where they needed to go, the house was clean (I mean er, picked up), dinner was on the table, stuff for school was packed, appointments made, etc.   Maybe it was the fact that I had recently had baby girl #2 (hello postpartum hormones!), but all of the sudden I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. 



I began to feel weighed down with the responsibility of being a mama to these two precious girls.  


It wasn’t them.  It wasn’t even my husband.  It was me.  It was my attitude towards the day to day, running a household, trying my hardest to remember everything and hold the fort down thing that got to me.  To put it simply, I was overwhelmed with the responsibility that being a mother often brings. To be looked at as someone's everything proved to be a bit more than I could handle.    


Washing bottles.  Doing the laundry.  Picking up toys night after night.  Cleaning the house.  Keeping schedules in order.  Packing lunches.  I mean, they aren’t things that exactly rev my soul up, ya know?



I would rather focus on snuggling with my babies, reading books to my oldest at bedtime, playing dress up, and making silly faces to get my littlest one to laugh out loud.  Oh that sweet sound of a child laughing.    It will never grow old to me.  You know, I just want the sweet moments of motherhood.  The moments that cause your heart to bust with joy and contentment. The moments they make movies about on the Hallmark Channel. 

The responsibility for running the day to day duties, well, I could easily give those up to someone more qualified.  


Back to the night where I stood over that sink full of bottles that needed to be washed, in the kitchen that looked like a tornado had hit it, I was convicted that it was my attitude that needed to be changed. 



I needed a heart of servanthood.


Credit: Catt Liu

  
Heck, more than my heart, I needed my mind to shift towards servanthood.  These tasks may be time consuming or even aggravating to do at times, but I can teach my girls what service looks like, what the love of Jesus looks like, if I change my heart and do these things with a joyful attitude.



In order to change my heart from groaning to servanthood, I needed strong help from the Holy Spirit. 

And so I prayed. 


Lord, change my heart. 



Help me to see that this is not just washing bottles, but a way to serve my family.  Help me to be grateful that we have toys for our children to play with when there are others who don’t have this same privilege.  Change my perspective.  Show me how to serve my family through the small everyday tasks.  Convict me when I begin to groan again. 


Changing my heart towards servanthood is a process.  One I need to check myself daily on.  Some days are better than others and I find it easy to find joy in those tasks.  Other days, I can feel my heart is not a servant’s heart and I have to quickly reassess myself and adjust my perspective.



Have I prayed for my family today?  Was I in God’s word today?  Am I just tired? Was there a problem I had earlier in the day that may be affecting the way I’m acting now?  These are just a few of the questions I use to reflect on.  This process may look differently for you. 



Notice, I didn't call this post "Finding THE Joy in Motherhood," but rather "Finding YOUR Joy in Motherhood," because joy may look differently for each of us.  You may be a mama that enjoys doing the day to day activities and excels at being the "go to" for your household.  If you are one of these mamas, let me just say, you rock.   I don't measure up in this arena and you mama's seriously amaze me with your heart for service for your family in this way.



Or maybe you're a mama who is overwhelmed with financial burdens and you're trying your best to make due with what you have to offer.  You want the best for your family and you're carrying around so many burdens; offering so much sacrifice.   Find joy?  You're focusing on the next bills coming in, just trying to make it through the days.  I've been there.  I still am there. God sees you sister.  I see you too.


Maybe your kids drive you insane sometimes.  Maybe they even make you straight crazy.  But you love them.  You adore them.  But this mama thing is hard.  Period.  It's the hardest and best job all rolled into one.  I see you today too.  You're just trying to hold it all together for fear that one more thing may send you over. the. edge.  Oh sister, my heart for you is deep.  



Maybe it isn’t motherhood you need to find your joy in.  Maybe it’s your marriage.  Your job.  Or maybe you need to find your joy in yourself again. 




Whatever you need to find your joy in again, can I encourage you today to approach it with a new perspective?  One of servanthood and grace.  Sometimes joy can be found in the little things like bath time or singing at the top of your lungs in the car with your kids.  Sometimes, it's a bit harder to find if you're weighed down with burdens.   But sister, it's there.  


You know, I have to remind myself sometimes that as aggravating as those bottles are to wash, they will soon be gone because my baby will be grown.  One day, sooner than I hope it to be, those toys will be put away or given to another family because my girls will be too old for toys like Sophia and Elmo.  And I will stand over the sink in my kitchen that will probably still look like a tornado hit it, and I’ll think back to the time when surviving the day to day of raising small children was a hard feat.  One I often failed at. 

  
But hopefully I will  have taught my daughters what a heart to serve others looks like, because they will have learned from their mama who took joy in doing the little everyday things for them; like packing their lunches and doing their laundry.  Oh how I pray I teach them how to love and serve others as He has called us to do!

If you're struggling to find your joy today, let me encourage you.  I know it's hard sometimes.  I also know that I serve a God who has created me to be the mother to my two precious girls. Not a perfect mother.  But the mother that they need.  And that is something I take immense joy in.  



May you find your joy in motherhood today friend. 

May you find it in your marriage, or your job, or yourself.  

May you take delight in the things that we so often overlook.

 May you go forward pursuing a heart of servanthood.  


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