Today is hard. There’s no denying it. Even on the best of days, it’s not easy being a mother.
But the joy of being a mother, the gift of children, is amazing. Their curiosity and resilience can brighten the darkest day.
Let’s focus on the many joys we have as mothers and count our blessings together today, because today is what we have to work with. We can’t undo yesterday. We can make plans for tomorrow, but we’ve got to live in this day right here. Let’s do that as best we can!
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What is the Joy of Being a Mother?
What exactly IS the joy of being a mother? Well, there are several, the way I see it.
- Kids can be so very entertaining
- Encouraging their curiosity can lead to cool ideas and discoveries
- They think very differently than we do, making life refreshing
- Their bottomless energy can energize us, if we let it
- Having the privilege to disciple them and build their faith is wonderful
- We can learn a lot about ourselves by observing them, and how we interact with them
- They push us to think beyond our own little circle, and do something more
- We become better people, because we want them to be better people
I think that last one might be my favorite joy of being a mother. So often I would choose an easier way. But I want’ to be the best example I possibly can, for them to have a decent path to follow.
As an introvert, I’d rather stay home with my books and my computer. But because of them, I go places and do things, and play games, and meet people, make memories, and generally live life more fully. That is the joy of being a mother.
Becoming a Mother Changed My Life
Yes, becoming a mother changed my life. My time is no longer my own, and I do (and say) things I’d never dreamed of (potty training, anyone?)
My money doesn’t go as far as it used to. I don’t get to sleep through the night, or go on dates with my husband or hang out with my friends whenever I want.
The riches of motherhood are unbeatable! Watching (and helping) kids discover new things can be the coolest thing ever!
Taking my youngest for a walk when he was 18 months, for about a year, Was so much fun! He was absolutely fascinated by the edge of the driveway. One foot on, one foot off, walking along exploring that height difference of an inch or so, and stopping to look at every leaf and bug. The journey was definitely far and away the best part. Getting to Gram’s house was wonderful, but that walk, man alive it was fun. It may have taken forever, but seeing him learn about the world around him was such a treat.
At three, he spent nearly ten minutes straight picking up and dropping a small toy. I’m not sure exactly what he was doing, but he was learning that there are absolutes in this world, that are always consistent. Like Gravity.
Why I Love Being a Mom
Being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, I get to experience all of the firsts, the curiosity, and the fun. We get to spend hours playing our favorite games (which just so happen to be very educational!) and reading books and watching videos that let us explore everything from the Grand Canyon to the Founding Fathers to outer space and the creation of the world. Is it any wonder why I love being a mom?
Being able to introduce concepts, ease worries, and encourage character growth while teaching life skills and having fun together is wonderful!
The fact that kids are born with an unconditional trust of their mom, that she will always be there, and knows absolutely everything, is powerful. I can’t live up to it, but it makes me want to!
And they are very forgiving, so if you need practice with apologies, start with your kids. Let them see you’re not perfect, that it’s okay to mess up, but that you need to take responsibility for your mistakes, ask forgiveness, and do what is possible to make amends.
Being Mother is the Best Feeling!
Obviously, I think being mother is the best feeling ever! Even on those nights when I was weaning the baby, and that meant having him in the backpack carrier, walking up and down our street for an hour, until he finally fell asleep, I love being a mom even then. It gave me special time to pray for him, and keep him close, even if I was done nursing him.
There’s almost nothing better than holding a sleeping child, even when they’re bigger and just resting their head in your lap. A, it means they’re not getting into trouble somewhere; B, it means you have/get to be still and rest for a bit yourself; and C, the peaceful feelings that accompany that, well, it’s wonderful!
Seeing your kid take the initiative to be kind to someone, or helpful in some way is such a great feeling. It requires effort on the front end, though, setting a good example, having discussions, and otherwise making a habit of focusing on those activities in your everyday life.
Those moments when your child brings you a flower-weed they picked, or comes to give you a hug just because, this is the joy of being a mother. And I’ll take it, even though it comes with those sleepless nights and dirty dishes, and neverending laundry.
Being a Mom Is Hard, Though
There’s no denying it, being a mom is hard, though it’s such a blessing too. It’s a lot of work, sometimes very little gratitude, and the results aren’t guaranteed. It’s far too easy to become an overwhelmed mom, with the endless to-do list and comparison motherhood, and, and, and.
Kids can break your heart. But they can fill it faster than anyone else, too. If you’re in a rough teenage or young adult season, I challenge you to remember the little years. Think about a few favorite memories from then. Maybe share them with your child, or maybe, like Mary, you just treasure them in your heart and keep praying for them.
This Joyful Living Toolbox is a great option for helping you keep hold of the joy of being a mother, whatever you’re dealing with.
6 Ways to Keep Hold of the Joy of Being a Mother
I’m sure the real reason you’re here is for some practical strategies to keep hold of the joy of being a mother. Because sometimes, in the midst of the chaos of living, you forget. I know I do. So let’s dive in.
- Keep a Gratitude Journal (and have your kids keep one also!).
- Don’t compare yourself and your mothering to others.
- Choose joyful friends.
- Do not try to do it all. (Take breaks and ask for help)
- Learn something new WITH your kids
- Pull out your memory book
Gratitude takes your focus off the problems and onto the blessings. the things you may even take for granted. Maybe it’s the fact that your legs or eyes, or ears work as they were designed to. Maybe it’s that sunrise or rainbow or shade tree you saw today. Or that person who let you go in front of them at the store. There’s a lot of things to be grateful for, even on hard days.
Comparison is a big joy-stealer. You are imperfect, yes, and there’s always room for improvement, but recognize that you have strengths, and don’t sell yourself short. God didn’t make junk. If you wouldn’t let your friend or your child say those self-directed negatives, then you should definitely not be saying them to yourself!
Choose Joyful Friends
Choose your friends wisely. Surround yourself with joyful people. Build each other up, and help each other out. This goes both ways, and helping others find joy helps you find it too. When any of you starts to complain or get negative, stop and turn it around. (This is not to be confused with glossing over betrayals or problems. Things need to be dealt with. But there’s a difference. We can choose our attitude, in the face of any situation.
Don’t Try to Do It All
We can learn to manage our time well, and improve our skills in different areas, but we have a finite number of hours, and energy. Setting goals is important, but we cannot possibly do it all. Making instagram worthy meals and pinterest worthy crafts and keeping a pristine house and still have emotional bandwith for the important relationships in our lives all the time is impossible.
Nap when the kids do. It was a survival skill when they were infants, and it still is. Even if they’re just having a quiet time, you can grab a 20 minute nap, and be able to handle the rest of the day well.
Ask your husband, mother, inlaws, friend from church, to give you a consistent couple of hours to yourself, to do whatever hobby you have neglected lately.
Learn Something New WITH Your Kids
This one is one of the best ways to remember the joy of being a mother. Spending time with your kids, learning something new, trying something different. Even playing a new game. Whether you youtube a new skill or location, or pull out a hands on experience (try something from DIYSCI, maybe), it will remind you just how awesome your family is. The laundry can wait.
Memory Book Time
Now’s a great time to pull out your memory book. Whether you’re looking through pictures of your kids and family events, or reading from the list of hilarious sayings the kids have shared over the years, this one will absolutely help you keep hold of the joy of being a mother. The things we so easily forget, if we don’t diligently record them, are the pearls that will brighten your day.
How Do You Keep Hold of the Joy of Motherhood?
Do you have some secrets to share? Reasons you can say “I love being a mom!”? Or what you do when being a mom is hard, harder than normal?
We’d all love to hear them. We’re better when we encourage each other, and cheer each other on. We can’t get ahead by tearing each other down or laughing at one another’s messes. It just doesn’t work that way.