BRINGING JOY BACK TO YOUR PARENTING
I always used to laugh at my mom when she would constantly be asking us “Does anyone know where I put my glasses?” I get a good chuckle now, because like mother like daughter, I find myself asking the same question to my kids too! Aside from constantly losing my glasses, it’s also really easy to misplace other things: keys, pens, my joy and sanity!!
Mothering: it’s the most amazing blessing and I know this, yet I can still find myself losing my joy in the midst of it all. How many mothers can relate?! If your hand is not up then you must be just waking up and haven’t poured your first cup of coffee yet.
I’m finding that as I journey through parenting – you know the one without a manual – I have found a few ways that I can bring joy back into my home when it’s starting to slip away. I know you mama’s don’t have a ton of time, so I am splitting this up into two posts, that way you can read it quick and come back for more inspiration in a few days!
Start your morning with your kids favorite breakfast:
I’m not suggesting you necessarily do this everyday, but once a week make your child’s favorite meal for breakfast. It makes my kids feel so special when they wake up to the smell of chocolate chip pancakes and strawberries smoothies! It feels good to make others feel good! There’s a trickle effect when serving our kids in a special way. Doing special things for them opens up conversation as to how they feel when someone does something kind for them on purpose and how they can do the same for someone else.
Know that you have a choice:
“But my kids are just driving me nuts and Tommy just broke a glass vase on the floor and Amy’s diaper just exploded!” Deep breath mama! We’ve all been there. Remember you are not alone! Literally just stop right now and take a few deep breaths and remember that although you can’t choose what happens around you, you DO have a choice with how you respond. Are you going to choose to freak out and yell at your kids? Or are you going to get down to Tommy’s level, look him in the eye and let him know how mommy is feeling. Obviously the age of your child will greatly depend on which words you choose, but kids generally respond quite well to a calm voice and can actually offer some empathy. Remember as parents, we are modeling the appropriate way to respond when we are feeling frustrated. If you respond in a calm way, there will be more peace in your home. On the other hand if you choose to freak out then your kids are going to freak out and it will just spiral into an angry mess. When this does happen – because it will- give yourself grace okay? This is a good opportunity to have a conversation with your kids about your feelings and then ask for forgiveness. We also model how to forgive, which is so important in nurturing their relationship with others as they grow.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” -Proverbs 15:1 NIV
Start a gratitude journal:
When my kids were small, I got overwhelmed easily due to a lot of factors including lack of self care and mindset. Our minds are sooooo powerful. I encourage you to get up 15 minutes before your kids and start listing what your grateful for. Take a minute in silence to sip your coffee or tea and look around your home and give thanks – even if it’s a giant mess. Go grab a cute journal. I find mine for a super great price at Winners here in Canada, but you can also get some great ones at the Dollar Store or Chapters. At first it may not feel like counting your blessings is really doing anything, but once you start getting into the habit, your mindset will slowly start to shift to gratitude, which will bring you more joy. Plus, it’s fun to go back and read what you’ve been writing!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” -Philippians 4:6
When it comes down to it, I know that I am more creative, happier and productive when I choose joy. Let me know if you try any of these tips that I use with my own family. I would also love for you to leave a comment with how you bring joy into your own home, because we are all in this together! I’m looking forward to sharing 3 more tips that I implement in my home to add more joy to my parenting! See you here in a few days!
Love of Love,
Photography by the lovely Janice Robocon
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