It’s hard sometimes for me to care for my children with joy and willingness. So often, it seems like it’s all I can do just to meet their basic needs and I feel like I’m constantly checking things off a list, just doing my job, getting things done as fast as I can.
And while it’s good to actually fulfill our duties as mothers and wives, is that all we should be doing? Is being a mother all about efficiency?
To live a life full of duties and checklists will only make us very bitter, depressed women. We will eventually start to feel as if we are everyone’s servant and get nothing for it.
And it’s difficult to find joy in a life like that, difficult to joy in our children.
It’s hard to see the beauty in the dirty faces, joy in the messy kitchen, joy in the questions of a toddler, joy in the giggles, the tears, the mud, the constant noise.
We must learn to find joy.
Because in all those things, the tears, noise, dirt, stickyness… in all that makes up our lives as mothers, we have so much to find joy in, so much to be thankful for.
We have life, air to breathe, a warm home to make our own, food to nourish our families, smiles directed our way, little faces that look up to us for direction and answers, comfort and love.
We have all of that, everyday, everywhere we turn.
So why is it so hard to see the joy at times? Why is it so easy to get sucked into the rut of monotonous routines, messes to clean, food to cook?
Because we can so easily forget to look at the big picture.
We are mothers. We are here to guide our children, instruct them, and help them grow up into adults.
And while this involves sticky smiles and constant noise, that’s NOT all there is to our lives. There is so much more than that in raising children.
There is love, the chance to love this little child, the opportunity to teach them, comfort them, feed them, wash them, hold them, read to them, and see them grow up a little more everyday, grow a little bit closer to who they will be as adults.
So here’s a challenge for all of us:
The next time we find ourselves getting frustrated at the next hurdle coming our way, or we just want to find a closet and cry, let’s agree to take a step back and look at everything around us, to look at the big picture and what really matters in this journey of motherhood.
And then, if you want to go a step further, write down all the things you have to be thankful for in that moment, even the challenges, so you don’t forget how to look for the joy in everyday things.
I plan to. Will you join me?