Moments that have brought me joy in mothering

Okay I just need to write something. Have you ever kept a journal, and then forgot to/didn’t write in it for way too long, and then every day you delayed made for more that you needed to write to catch it up which made you avoid writing even more? Anybody? Or is that just me? 

I’m not going to try and catch things up in this post, but I need to get back to the keyboard. I’ve been considering going back to daily blogging because I’m apparently terrible at keeping irregular schedules, but I’ve also really liked the flexibility of not writing every day. I’m torn.

I’ve had several thoughts of things that I wanted to write about or share over the last couple of weeks, but every time it came time to write there was something else I would rather have been doing, so I’m going to share the one thing that has been on my mind the most over the last week or so, maybe longer.

In several other blog posts, I have talked about my desire to find more joy in motherhood, in the raising and nurture of my children. I always thought that joy in mothering was something of a gift that would pour out upon you as soon as you had a child. I no longer believe that is true. I mean, love for my children certainly came, but joy in mothering has felt more like a skill that I have very slowly and gradually been learning and developing.

I’ve been trying really hard to simply LOOK for things about my day or about my children that bring me joy. I find myself laughing more at the silly things they do, I find myself slower to get angry, or quicker to pull myself out of feelings of frustration. Sometimes the joyful moments come because I helped to create a joyful experience, but other times they come simply because I was trying to find them.

Remember when I baked sugar cookies with the kids and it was a disaster? Well, I’m stubborn, and really like cookies, so I tried again another day and it was mostly a nightmare again. Then I realized that it was making the actual cookies that was the pain, but the decorating part was fun for everyone. A-ha! So on Monday last week I made a batch of sugar cookies (that turned out terribly, like hockey pucks, but I kept them anyway) and every day pulled out a cookie for each of the kids and we spent time putting frosting and sprinkles on them. They loved it, and it was not even terrible for me!

Moments like this bring me joy:

I bought the Moana soundtrack on Peter’s birthday, and every single day they ask for it. They love to run and dance and giggle, for about the first song and then they get bored, but them dancing together so gleefully fills me with joy:

Carolyn’s cute little face after I draped this blanket on her head, per her request, brings me joy:

Watching them make hats and masks out of their tortillas brings me joy (the first one or two times…):

Peter’s crazy hair transforming into preppy hair simultaneously breaks my heart and brings me joy:

And turning around today to see the two of them doing some sort of toddler yoga together brought me joy:

What I am learning is that just about every single time I look for joy, I find it. What if it’s that simple? What if finding joy is just a matter of looking for it?

I doubt that’s the only answer, because I’ve been actively looking for joy and I still get plenty frustrated and exhausted and I’m much worse at finding joy during times like those 20 minutes of delaying tactics from Peter at bedtime. BUT, all of that aside, looking for joy most certainly has helped me to find more of it. That much I know for sure.

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