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How to Choose Joy In the Messy Middle of Motherhood

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[03:28] Has the overwhelm of mom life stolen your joy in motherhood? Believe me, I’ve been there too. And if I’m honest, I still end up in that place from time to time. Because mom life is hard and demanding and full of service.

But even though motherhood can be a sacrifice, it doesn’t have to be a burden.

You get a choice. Because happiness is based on your circumstances, but joy is something you choose.

Too often happiness and joy get tangled up and confused, and we think that the way we feel is indicative of the amount of joy in our lives. 

Joy can and often does involve a measure of happiness, but it’s so much deeper than that. It’s a level of peace and contentment that supersedes our circumstances and can ground us when we’re overwhelmed or wrung out and weary. 

It’s knowing deep down in your bones that you are where you’re meant to be. Doing what you’re called to do. And it’s the peace that comes from knowing that even when you get it wrong, grace will cover your shortcomings. 

So then, practically speaking, how do you choose joy when life seems so difficult and you feel unaligned?

Today I’m going to give you three action steps you can take TODAY to choose joy, right here in the messy middle of motherhood.

[6:40] Make time for mama.

You have to carve out time for yourself.

It’s hard to feel the joy of motherhood when all you do is run yourself ragged day in and day out. More than the physical exhaustion at the end of a long day, it’s the soul weariness that drains our joy. 

Think about what really makes you feel restored when your energy is low, or lifts your spirits when you’re in a slump. Then intentionally build those things into your daily routines. 

For me it’s early morning devotions, making sure I get into the Word before I take on the world. Then midday Pilates after the lunch slump. And a candlelit bath with a good book to find some peace before bed. 

Whether you wake early to go on a quiet walk around the neighborhood, sit with a cup of coffee and a good book after lunch, or stay up to snuggle with your sweetie after the kids go to bed.

Make them habits. Not rewards. Not extras. Your self-care is as important to your motherhood, marriage, and business as doing the laundry and washing your face. 

Because you cannot pour out what you don’t have to give. It’s not selfless to disregard your needs. It’s actually selfish. Because you’re not only stealing joy from your own self, you’re robbing the people you love of the blessing you could be to them at your best. 

If you do nothing else, do this! Pick one thing to do for you today.

Unbusy Your Mom Life!

Hey mama, I see you – hustling hard. Doing all.the.things. But mom life doesn’t have to be ruled by your to-do list. Let me show you how to Take Back Your Time with my FREE toolkit!

I know it seems like a pipe dream when there is so much on your plate, which brings me to my next tip…

[8:58] Simplify your life. 

Busy is not better and more will not make you happy. 

But you already know that. You’ve tried it and there was no peace to be found. So let it go, mama. 

Room by room. Appointment by appointment. Guilt after guilt.

There is no place in your home, head, or heart for things that weigh you down.

It’s time to choose: do you want to clean up after your life or live it? Do you want to run from one place to another all week or be present with the people you love? Are you ready to choose grace over guilt and start taking small steps to change your circumstances or stay pralyzed by fear and doubt? 

Start small. Doing too much only leads to more overwhelm and that’s the last thing we want. Pick one room, one commitment that you dread, one lie you’ve been telling yourself – take a deep breath, and let it go. 

If you want to get started with simplifying and taking back your time, check out my free Take Back Your Time Toolkit.

[10:45] Love Others Well

This is where the magic happens. 

We were created to be in community. No matter how introverted you are – I get it, I love my alone time – the best memories and the happiest moments are the ones you make with the people you love. 

But it can be so hard to be present, even once you’ve simplified and made the time to connect. 

We’re so used to being busy that downtime feels awkward and even uncomfortable. And what inevitably happens is everyone reaching for the screens to fill the void.

But don’t let your devices become divisive. Set boundaries around your screen time. 

One of my favorite times of the year is during Lent when I do a digital fast. I find that when I put down my phone, it frees me to focus on the people and things tI’ve been meaning to “get around to” all year long. 

That sounds horrible, right? Like my family and friends are items to check off a to-do list. But if I’m being really honest, that’s often how my relationships feel. Until I commit to really pouring out my love and attention on them, and I realize that I had it backwards all along. 

I was CHOOSING busy, distracted, unintentional living over a purposeful, joy-filled life. 

[12:43] The Short And Sweet

There are always going to be hard times in motherhood, and even in life in general, but most of the time, there are also things worth rejoicing over. 

It’s up to you to choose your outlook.

You’ll never be able to control every circumstance you find yourself in, but even on the longest, most wearying of days, when happiness feels a million miles away, I bet you could find that thread of joy on the faces of your sleeping babies. Because there’s a deep peace in knowing that precious child dreaming in the next room was especially purposed just for you from the foundations of the world. 

How’s that for joy?

Resources we talked about in this episode…

Beginner’s Guide to Purposeful Motherhood

Freebie ALERT!

Unbusy Your Mom Life!

Hey mama, I see you – hustling hard. Doing all.the.things. But mom life doesn’t have to be ruled by your to-do list. Let me show you how to Take Back Your Time with my FREE toolkit!

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