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November 8, 2023

Finding the Joy in Motherhood

Let’s start by acknowledging this is SO HARD! Even the Pinterest perfect moms on Instagram who look like they have it all together find themselves questioning their sanity every once in a while.

So how do we move from survival mode to finding joy in the journey that is motherhood?

A shift in focus can do wonders for noticing the good things around you.


Theres a social media trend I have noticed that talks about paying attention to glimmers rather than triggers.

As most know, triggers are things that set us off or make us angry. Perhaps its someone bringing up a loved one you’ve lost or someone calling you a name. Glimmers, however, are things that bring us joy. For example, your children giving you a big hug when you pick them up or your partner bringing you home your favorite chocolate.

When we shift our focus to these moments, we begin to notice more of them. As we build up a collection of glimmers; the triggers can feel less heavy. We are creating a positive outlook in our lives and finding joy more often than the stress (because remember, this is not easy and finding joy does not change that). It is ok, even expected, that we would still have hard moments. Practicing looking at the glimmers, or joys, in motherhood might make it easier for us to move past the hard parts.

Here are some ideas of how to notice those glimmers in your motherhood journey:

Celebrate small victories (rather than stressing about the to-do list)

              I get it, the things on the to-do list need to get done eventually. This isn’t about ignoring those tasks, it’s about shifting your focus to what has been done at the end of the day. The laundry may not be folded and put away, but everyone has clean clothes to wear. The house may not be perfect, but you enjoyed precious time with your babies. Dinner may be simple but the whole family is around the table, or maybe you enjoyed an extra twenty minutes at the park.

Allow for Toddler Time (rather than rushing through each task)

        Again, this can be hard, sometimes we just can’t allow for toddler time. However, when we are able to, allowing for toddler time can mean two different things: helping toddlers transition from one activity to the next or allowing them to help with tasks. Rather than letting them to play longer because they might enjoy that more, guide them to prepare for the next activity. This will help the transition and may cut down on tantrums. Life is play for toddlers; they cannot tell the difference. Allowing your toddler to help with age-appropriate tasks around the house may take longer but it allows you to spend time with them while getting that to-do list done. How to allow for toddler time could be another blog post completely and may be coming soon 😉

Self-Care (rather than self-sacrifice)

              The old adage is true: you can’t pour from an empty cup. While being a mom requires a certain level of self-sacrifice, you shouldn’t have to give up who you are as an individual. The idea of self-care can be confusing, what does self-care even mean?

I like to compare it to Mother’s Day; everyone wants to celebrate differently. You might prefer that your partner surprises you with a night away from the kids, a fancy dinner, or maybe a spa day. Or maybe you prefer to be with your kids all day, have them bring you breakfast in bed and spend the day exploring local parks. Neither is wrong, just different. Finding your unique self-care activity is about noticing the things you enjoy. It could be the stereotypical bubble bath or maybe it’s doing jigsaw puzzles. If you aren’t sure where to start, google self-care, pick a list, and start trying some of the things on the list. Noting what you enjoy and don’t along the way. Maybe trying new things IS your self-care.

Connection (rather than comparison)

              If you can’t tell, I LOVE antidotes. For this one, I think of this quote from Teddy Roosevelt: “Comparison is the thief of joy”. I also think of the Bluey episode “Baby Race” (if you haven’t seen it, consider this your spoiler alert). Bluey’s mom is at a playdate with all of the other kids and they are discussing what milestones their children are meeting. You can imagine how this plays out. In the end, a seasoned mom sits down with Bluey’s mom and tells her “You’re doing great”. We need more of this, more connection and encouragement. Much like adult humans; tiny humans are each unique; they grow, learn, and develop at their own pace.  Shifting your focus to those glimmers and finding joy in the journey can help us to connect with others.

Being Gentle with yourself (rather than getting stuck)

              No one knows exactly what to say or do 100% of the time. Its ok to apologize to your kids, its ok to ask for help, its ok to take time away. If you are having a hard time finding joy, or having motivation to do much of anything, maybe its time to seek professional help. This motherhood thing does not come with a handbook. Whether you feel you need counseling, parent coaching, or just a check-in with other moms; you don’t have to do this alone.

              I couldn’t leave you without one more antidote “This too shall pass”. Anytime I feel myself getting stuck, I think about a video of Robin Williams around a table with some other influential actors sharing this idea-If you are in hard times: This too shall pass. If you are in fantastic times-this too shall pass. So slow down and enjoy the ride. 

Each motherhood journey is different, find the joy in whatever way feels right for you.