Yesterday, I wrote a post called Don’t Miss Motherhood and I shared how easy it could be to miss motherhood in this race of life. Today I’m sharing with you seven ways to embrace motherhood, and to find joy, just like my grandmother told me. ~rachel
Here are seven out of many ways to embrace motherhood.
1. Don’t Wait. Living a life with a finding joy type heart is something that I want to encourage you to not wait on. When I speak to groups one of the things that I emphasize is to not wait to live a life seeking joy, but to begin to see joy in the midst of life. For too many years I waited to live life with joy – wanting to wait until thing were easier – the finances, the relationships, the things I wanted – and then, in reality, I missed out on moments of joy. Don’t wait. Make a decision, right now, and to decide that you are going to open your heart up to living intentionally and seeking joy. Joy cannot be bought, but truly is a posture of one’s heart.
2. Cultivate Time. There is always something that we should be doing – always a drawer to organize, a place to be, something to be cleaned – and part of embracing motherhood is disciplining ourselves to manage the always need to be done things with the items that we really should be doing. Reading a story with a four year old besides us will only last so long. Cultivate space within your day to make these moments happen.
3. Guard Your Schedule. Not just what you do, but also what your family is involved in. The catalog of activities from my community gets bigger and bigger each month. There are so many activities and places that we could be going – so many that are awesome opportunities – but I challenge you to look at how much time they are taking from the moments that you are able to spend together. Guard your schedule – schedule in time as a family – movies, dinners, walks, playing catch in the backyard – and keep that a priority. Often it is saying no to things that are awesome, but ultimately yes to family.
4. Listen to Your Words. Pay attention to how you talk about motherhood, about the day to day, and your kids. There is great power in words. If the words are constantly about being behind, being overwhelmed, or being discouraged, then something needs to change. Listen and learn from your words – try to speak in words that are empowering and motivating. If I catch myself saying that I am no good, not able to do this, and overwhelmed I will change it instead to words of can doing it, managing it, and I matter. Words and tones matter. Think of your words like a target – you’ll move to what you think – check your thoughts and correct them. There is power in I can do today.
5. Connect. Connect with other moms, other women, and with your family. I strongly encourage you to find other moms to walk this journey with and then to be bold and establish a culture of real support – support that is not based on outward things, but rather in joining together and encouraging each other on their motherhood journey. Connect with your family as well. Find moments in the day to learn about everyone’s days and to really listen – don’t listen thinking about the next 578 things you need to do, but rather listen with the realization that you are being given a gift, a gift right now, to hear their heart and to connect. They grow, and the toddler that you remember will soon be simply a reflection in the adult they are becoming.
6. Capture the Moment. Don’t wait for tomorrow to come to do the things that you could do today. There have been so many times where I have gone to bed wishing that I had put my kids before doing laundry, dishes, and having everything ultra tidy. On Saturday my inlaws were coming over and I had this massive to-do list of things to get done – dusting, vacuuming, laundry folding, dinner prep – and I was intent on finishing. Then I stood in my kitchen wiping the sink and saw my two oldest boys outside making a snowman. (This is hard to type without getting teary) I remember seeing them, watching them work, and making the decision that even if my inlaws come over to a messy house that I didn’t care right then. I put the dishrag down, grabbed my boots, and went outside and rolled large balls of snow and made a snowman. That mattered. And, the irony is, that my house got cleaned – everyone chipped in – those boys’ hearts were full. Capture those moments.
7. Give Grace. Ah, grace, a word that leaves my lips numerous times a day. Give grace. Learn grace. Grace matters. Mother give your family grace – seek to understand first (love those words from Steven Covey) and don’t judge immediately. And bless your children with grace. And in that blessing make sure to bless yourself with grace. Grace for the moments when you snapped over crumbs on the floor, grace for the times when you got up late, grace for the times when you pushed the real important things to the side, just grace. Learn a posture of grace in your motherhood journey.
Embracing motherhood, finding joy. In the midst of the busy it can be easy to forget to slow down and to make an active choice regarding our actions in motherhood. You have power, you can make decisions, you are an empowered person. Start looking at your day with a different lens, and just like my grandmother shared in my post yesterday, live a life of finding joy.
Seven ways to embrace motherhood. Start today.
Life moves by way too fast to not.