Women long to be mothers and once they are blessed with children of their own, their dreams have finally came true. They adore their children and love them with all of their beings. They love being a mother. So, when one day, they realize that something isn't the same and realize that motherhood robbed their joy, they are not sure what to do or who to tell.
When Motherhood Robs Your Joy
I was living the life that I dreamed about living. I had an amazing husband, healthy children and I was staying home to homeschool my children. Truly it was everything that I desired.
Little did I realize that over a period of time, motherhood was robbing me of my joy and I didn't realize it until it was gone. Completely gone!
I was just going through the motions of our mundane days, doing what homeschooling moms do daily. My laugh was disappearing. Crying was happening more. Arguments were breaking out between my husband and I over the littlest of things.
All of this was happening and I was even letting anyone know how I was feeling. I was keeping it to myself and putting on smiles when friends were around me.
Finally, it hit me!
If I didn't do something to help myself, I was going to lose the most important things in my life and I was the only one to blame for it, because I wasn't being honest with my husband or with my closest friends.
One night after my husband had put our children to bed (I even stepped away from this family tradition of our whole family praying together at the end of the day), I opened my heart up to him and I cried for hours. I mean HOURS.
In the end, I told him these harsh words, “Motherhood has robbed my joy!”
I believed it wholeheartedly at that time, but as we worked to help me find my way back to my family, I realized that I couldn't have been any more wrong.
I had allowed myself to rob my own joy and I was blaming the people I loved the most.
There were several habits that I had allowed myself to get into that was the source of my joy being gone but until I took an honest look at what was going on, I truly believed it was my own children because I was with them all day long and let's face it, mothering isn't for the faint of heart.
Here are some of the habits that I identified to be the true robbers of my joy:
Most of my day was filled with negative thoughts and I didn't even realize it. The more negative thoughts I was having, the more it was affecting my relationship with my family. It was literally making me lose sight of the amazing positives that each of them had because I couldn't see past the negative things.
When I was young, day time television played in our home and I really never understood the dangers that came from them, so when I had a home of my own, I began to watch day time television during my afternoon hours, when my house work was done and my child napped. I continued this habit until we had started homeschooling the first year or so.
It took me realizing that everything I was finding to be negatives in my family and home, all resulted from the influence that I allowed from these day time shows. My happiness was being chipped away from the ideals of what Hollywood was showing to be popular.
Removing these influences were the best thing that I have ever done for my own happiness and joy.
All parents do this from time to time, threaten your children with punishment without following through with what you had said you were going to do. As the sole parent for all but 2 hours of my children's day, I was chipping away the joy of motherhood by my own laziness in parenting.
I was attempting to raise my children to be exactly what I wanted them to be through manipulating them through empty threats, which opened the door to me raising my voice more and more, resulting in an angry mother.
It took me confessing this to my husband and myself that allowed me to see that my joy had no hope of surviving motherhood because I was taking it away out of laziness and anger.
I removed the threat parenting with consistent parenting and I was shocked with the quick results it produced in my own children and in my joy. It was easy to lead from a consistent parent to a positive parent, which brings joy all the time.
Feeling like I have to do everything, at the speed of light, and for the glory that comes from wearing a cap was my nemesis at that time. I have high energy, never needing caffeine to get me started for the day and always finding the first 6 hours of my day to be my most productive time, I would have no problem staying on top of laundry, a clean house, meals, homemaking, etc, so I continued to add more and more to my plate, not realizing that I was snuffing out the joy with busyness.
Busyness is a robber of joy!
It was during this time that I was inspired to think of my day as a plate, and only could I add something more to it, if I could take something off from it. I was able to do that through delegating and teaching my children how to do chores and some meal prep.
I still have to fight the urge to wear my cap from time to time, but this plate analogy helps me keep perspective and managing my busyness.
Managing My Emotions The Wrong Way
Woman are amazing at hiding their emotions, until they can't hold them any longer and they explode. I know this from personal experience.
Even worse is sharing our emotions with the wrong person, the wrong way.
I have been very blessed to know have close friends that will sit and be negative with me. If I share my negative emotions, I can trust them to help me turn them into a positive and get through the emotions that I'm stuck in.
It is important to only share your emotions with someone who is going to help you work past them, find the high road and help you get there. If you don't have friends like this, then keep your emotions to yourself and work to find ones that can be this for you.
My husband has been the one that has had to deal with the exploding results of me holding my emotions inside. I have learned to overcome them by sharing my emotions when I'm feeling them. This allows me to do it in the best way, without allowing resentment, frustration and other negative thoughts to accumulate.
Feeding Myself With Good Things
Reading Scriptures has always been a great source for me in my life and this period of time when my joy was gone, it proved to be just what I needed.
Comedy became an important part of my life, in order to bring my laughter back full force.
Reading good books that inspired me to improve areas that I needed the most help in was one of the best resources that I did during that time, and still do, as it allows me to learn from others and improve because of them.
One of my favorite movies that I would have LOVED to have available to me when I was going through this season in mothering, where my joy was being robbed is Mom's Night Out. Our family has watched it over 10 times, and I look for any opportunity to share with other families because it is THAT important of a message to miss.