Stepping on LEGOs, knocks on the door at night when you begin to drift off, another meal, another load of laundry, another bandaid to put on. Joyful? There is so much frustration, crying and whining from both parents and children that everyone begins to wonder if there is any truth to the words, motherhood is a gift or children are a blessing.
Can you tell me that again when my child is screaming at me in the grocery store or in front of the grandparents?
It’s not always that the child is hateful or wicked (I can almost hear some old nanny saying that to a young child during the regancy era that several period dramas are set in, but I digress). The child is truly only acting out the same emotions, fears and willfulness that we, adults, have come to rein in.
Training, molding, equipping, and loving the child into adulthood is a big part of mothering.
It is wonderful and wonderfully painful, and, believe it or not, this is the joyful part. See we get the idea of what is joyful completely confused with what is pleasant, happy or satisfying. Yes, that is joy, but we think it is a thrilling emotion, like the moment your boyfriend asks you to marry him.
Joy is not a moment, joy is an ongoing settled state. It is a decided state of gladness, appreciation and spirit. You see all the immaturity and flaws in yourself and your child but do not allow those to impede your journey.
On the contrary, you use those rocks as grips to climb up higher. You learn from your motherhood mistakes, you learn to be more flexible and patient and allow all the chaos to be like a tornado, where you can find calm in the eye of the storm. That calm spot, where you decide to make the most out of it all, THAT is joy.
But keeping the joy…
At first it seems not too hard, then the bumps come and then maybe even a give up attitude sets up in you.
Where do you go?
Who will help you turn that frown upside-down?
This can be a long process, but you have to start somewhere. You have to entrust your heart and feelings with someone.
Someone who will listen and comfort.
To give you direction.
Someone who will not allow the LEGOs and laundry steal your joy.
That someone, the only one, who can give you hope is God. The Sovereign Originator of your life and your child’s life.
Having a joyful motherhood is about trusting God just like your child trusts you. Even if it seems like your child doesn’t trust you, he does, silently. He trusts you to have food at mealtimes, to come when he calls for you, to comfort him when he is hurting. Sometimes we need to just step back and not just DO things for your children but spend time WITH our children. I’ve found that if I take time to do things with my children there is a relief. The child is more pleasant, I’m more relaxed, I can better cement myself in my decided joyful attitude.
Through your child’s play, you can play too. You can let go. Even for moments at a time and breathe life.
You can be fun! You can bond with a human being so much like you, they once lived in you. Just watching your child play happily brings a sense of peace. They, trusting you. You, trusting Him. He being in complete control.