Have you ever found yourself uttering the words or even thinking thoughts like I’m tired of being a mom, or even I don’t like being a mom? And then you feel like a bad mom for even thinking such thoughts.
You’re not alone. And there’s nothing wrong with you.
Being a mom is hard even on the best of days. But there are seasons in life when motherhood is overwhelming, stressful and downright exhausting.
Do you want to know how to be a happy mom and be able to really appreciate the joy of being a mother? I’d like to talk about this a little bit. But first, let’s talk a little more about the season you might be finding yourself in right now…
Tough seasons of parenting can suck the joy out of being a mother
I just so happen to be in the midst of one of those hard and stressful seasons of motherhood.
I currently have a 5 year old boy who is very loving but also very easily distracted, and when he’s interrupted from a task he’s really into, he gets far too upset way too easily (I’m pretty sure he has ADHD for real — not joking).
I also have a 3 year old who has a wonderful imagination but is very (and I mean VERY VERY) strong willed. No kidding, this girl wrote the book on stubbornness (or at least she is the star pupil).
And finally I have a sweet and happy little 8 month old girl who is all giggles and smiles…when she’s not teething. But she can also be very demanding and clingy because that’s just what babies do!
There are days…and weeks… and months when I am constantly just living in survival mode. And on days like this I count it a win to just plain get through the day with everyone fed and with only a minimal amount of bumps and bruises from rough play.
It’s not that I don’t like being a mom, but there are days when I’m so exhausted and I feel so inadequate as a mother. Especially when it comes to knowing how to be a happy mom for my kids.
When I’m in survival mode like this, the joy of being a mother is drowned out by the stress of being a mom.
Do you struggle with knowing how to be a happy mom?
Perhaps you’re also going through a tough season of motherhood where you’re feeling exhausted, and perhaps even tired of being a mom. And you’re finding it hard to get through the day, let alone being able to actually find the joy of being a mother.
And if that’s you then I’d like to offer you some encouragement and show you some tips on how to be a happy mom, a joyful mom, and a mom that is able to find the good in motherhood, even during those hard moments of parenting.
Because I assure you that I understand what you’re going through and you can get through this. We’re in this together, friend.
You are not alone in this. You are not the only mom in the trenches and sometimes it can really help to know that.
But you also need to know that this too shall pass.
Why it’s so important to find the joy of being a mother again…
As I was thinking about this season of my life and the stress of being a mom, I was also reminded of all the moms out there with children who are all grown.
Time and time again I’ve heard them say that one of the keys to being a good parent with no regrets is about finding the joy of being a mother in the moment. That you should be sure to savor the time you have with your children while they’re little.
Because it goes by so quickly and before you know it they’re gone and off with their own families.
Even though I haven’t experienced that yet, I believe them!
Because despite the hard days that seem to drag on forever, these past five years I’ve been a mom have also flown by.
It feels like just yesterday when my oldest child was born. But at the same time the stress of being a mom makes it feel like I’ve been hanging on by a thread for so long.
This time with your children is limited and will come to a close…
But what you and I have to remember is that our children — our most-of-the-time-sweet precious babies — are going to be little for only a short while. And if we don’t find a way to step out of survival mode, pause, and learn how to be happy moms by filling up on joy in the midst of the tough seasons of motherhood, we will regret it.
So I’d like to share with you a simple, yet powerful, method for finding the joy in being a mom, not just during the happy seasons of motherhood, but also in the midst of the hardest seasons you’ll go through as a mother.
And by the way, I’d say this method for sparking up joy as a parent is an essential tool you’ll want to add to your parenting toolbox. It will save you time and time again.
Step 1: Reflect on when they were younger
No matter what age your children are now, it can be an eye opener to really reflect on when they were littler.
Think about things that you loved and found joy in when they were younger, things that you really wish you would’ve appreciated, been more grateful for, and savored more at the time.
Doing this does two things.
First, reflecting on when your children were younger allows you to appreciate happier memories.
Yes, you had stressful times then too, but more than likely you are seeing those memories through rose colored glasses.
It’s kind of like the grass is greener affect. Which is why people are always talking about “the good ol’ days” when even “the good ol’ days” had their not-so-good moments.
Also, remembering happy moments with your children helps you to realize that there are always good things about being a mom.
Taking this step can also help you to see that there are always things about your children and being a mom that you will look back on with fondness.
Even those things that stressed you out in the moment might just turn out to be those things that you actually come to laugh about later on. Time changes our perspective.
Which brings me to the next step…
Step 2: Brainstorm the things you think you’ll miss from this season
This step might be hard for you to do at first if you’re in a season of particularly high stress.
But it’s an essential step to take when you feel tired of being a mom. Think about this as one of the secrets to knowing how to be a happy mom.
So here’s what you do. Really try to take a step back and make a list of all the things you even remotely find joy in during this season of life with your children.
To get you started, I’ll share a few examples from my own life…
Quiet before bedtime moments with my baby
At the moment we are working on transitioning our baby to sharing a room with her big sister. She’s taking a lot of naps in there. But it’s a bit of a challenge because they aren’t always on the same sleep schedule and they are learning how to sleep in the same room together. They’re getting better and their sleep schedules are starting to line up more, but they aren’t quite ready for the big nighttime leap yet.
But one of the things I love about this season with my baby girl is that I get to have a few quiet moments alone with her after her big brother and sister go to bed.
I read her one of her favorite bedtime board books like Goodnight Moon (she loves to try to grab on to the red balloon, it’s so cute), or Time for Bed (she always nuzzles close when I read this one). Then I read her a Bible story from one of our favorite baby Bibles, say a small prayer with her, cuddle her up in her favorite zippered blanket, sing Jesus Loves You to her and lay her down. It’s a simple and yet very special little bedtime routine I get to have with her.
Once she starts sleeping in the same room as her sister I don’t know if these special moments will be as feasible. So I appreciate them so much right now.
The innocence of these moments
This example isn’t a specific thing, but rather just something about this season of motherhood in general.
At the moment my children are all quite young and still so very sweet and innocent. Yes, they have their vicious moments, but still underlining their mischievous acts is an innocence that I know won’t last forever.
There are things going on in the world right now that I would love to keep them from having to experience, but I know the day will come when I need to stop protecting and start preparing them on how to handle the woes of the world.
But at the moment I’m simply enjoying letting them remain innocent and allow them to simply enjoy being kids.
What will you miss from this season of motherhood?
So what are your things? What things will you miss when this phase is over? What things will you fondly look back on as happy motherhood memories? Brainstorm them.
Step 3: Fiercely savor and hold on to those precious things from step 2
After you’ve brainstormed some things that you think you’ll miss from this season of your life as a mother, the next step is preserving the memory of those moments.
Rather than getting annoyed and fed up about these things, think about your future self missing this very moment. And give yourself the gift of savoring the here and now.
These are the moments that make up a happy motherhood, and they will pass by so quickly.
Children go through phases and each phase doesn’t last long in the grand scheme of things. So even if it might seem inconvenient now, enjoy it.
Because you will most likely miss it down the road.
This step will take time and practice. But with your list from Step 2 you can regularly remind yourself to not take the moment you’re in right now with your child for granted.
Take life with them a bit slower, don’t rush through the day, and remind yourself about how much you’ll miss it when this phase is really and truly over.
Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 on a regular basis
Now you might go through this list on how to be a happy mom and make the effort to do all of this; and you might even find yourself recognizing the joy of being a mother again…for a couple days or maybe even a week.
But this isn’t about a temporary fix. Rather, it’s about learning how to stop feeling tired of being a mom, and instead find joy as a parent in all seasons of motherhood — so that you don’t miss out on this precious time with your children.
Even within a perfectly happy motherhood, there will always be stressful days, some more than others. But there will also be moments of joy mixed in, and if you’re so distracted by the bad you will completely miss out on the good.
So with that thought in mind make it a routine to repeat steps 1-3 on a regular basis.
How often you do this will depend on you and what you need right now. But I would recommend doing this at the very least once a month. However, if you can find the time, then doing these steps on a weekly or even a daily basis would be very beneficial.
Be sure to adjust steps 1-3 as your seasons in parenting change
Keep in mind that your children are changing every day.
So when you do step 1, you might have something new to reflect on — maybe a phase that has officially passed and you’re starting to miss.
As an example, there was a time when my son was learning to talk that he used to call pizza “papi” and it was SO ADORABLE. But it seemed like almost overnight he stopped doing that and started calling it pizza.
Just like with this example, you might wake up one day and realize that there’s one of your favorite things about this season of your life that has now made it’s home in your memories because that phase is over.
And as with re-evaluating step 1, you will also want to be sure to add new things to your brainstorm in step 2. You’ll think of new things or new phases will begin.
Reflect on them now so you can savor them even more as you’re going through them with your children.
And if you don’t have anything new you can think of to add, then simply re-reflect on the things from before, that’s a good practice that you’ll want to be doing regularily too.
Bonus Step 5: Find cherish-worthy memories within the not-so-good times
If you faithfully do steps 1-4 on a regular basis you will find your attitude starting to shift and your mindset starting to change.
You’ll notice you’re enjoying those little moments more, you’re finding the joy of being a mother, and you might even find the stress of being a mom a little less of a burden.
But you don’t have to stop there. If you want to, you can challenge yourself even further.
Because learning how to be a happy mom is about finding joy even in the midst of the chaos. Finding good things even within the bad is what will really make for a happy motherhood that you’ll look back on with joy and fondness. Here’s what I mean…
Think of something about your days as a mom that seems to always stress you out. Then, if it’s possible, try to find something good that you can focus on about that instead.
Here’s a few examples…
Gluezilla strikes again
My kids LOVE to do crafts. And that’s great, I’m totally fine with that. In fact, it’s something I love about this season of motherhood.
But if I take my eyes off of my 3 year old for two minutes then there is just so. much. glue…everywhere. She loves glue. Half the time she doesn’t even glue anything TO the paper, she just decorates her paper with glue.
And she refuses to use glue sticks because that’s not what her big brother uses all the time. But when she does use a glue stick? Well, be prepared to throw it in the trash. Because it will either be squished in large chunks all over her paper…and the table…and her hands, or it will be removed from the tube and left to dry out in an inconspicuous spot to be found later.
It’s hard to know how to be a happy mom in these moments, because drives me kind of nuts.
But when I step back and really reflect on it, and even re-read what I just wrote. Well, it sounds pretty hilarious, actually. And I think it’ll be something that I will tell her about when she get’s older while laughing hysterically.
Knock, knock. Who’s there? LEGOS!
Here’s another example from my own life. My son LOVES LEGOS. He’s pretty much obsessed with them at the moment. He loves everything about them: building things from instructions, building his own creations, taking them apart, organizing them, etc.
But he also loves when I do LEGOS with him. Don’t get me wrong, I actually do like playing with LEGOS, believe it or not. But I can’t play with Legos all day. And if it were up to him, I would.
He is constantly asking me to help him find a piece or take something apart. And it’s so frequent throughout the day that it can get overwhelming. Because I can’t ever finish another task without him interrupting what I’m doing to ask me to urgently help him (it’s a LEGO emergency).
But you know what? There might come a day when he’s a hormonal teenage boy that wants absolutely nothing to do with me.
And so these are moments that I should savor. I should intentionally take time every day to sit down and play LEGOS with him, even when I’m super busy with a thousand other things (which, by the way, there will ALWAYS be something you need to do).
You can enjoy being a mom, even right now when you feel tired of being a mom…
I know what it feels like to feel a sense of relief when all the children go to bed and you can breath again in the sacred silence…and then feel guilty that you even had such a thought.
I know how it feels to have moments when you’re ashamed to say that you just want to drop them off at grandmas and go on a vacation (even if it’s just for a day).
I know what it feels like to cry your heart out to God for help because you feel like you’re failing as a mom.
But your not.
And I’m not.
The stress of being a mom shouldn’t rob you of a happy motherhood
Perhaps the stress of being a mom has even caused you to feel tired of being a mom. Or maybe you’ve entertained a thought like “I don’t like being a mom“. Or perhaps you’ve even asked yourself the scary question, “what if I hate being a mom“.
It’s not like you ever get a vacation from motherhood. But you don’t have to feel that way, and the fact that you’re here reading this article speaks volumes about you as a mother.
You can have a happy motherhood that you savor and enjoy.
Bring your burden to the throne of God and lay it at His feet. Ask for His leading as a mother. He will answer. I can say that with confidence because that’s the very thing I did before I wrote this post, and these steps to finding joy as a mom…well this was His answer to me…and to you too.
So don’t let yourself feel like a failure and don’t give up on finding joy as a mom. Because you’re not a failure. And you can learn how to be a happy mom; and find the joy of being a mother again with God’s precious leading.