Being a mom is incredible, but it can also be incredibly hard.
I try to get the house picked up before I go to bed at night, but by 10 a.m., it looks a hurricane swept through. Breakfast is finished, but dishes are piled in the sink, milk was spilled and “sort of” wiped up. I look in the living room, and my four sons have pulled out every pillow and blanket we own to make a fort. I look around at the messy house and feel overwhelmed.
Some thoughts that go through my head:
- I’ll never have a clean house.
- I’m depressed.
- I can’t do this.
I give myself about 60 seconds to feel that way, then I purposefully stop myself. I choose to think different thoughts, and my mood immediately changes.
“I can’t do this” is replaced with:
“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
“I am depressed” is replaced with:
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24 ESV).
“I’ll never have a clean house” is replaced with:
“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox” (Proverbs 14:4 ESV).
I have young children living here, but I will eventually have a clean house again. Messes mean life is happening here.
I purposefully choose gratitude!
I look at the breakfast crumbs and spills and think, “My kids aren’t hungry. They have food to eat!”
I look at the pile of pillows and blankets (aka “the fort”) in the living room and think, “They are creative! They are playing together!”
Motherhood is a journey; a hard but joy-filled journey in which your life isn’t your own anymore. It’s about choosing joy even with the mess, the noise, and the lack of free time. It’s choosing gratitude when the enemy tells you that you are depressed.
I’m choosing joy one day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time.
Feeling stressed is a choice! Joy and gratitude are choices too! Choose well.
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” – Henri Nouwen
Want to go deeper?
- Read Proverbs 31:10-31
- Ask God to help you become a wise and joy-filled mother!
What are you grateful for today? Write down five things in a journal and continue to add to that each day. On a hard day, go back and look at all the things that make you smile!
Empower your children to help you around the house! My 6-year-old picks up toys, my 8-year-old unloads the dishwasher, my 11 and 13 year olds sweep, vacuum, load the dishwasher and help with laundry and cooking. Our house gets messy very quickly with four boys, but together we can make our home clean again too.
Kathryn and the Help Club for Moms team