Some days I have tears of joy in my eyes as I watch my kids play happily together. I try to memorize their little faces hoping I will remember the feeling of cherishing this time in my life. Other days I’m exhausted by the messes, the arguments and the constant work it takes to be a mother. Motherhood is easy to cherish on the good days, but what about the days where you feel depleted? It’s hard to enjoy our days when everything and everyone demands our attention at the same time, but it is possible. These are my favorite ways to cherish motherhood every single day – even on the hard days.
Don’t be tied to your to do list.
This is my biggest struggle as a mom. I make lists, schedule tasks on my phone and I ALWAYS feel like I’m behind on something. Laundry overflows weekly, dishes get done at odd times and I never get caught up on housework. This is not what life is about though. As moms we need to learn to balance that ever growing to do list and actually enjoy our days. I’m a big fan of tidying up every day, but I only deep clean occasionally. Take my advice and choose the important task to get done, but don’t be so tied to that list that you fail to see the beauty in your days. If that means you leave the house a disaster and get some rest, do it. If that means you skip the extra practice this week and watch a family movie, go for it. You will never regret spending more time with your kids and focusing on connection, but you will regret rushing through your days. Being tied to a long to do list is a sure fire way to feel drained.
Start a mom journal.
When my kids were little I started a journal documenting the funny things my kids say to us. I write dozens of things per month and it’s the best way to cheer myself up at the end of a hard day. Writing in it and reading it back later always brings a smile to my face. Some moms may prefer to keep their favorite memories written down, but I prefer to read it later when it’s filled with those cute little moments I never want to forget.
Don’t over complicate self care.
I think as moms we often picture self care as a retreat to a spa, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated. My self care often just looks like a bubble bath, time spent in bed reading alone or a weekly Bible study with friends. Anything that leaves my spirit at rest and at peace is my version of self care. Even if it’s just a few minutes of quiet time in the evening, make it a priority to schedule in self care for yourself. Make some tea, read a book or watch a movie when the kids are in bed. It’s a lot easier to enjoy being a mom if you take time to just be still sometimes.
Connect with your kids every day.
This is another thing we parents tend to over complicate. You don’t have to head out to a museum or park every time you want to connect with your children. Sit down and play cards, read a book together or stay up and watch a movie a little past bedtime. My kids love when I let them stay up a little late to have a late nigh snack with mom. They feel so special when I sit and play Legos with them or watch them play their latest video game. Connection doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to be about giving our children that precious quality time they crave. I promise it will make both you and your child feel better, even on hard days.
Learn to laugh at the difficult days.
Sometimes the only way to make light of our trials is to learn to laugh at them. When the dishes are overflowing, the phone is ringing, the dryer is broken and you haven’t showered in two days – instead of going into panic mode, just laugh at the chaos. Laugh at the mess, laugh at the disaster in front of you, laugh at yourself when you fail. We’re all working hard to succeed as mothers, but who says you’re only a success if everything is going well? I for one, feel more accomplished when I’ve put forth the effort to enjoy motherhood, instead of just rushing through my day focused on chores and daily demands.
The secret is simple, whatever you focus on more will win. If you focus on the good parts of your day then you’ll go to bed smiling, but if you focus on the failures you’ll never truly learn to cherish your days – so choose joy.