You read it, right? That one book on how to raise children perfectly?
Oh, you’re not sure which one I’m talking about?
Well, no wonder. Because there are ELEVEN BILLION DIFFERENT BOOKS ABOUT RAISING CHILDREN.
Forgive me. I may have rounded up.
There are books on birthing. Health. Feeding. Sleep training. Not sleep training. Discipline. Play. Education. And they all cite research, opinion, anecdotes, and have enthusiastic endorsements on how “this book is the best and final authority on (___insert topic here___)!”
It’s no wonder that, even on our best parenting days, there’s always that sliver of doubt wondering – Am I doing this right? Have I screwed them up yet?
So we plug along into the uncertainty, wading through information until we are exhausted, overwhelmed, unsure, and clinging desperately to our instincts.
And desperate we are, because we want nothing less than the best for our children. We work hard to do it “right.”
Because this job of Motherhood is, without a doubt, the most important thing we have ever done.
But here’s the thing. In the midst of cooking and cleaning and playing and parenting and all the doing of stuff the first thing to go is our joy.
We want to parent perfectly. But what do our kids want? I’ve never polled the kids in my son’s class but I’m pretty good at guessing. And my guess is that they want joyful mothers.
It’s not easy to stay joyful. And sometimes joy just disappears and we’re out of our minds trying to figure out where it went, when it left, and how on earth we can get it back. It is my hope that as a community of mothers we can help each other cast off the weight of perfection and figure out how to hold on to our joy.
Because that’s the thing about joy.
It’s the first thing to go. If we let it.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting about specific ways we can hold on to our joy in the busy-ness of this season. But I also want to hear from you – what ways have you found to hold on to your joy?