I was doing my devotion one Sunday, and came across this devotional passage on how to lose your joy. It spoke about prayerlessness, fear, self-centredness, focusing on circumstances, as some of the main culprits and joy-stealers. It also listed two of the biggest culprits: dissatisfaction and ingratitude.
It made me think. About the different ways that I allow everyday frustrations to block my joy-sensors and overwhelm me with a sense of dread and anger.
Here are my 10 surefire ways to lose your joy as a mum.
1) Compare yourself with other mums, especially those who are thinner, prettier, younger, etc etc.
2) Desire what other mums have that you don’t.
3) Don’t be thankful for the things you have. Focus instead on what you do not have. (And grumble about it to your spouse daily.)
4) Be quick to anger when your kids act up or throw tantrums.
5) Be quick to anger when your hubby forgets to do something that he promised to do.
6) Keep worrying about the future. Keep mulling over your anxieties and fears about what will happen IF… Let your fears paralyse you from doing what you really want to do.
7) Dig up the past. When you speak to your kids, use sentences that begin with “When I was your age…” and keep bringing up past grudges to use against your hubby and put him on a guilt trip.
8) Stop playing with your kids. Make sure that every minute of their time is “well-utilised”. If not, enrol them in some enrichment class or tuition or sport. (Keep telling them they need to get ahead because we “live in such a competitive society”.)
9) Compare your child to everybody else’s kid in every single way (grades, height, weight, looks). Make your child (and yourself) miserable by telling him how much he does not measure up.
10) Focus on every negative thought, every tough circumstance you find yourself in, and keep dwelling on it. Remember that your glass is always half empty.
Heh, I know I kid. But I think to some extent, we tend to fall into the trap of such negative, joy-stealing habits once in a while. If we are able to consciously and conscientiously do the opposite of all of the above, I think we’ll cope much better with life’s plentiful stresses and challenges. Wouldn’t you agree?
What are your biggest joy-stealers?