As a twenty-first century parent, stress comes in myriad forms.

From worrying if junior is doing well in school, to missing your little one who’s just started childcare, to juggling work demands with kiddy demands while working from home.

Stress also comes in the form of toddler meltdowns, of which we are thick in the middle of due to JJ’sΒ entrance into the “age of unreasonableness” (otherwise known as the terrible twos).

Or sibling fights, which we’ve also become well-acquainted with of late.

Some days, I morph into a crazy / naggy / barking /complaining / frustrated / tired mum, or all of the above.

I wish life doesn’t have to have so much drama, but I guess we all have our fair share of bad days. Where small things can suddenly take on catastrophic proportions, and I start to act like Chicken Little.

When the day’s over, I would heave a sigh of relief, make mental notes about what went wrong and what not to do again, and snuggle under my safety blanket, praying for a good night’s sleep.

Just for that day or those few hours, I am unable to think of the joys that my family and children bring.

It’s a mental block.

What amazes me is how easily the kids seem to find joy. They bounce back to their original state of happiness, even after a massive meltdown, in a wink of an eye.

Look at JJ. Even after he’s been wailing for a good 10 minutes, if we manage to turn on the “calm down” switch through various ways like a change in environment, distraction, food (which often works on this greedy fella), he’s as happy as a lark the next minute, shouting “mommee” and waving the food bribe in my face with glee and grin.

I wish I could say the same about myself. After each meltdown episode, I feel like I need a really strong cup of latte (I don’t drink beer) and a walk in the proverbial woods. Alone.

It’s a daily clamber back to joyfulness. Parenting days have their fair share of joy and goodness and love and cuddles, but on such days, boy is it a struggle…

This is why I’m embarking on #ichoosejoy, a little picture project to remind myself that happiness is a choice we need to make daily.

And I’m inviting you to join me.


1) Capture life’s everyday joyful moments on instagram.

2) Hashtag your photos #ichoosejoy, and tag me @june_yong (so I know you’re on this joy project with me).

3) You can also email me a joyful photo of your family, kids, or just the little things that bring you joy. And let me know if you would like to include a caption or quote to accompany the pic.


Because some of the happiest people I know are not those with smooth-sailing lives. They are those who deliberately choose joy and gladness in spite of their circumstances.

Because you might see some of the pics featured on the blog, or on the Facebook page! (If you’re happy for me to do that of course.)

Because it would be great to build a little joyful community. And to spread some cheer around.

If you’re wearing a happy outfit, #ichoosejoy

Your baby taking his first steps, #ichoosejoy

Brother and sister walking hand-in-hand, #ichoosejoy

Catching up with an old friend, #ichoosejoy

Each time you hashtag a picture with #ichoosejoy, be sure to do just that.

Choose joy.

And let’s watch it multiply. πŸ˜‰

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  1. says

    Love this idea! Joy is a choice we have to make daily. My kid’s the same. Wailing one minute, and the moment he sees something that brings joy to his heart (yes, food works well here too), a smile instantly brightens up his face. πŸ™‚ Will support you soon!
    San recently posted..Childlike faithMy Profile

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      Thks San, it’s amazing how food works on toddlers. Oh well, we adults like to indulge in cakes and chocolates to relieve stress as well right? Or coffee…haha.

  2. says

    Very apt. I had a meltdown with my daughter today and she wailed until the next block could hear. I was at my wits’ end, tired and defeated. She wailed herself to sleep and the moment she woke up, she smiled.
    Then I remembered: She’s God’s gift to me and I have to choose joy. We prayed for her to have joy and I think we need to pray that for ourselves.
    Lynn recently posted..30 stuffMy Profile

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      So true, thks for the timely reminder to pray for joy for myself. When we get burdened by the heaviness of the situation, sleep can also do wonders for our tired and stressed out bodies! Thanks for dropping by, Lynn. πŸ™‚

  3. says

    I like this concept too. thanks for starting it.
    Choose love; choose food (erm; that’s one of my stress relief options); choose joy even when the going is not easy… Will post something once I can capture (think) joy. πŸ™‚

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      Evelyn, I popped by your blog and read your pprom post, gosh it made me tear to know what you went through. Glad to hear that he’s growing up strong and healthy. πŸ™‚ Haha I have one food item in my mind when stress gets to me — chocolate cake or chocolate anything!

  4. says

    You’re right! You made me think of how often I (choose to) over-react, or stay sullen about things that really don’t matter, in the light of eternity.

    Yes, we must choose joy, unspeakable joy, that all the redeemed can and must manifest!

    Will join your instagram project! Also had a sudden thought that it might be more meaningful if we capture those moments that are not immediately joyful. Kinda like ‘though the fig tree produces no fruit’ type moments, but we Choose Joy. πŸ™‚

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      Thanks for supporting the cause, Lyn, and very good point you raised about the “not so obviously joyful moments”. I did think about that, and I was hoping that friends and fellow mums would take on that alternative spin on their own. So I’m really grateful that you raised it! Indeed, it’s not about just being joyful when the situation is happy and light and pink and rosy, but even when there’s a roadbump…that’s even more difficult and perhaps more crucial that we CHOOSE joy. Looking forward to your photos Lyn! πŸ™‚

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