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’s 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.
And let’s watch it multiply. 😉