Choosing joy and what it means to me

April is turning out to be a rather reflective month for me. I’ve been intentionally reading more, which is one of my priorities this year, as part of carving and creating more time for myself.

It’s also been a joyful, happy and encouraging month. Thanks to all the photos I’ve seen under the #ichoosejoy initiative. Have you seen them yet?

As I looked through all the light and cheery pictures, I saw some common themes arising.

Many posted playful, fun-filled moments.

Loving family moments.

loving family moments

 Yummy moments. 

Beautiful and inspiring moments.

inspiring moments

Even the mundane, not-so-joyful, moments made it into the list.

And finally…heartwarming seeds-of-friendship moments.

friendship moments

If you look through the pictures again, you’ll see that they are filled with our favourite little people and places, and plenty of those warm fuzzy moments. Things that we can’t really put a price tag on, except maybe the food bit.

When I embarked on this project, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was just hoping that it would encourage others (and myself) to look for joy in our everyday moments. Even amidst the highly-stressed and fast-paced lives we now lead, I thought that surely we would be able to find something fun, funny, delightful, and joy-giving.

Just as this quote goes, “Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

One mum and fellow blogger commented at the start, that even though she finds that her life is not quite full of joy now, she will give it a try.( I was glad that she did, and not just one picture too.)

For me, it’s also helped change my focus from the difficult days I’ve been having with the kids. As most of you would know, life with a headstrong, I-want-it-all-NOW toddler can be quite taxing, and it’s been the case for me.

I was struggling to choose joy, and to just enjoy my children just as they are.

But as I saw the beautiful moments captured here, I was forced to change gears a little, and to look at my temporary pains in greater perspective. To look at the bigger picture.

It helps to know that I’ve gone through these pains before with Vera, and she’s now more mature, and more able to listen, more able to love and give some thought to others.

It helps to know that there are many other parents and mums like me, struggling quietly in our little corners, and yet we have that ability to choose our feelings and to let joy and hope rise up in ourselves.

This is what #ichoosejoy is really about. So thank you. And please don’t stop choosing joy, chasing it, and capturing it here.

Do connect with all the awesome mums on instagram (user nicks shown above), and hashtag your pictures #ichoosejoy to make a difference in our community. 

10 surefire ways to lose your joy

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?

Joy is…

Joy is the look of childlike wonder.

Joy is a precious memory for the toddler.

Joy is wild and wilful play.

Joy is falling asleep with a soft, cuddly pal.

Joy is going for a spin or two.

Joy is a funny moment.

Joy is a peaceful midnight snack.

Joy is taking family walks at the park.

Joy is a big bear hug.

Joy is a collection of happy, funny, heartfelt moments. Moments that are usually made up of the simplest things – the spontaneous ways in which the kids show love to each other, a Milo moment in the still of the night, and everyday things like taking walks and playing at the playground…Things that we sometimes take for granted.

Joy begins with contentment, and by appreciating what we have. It doesn’t require money or success, but it does take time and effort to be together with our families, creating happy memories.

Granted, we all have our fair share of bad days and our own battles to fight. But I’m learning that even through the valleys of life, joy is a daily choice that we make.

Don’t let anything steal this joy of yours away.

What are your most joyful moments of motherhood?

Comfort is giving away 400ml Comfort Ultra Pure samples on their Facebook page. Hop over now to redeem your free sample, while stocks last.

Comfort Ultra Pure is dedicated to sharing the joy of motherhood with mums by ensuring that their little ones’ needs are well looked after.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...