#ichoosejoy

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’sĀ 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.

How?

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.

Why?

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. šŸ˜‰

Why didn’t anyone tell me that parenting is the toughest thing I’d ever do?

Why didn’t anyone tell me that parenting is the toughest thing I’d ever do?

Yes, I’ve read about the sleepless nights, the nursing struggles, the bedtime battles. But I never knew things were going to be that hard.

I never knew I had to rock the baby so much before he could fall asleep. I never knew I would cry when the baby would not stop crying. I never knew I would have fears of losing control and unknowingly hurting the baby.

I never knew.

I never knew that the toddler could be such a pain with her incessant whining and her 24/7 demands. I never knew I had to tend to her emotional needs when baby brother came along, and that my absences would have such a profound impact on her entire being.

I never knew.

I never knew the stress and tiredness of having a newcomer to the family would affect our love lives. I never knew that we would have little time left to ourselves and little freedom to go about as we please.

I never knew.

I never knew I would feel so torn between work and family. I never knew I would feel guilty if I ditched one for the other. I never knew that irrational fears and paranoia would hit me whenever I’m away from home.

I never knew…But now I do.

Parenting is probably the toughest thing I’ve ever done in life.Ā But also probably the best.

~~~

I never knew I could be deliriously happy whenever my baby chuckles / smiles / reaches out to explore my face with his fingers.

I never knew I could be flown to the moon and back when I hear my child say ‘I love you, mummy.’

I never knew that this laborious journey would serve to deepen our love and respect for each other.

And for these reasons and more, I have no regrets becoming a parent.

What are some of the things you never knew you never knew?Ā 

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