What’s the secret to happiness in motherhood? Life as MOM contributor Deanna shares her thoughts on finding contentment in life’s current season.
I’m convinced that happiness in Motherhood is 98% about the attitude. Things go wrong, children misbehave, and houses WILL implode on themselves from time to time. My default as a brand new mother was “Poor me! No one has it as hard as I do! I will just sit here in the corner and be MISERABLE!!!”
As time moved on, I quickly realized…variations on these things happen to everyone. The only thing left to me to decide was– how was I going to react? What was I going to do about it?
This ranged from serious things like accepting my daughter’s disability to lighthearted things such as a mountain of laundry that somehow refused to fold itself.
At the end of the day I can sit in a house destroyed by too many toddlers and whine about the mess, or I can have a system in place that allows me a 15-minute pick up to restore complete order. I can put off that mountain of laundry for DAYS and convince myself that I just CAN’T DO IT, or I can set the timer for fifteen minutes and race to finish it in time.
I can quietly stew about the fact that my daughter has special needs and this makes life harder in certain areas, or I can focus on the positives (there are many!) and push her to be the best version of who she was meant to be.
The thing I have been pondering lately is contentment in my current season of motherhood. I must confess, my attitude needs an adjustment in this area daily…sometimes hourly.
The other day I was talking to my 3-year-old. We had an unexpected heat wave for our Vermont spring, so the kids had been playing in our splash pool all afternoon. It came time for dinner, and suddenly he became convinced that he NEEDED a Christmas tree.
“A Christmas tree?” I asked.
“Yes. I need one. And I want it to be Christmas.”
“But we just finished the longest winter ever! It’s time to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and the pool.”
“I need a Christmas tree now!” He insisted.
“Once it’s Christmas again, you’re going to be begging to play in the pool, but it will be too cold. Just enjoy the heat!”
He thought for a minute and responded, “We should put a Christmas tree IN the pool.”
After our conversation, I couldn’t stop thinking about the “Christmas tree in the pool” mentality, and realized how much I am guilty of this in regards mothering my kids where they are right now.
Then I decided to put this problem back to the 98% attitude test. I can whine about the physical exhaustion of having 3 small children, or I can decide to enjoy the many incredibly sweet and tender moments and squeeze all of the good out of it that I can. Good like hilarious conversations about Christmas trees.
I can BEG for a Christmas tree NOW, or I can sit back and enjoy a warm afternoon with cool breezes brushing my extremely pale, barely-survived-winter cheeks. It’s a choice that I make, but not only that? It’s a choice that I model for my children.
My attitude determines a lot of things when it comes to motherhood. 98% of things, according to my incredibly precise (not at all measurable) calculations.
So what’s the other 2%? Caffeine. Lots and lots of caffeine.
What helps you find contentment where you’re at?
Deanna is passionate about special needs advocacy and new motherhood- two things that go hand in hand for her right now. Three kids four and under, the oldest of which has Down syndrome- keeps her quite busy. But there’s always enough time left at the end of the day to write all about the insanity at her blog Everything and Nothing from Essex. And to laugh- always, always there is time to laugh.
Technically labeled a “special” mother, Deanna really finds nothing special about herself. Truly, special needs parenting is just about taking it one day at a time- enjoying the highs, sloughing through the lows, and stumbling through the mundane while drinking too much coffee. Read all of Deanna’s posts here.
More on Finding Contentment:
- Finding Contentment in the Baby Season
- Stop Whining and Start Living: The Power of Our Words
- Thieves: Pain, Fear, or Worry