To Enjoy My Life More

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Life is hard, especially “life as Mom.” But, there are things we can do to enjoy our lives more.

I randomly stumbled across this picture yesterday. It’s from 2009, one of the earliest and “best” photos of all six kids together. Which is saying SOMETHING. Some obviously have that deer in the headlights look about them; some are smiling; some aren’t.

It’s kind of a snapshot of life: there are good moments and bad, ups and downs.

Life is the proverbial rollercoaster.

And as such I want to enjoy it more. I know that I can’t ward away evil, bad hairdays, grumpy kids, dead car batteries, or the episode with a child that makes my head spin around and smoke come out my ears.

(Yes, we all have those moments.)

I love what Meagan said last week:

we do have a choice: to elevate the snuggles and the laughs above the vomit and bickering and spilled milk. To set up our lives in such a way that we’re more rested, more ready, more able to cope with it all. To forgive ourselves when we screw up and move past the unrealistic expectations that make those moments of “failure” feel so much more awful to begin with.

Untainted, all-day-long blissful happiness is impossible for anyone, but we aren’t victims of circumstance: we really can choose to be happier moms.

She’s a girl after my own heart. I get it that things are hard. Believe me, I do know. (More on that tomorrow.)

But, now that I physically look UP to my son to talk to him and see the ‘stash sprouting on his upper lip, I am so sobered by the passing of time. I want to drink this cup dry. I want to enjoy my life more. I want to BE more joyful.

Call me Pollyanna. I’m okay with it. 😉

A few years ago I put together a series of 14 Ways to Be More Joyful. It’s not rocket science. The secrets to life aren’t there. I don’t profess a superior mind or an excess of whatever that happiness hormone is. I’m still working on my attitude as a mom. Believe me when I say that as we enter each new stage of parenting — and every stage is different with each kid that enters it — I shake in my boots with the weight of it all.

But, writing this series of devotions was so helpful to me. Rereading it, even moreso. If you missed the posts, you can check them out here:

  1. Get a Reality Check
  2. Watch Your Words
  3. Simplify Your Life
  4. Count Your Blessings
  5. Be All There
  6. Get Outside
  7. Get Out of the Kitchen
  8. Be a Yes MOM
  9. Take a Time Out
  10. Live in the Now
  11. Read a Good Book
  12. Encourage Others
  13. Get Thicker Skin
  14. Lean on God

Do YOU have a technique that helps you enjoy life more?

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  1. I spent several summers and a year in China before getting married. Growing up I always thought being “sold out for Jesus” meant that one lived a completely different life. God is teaching my (stubborn) heart that being a mom, living in suburbia, and doing a very normal daily routine is THE great adventure. That’s why I started Of Such is the Kingdom (my blog) and it’s the lesson I need to help me enjoy life more: there is purpose and meaning and yes, even adventure right here in my home.

  2. Thanks for this post. I want to go back and read each point too. I’m purposefully focusing on the here and now of daily life and enjoying my family more.

  3. ok how honest is this…caffeine helps me enjoy life, 🙂 ok….and watching my 4 yr old and 2 yr old discover life.

  4. Yes Mom! Some days I wake up and tell my girls “today I’m a Yes Mama” and I really say yes to most everything they ask for. Because they don’t ask for much. It feels good to say yes!

  5. I’ve been a silent reader of yours for a few months now. I stay too busy with my four littles 5yrs and under to be able to comment, actually if it weren’t for that sit down time nursing the baby I may not be much of a reader of any blogs 😉

    I just wanted to say thank you for this post! I look forward to reading all 14 ways you have links to in future nursing sessions. Thank you so much for that gentle reminder that they do grow up quickly, and to cherish those precious moments.

    1. Oh, thank you for delurking to say such nice things. Don’t feel pressure to comment. Some days are just a matter of survival. I know that. 😉

  6. I try and keep things in perspective and remind myself, ‘No matter what the situation or circumstance, there are always others that have a more dire situation or circumstance.’ It helps me to keep an “attitude of gratitude”!

  7. Thanks for posting this! As always, thinking the right thoughts and focusing on our blessings sure does help to be more joyful!

  8. I find myself thanking my husband a lot for being a great partner and supporting our decision to have me stay home with our kids. I am so happy to know that I will never second guess myself to wonder if I got to enjoy enough of them, especially when they are so small with eyes full of wonder.

  9. I have been reading through these the past few days and I just want to say thank you for your inspiring posts. These are things I have been working on since I began staying home one year ago and to read this now I can see the things I’ve been working toward being validated. Life as a mom is always rewarding and always challenging.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. Blessings on your journey! You made a great choice!