Choosing Joy

I’ve read several articles lately depicting motherhood as this ugly, isolating, menial place. These mothers, deep within the trenches, have come up for air to help other mothers feel less lonely. To explain that motherhood isn’t about embracing the moment at all. It’s about making it through as unscathed as possible.

Each article has earned a standing ovation across the Internet.

I used to be like that. I complained and cried about the worst parts of my day until there was nothing left to say. I sought pity from those around me.

My husband used to say to me all the time, “You’ll never get this day back.”  His gentle reminder only frustrated me more.

But one day, the negative fog momentarily lifted.  In that rare moment of clarity, I understood what he meant. I realized that these moments are fleeting- the ugly ones and the good ones.

Though my own motherhood is filled with menial tasks and my frustration level on some days is off the charts, I’m still glad to be here. While there have been ugly times, the beautiful ones always win out. Though there are some days when I feel isolated from the world, I know there are plenty of others I can turn to at a moment’s notice.

I’m not trying to sugarcoat my life. I have many tough days. I cry (a lot, actually). I get irritated with my kids. I yell. I complain. But when I do, I feel this heaviness upon me.

When I let go of the anger and resentment, the burden disappears and I feel happier.

Joy is a daily, conscious undertaking. In every moment, we have that choice. We can choose to seek the negative. We can choose to complain. We can see the ugly. Or we can find the beauty. We can choose to be joyful.

In the moments when I feel frustrated, angry, or ready to complain, I take a deep breath and pause. I think, “This moment will pass.”

And I choose joy. I challenge you to do the same.

Copyright 2012 Leanne Willen