5 Ways to Restore Your Joy in Motherhood

5 Ways to Restore Your Joy in Motherhood April 18, 2024

Do you remember the first time you held your baby? That feeling is unlike anything else in the world as you look at their tiny perfect little features and are overwhelmed with awe at how amazing they are. What would you give to feel that way again?

mom holding baby in air, smiling
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash
Joy in First Moments of Motherhood

As moms, our kids mean the world to us! At the end of the day, we wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything. However, if you were to ask at various moments throughout the day, our answers may look different. Constantly caring for other human beings is exhausting and it can make even our greatest sources of joy feel burdensome at times.

If you’re at the point in motherhood where the constant responsibilities are taking a toll on you and the stress outweighs the beauty… you’re not alone! I think we’ve all been there. The good news is, you don’t have to stay there. There are a few practical things I’ve implemented the last couple of years that have restored how much I truly enjoy being around my children.

Slow Down

This life moves so fast sometimes! It’s easy to get wrapped up in the fast-paced lifestyle, rushing from one thing to the next. If we’re not careful, we can unconsciously pass the stress of our busy schedules onto our kids. Not only are our schedules often too full, we also tend to make things more urgent than they need to be.

When possible, try to get out of the habit of rushing yourself and your kids. It doesn’t do anyone good to get somewhere on time, when you all arrive flustered and stressed. Of course, there are some places you need to be on time (work, the airport, appointments, etc.) In these cases, give yourself ample time and leave room for delays. 

I know this is a difficult one… I don’t like to be late anywhere! When it’s time to go, I want to be out the door and driving away. With kids though, things happen! My toddler is “Little Miss Independent” and wants to get dressed herself, climb into the car seat herself, and buckle herself. These are all good things that I want to encourage her to do, but I have to remind myself of this sometimes. Instead of scooping her up and running her out to the car, I let her do it on her own, so she happily climbs in her seat, feeling accomplished and independent. Even if it takes a few minutes longer!

two kids holding hands running in the woods
Image by kimberlyfelten from Pixabay Joy in Everyday Moments of Motherhood

Take Pictures and Videos

While slowing down physically can bring more joy to our days, slowing down mentally can be beneficial as well. Notice the little moments with your kids. Take pictures of them together enjoying life – baking in the kitchen, playing in the dirt, singing songs, riding their bikes, etc. It’s these every day moments that we’re sure to miss when they’re older.

As moms, it’s so easy to forget the good things that happen throughout the day. If something goes wrong (sibling squabble, negative attitudes, etc.) we might think, “Well, there goes the day!” We can so easily let the negative moments determine our outlook on how the entire day went… even when there were so many good moments in-between! When we record the times of joy, it can help remind us of all the things that went right.

Looking back at pictures of our kids enjoying life reminds us, “Yes, the day was hard… but there was also so much beauty!”

mom and son cooking in the kitchen together
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Joy in Bonding Experiences in Motherhood

Invite Them Into Your World

In the early stages of motherhood, accomplishing even the simplest task with a child in tow can seem impossible. It can cause us to view children as barriers to whatever pressing thing we need to get done. I’ve learned, more and more with each kid, that they love to get involved in what we’re doing from an early age.

Going grocery shopping?

    • Give them a list to check off as you put items into the cart
    • Let them walk and help you find the groceries you need.

Making dinner or prepping meals? Give your child a task to do. Even toddlers can help in the kitchen!


    • Hand them something pre-measured to pour in.
    • Let them stir the ingredients together.
    • Teach them how to chop ingredients safely with a plastic knife.

Older Kids:

    • Let them experiment with ingredients.
    • Hand them a recipe and watch/assist as they gather supplies, follow the steps, and measure ingredients.
    • Teach them how to double recipes!
    • Let them teach younger siblings and delegate tasks in the kitchen.

Folding laundry?

    • Younger children can help with sorting categories, matching socks, or putting shirts on hangers.
    • Older children can fold their own clothes and put away.
    • Make laundry into a family event!

Take Care of Yourself

Easier said than done, I know! As moms, our needs often get put on the backburner while tending to those of everyone else around us. Something I’ve noticed in myself, as well as other moms, is how easily we can become overstimulated. Perhaps everyone’s talking and needs your attention at the same time, maybe your toddler wants to be picked up for the 50th time and you’re already touched-out for the day, or maybe your kids are constantly saying “Mom, can I…?”, “Momma, I need…” and you feel like you cannot possibly make another decision, or provide one more thing for anyone. You just need a moment to yourself where nothing is required of you. Gosh, I get it!

Our overstimulated state can cause us as moms to become short with our kids – even if they’re not necessarily doing anything wrong. None of us want to be that mom who’s snapping at her kids or who’s despondent to their needs and interests. It’s important that we’re mindful of our own mental state, because it can deeply impact those of our children.

A few practical ways you can take care of yourself as a mom are:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Spend time in the Word.
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep (this isn’t always possible – and some stages of motherhood inhibit this more than others).
  • Take a moment to yourself to breathe deeply, count to ten, or walk around the block.
  • Do something that uses your gifts or passions.
  • Exercise (as little as 10 minutes a day!)
  • Make a list of things you’re grateful for.

Obviously, time is an issue most days as a mom and these might not all be doable for you right now. That’s okay! Just pay attention to your body and mental state, and incorporate what you can – whether on a daily, or as-needed, basis.

Declutter Your Home

Or at least your immediate surroundings! You might be thinking, “Wait…how do my physical belongings affect my joy in motherhood?” I can tell you from personal experience, it’s one of the most positive changes I’ve made. My stress level became significantly lower when I decluttered our home. If you’re feeling overwhelmed as a mom, I would encourage you to remove any mess or clutter from your line of sight (no, I’m not referring to your kids or husband!) Start with the area of the house you spend the most time in. Go through and remove anything you don’t absolutely love or use on a regular basis. Then, notice the impact it has on your mood. There’s actually some science to this! For me, being a visual person, having a clear and peaceful environment helps me better focus and be a calmer mom. Minimalizing out household belongings had affected more areas of my life than I thought possible including my spiritual walk, my parenting, my contentment level,  my mental clarity and my stress level. If you don’t know where to get started on this journey or have any questions, reach out to me! There are also plenty of  helpful online resources.

Mom holding daughter and kissing her forehead
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay Joy in Tender Moments of Motherhood

The Joy in the Calling of Motherhood

The bottom line is this: children are a gift from God. While we all have days when we’re stressed and overwhelmed by them, we should approach motherhood with a grateful heart, filled with joy at this opportunity the Lord has given us. If you’re struggling to find the joy you originally felt when you held your child in your arms, I’d encourage you to take some of the above steps. Remember , your kids are not a distraction from something more important. Motherhood is Kingdom work- even on days it feels insignificant. Let your children know that they matter to you. Show them the love and joy you feel, as a reflection of God’s love for them.

Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3
About Tori Carpenter
Tori is a creative freelance columnist and mom of 3, who craves a simple life, full of Jesus, board games, and endless cups of coffee. She desires to relate and connect with others through her writing. Tori believes in the importance of creating a community where we can encourage one another in our day to day walks of faith. You can read more about the author here.

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