The farther along in my motherhood journey I get, the more I realize how desperately I need to model for my children what it means to have a cheerful heart. I need to model for them what it is like fill your days with things that glorify God and keep you focused on living out your homemaking responsibilities without feeling like a big crab. I am guilty of letting my expectations for the day overshadow other things, more important things. I had to shift my heart to notice how creative my kids were able to get during nap, instead of focusing on how little I was able to achieve during their nap. It could just be me, but I struggle to believe that. I feel like we live in this cultural that values quantitative results, and we forget to fill our hearts. I’m sharing my favorite things to integrate cheer into your day.
Stay off social media This just breeds discontentment. Discontentment looks different for everyone, but keep your social media time in check.
Listen to an inspirational book or podcast. Surrounding yourself with people also speaking to your soul is so good. So good. (I’m currently loving “Raising Grateful Kids in An Entitled World.” (a free audiobook on Hoopla) and “Risen Motherhood” podcast.
Listen to cheerful music. I’ve given up rap music.. I had to, though it was hard. I’ve switched to music that inspires me to think, pray, reflect. With my kids: I love “songs for saplings” and their awana cd. Anything veggie tales.
Pray throughout the day with and without your kids. I have recently started praying for my kids when they start getting crazy, and it is calming for us all. I wish this is something I had done sooner.
Do something kind for someone else.
Color together. This is my new strategy for a crabby attitude creep up.. Everyone (myself included) gets out their color supplies and we quietly color, maybe listen to an audiobook or some soft music while we do it.
Audiobooks for the kids: I’ve also been working to find time throughout the time to turn on an audiobook for the boys and just take a little tie to get chores done periodically.
Quality children’s television: Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood, Owlegories, Adventures in Odyssey, are some shows we watch we all need a little decompression time. We have also started the tradition (so to speak) of family moving night on Sunday evenings.
Wear inspirational clothing: Like this shirt from Persimmon Prints.
I share these tips not from a place of condemnation. More than anything, it is from a place of learning the hard way. I don’t want to be a cranky mother, I want to be a mother who sets about her mundane chores with zeal and a cheerful heart. I can’t admit that this is always the mother I am though. However, I’ve had a heart change once it occurred to me how quickly the years are flying by. I will soon have hours upon hours to clean, plan parties, or write stories. I want to fill my days with God’s work, with mud, with patience. I am still in perfectionist recovery, but each day I’m choosing to loosen the reigns a little more.
Special thanks to Gift of Today photography & Persimmon Prints