It’s funny when you’re thrown into parenthood you have this pre-constructed thought as to what it will look like. You have some false thoughts of perfection for both yourself and your child. And, you have some right on the nose thoughts about parenting. Then you have those things that’s been described to you, but you really can’t understand until you’ve been there, done that.

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One of the parts of parenting that was a bit abstract for me was the JOY I find in my children. It’s hard to explain to a non-parent. I’ve had joy before my kids. I’ve found joy in my cousins, nieces and nephews. I’ve found it in my career. I’ve even found joy in jogging. But none of these things compare to the JOY you find IN your children. It’s amazing! It’s so much more than anything I could feel for myself or anyone other than my children. Lots of things bring me joy as I raise my children. Those first fantastic words, shaky steps, or first time on a bike without training wheels (granted neither of my children are doing this yet). Those are joyful moments for parents.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in caring for your child and husband that you can forget to enjoy them. As a woman, I naturally have the caregiver role. I, as many woman, naturally have the perfectionist tendency. Well, not completely. I use to feel like the house needed to be in order (completely scrubbed and picked-up) in order to be able to relax.

In fact, reading some of those mommy blogs make me feel lesser of a mom if I don’t do certain things. Two hour craft time every day, sure, why not? Bake and decorate a beautiful 3-D butterfly cake for the first day of spring. Make all my meals from scratch with only organic, never processed ingredients, I can do that! Before I know it, I’m down the road of feeling like I’m not enough. I’ve ran out of time and the 3-D cake is now getting smeared with store-bought frosting leaving me feeling defeated.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s very honorable to do these things. It’s our calling to care for our families. Heck, if I don’t bake the cake and cookies they never get done. My husband doesn’t think about doing it. And, I”m glad he doesn’t have to. I’m glad I can be the one there to do it. I like keeping us on schedule and knowing whose going where and when. I want to be in charge of those things, but I don’t want to be so wrapped up that I forget why I do those tasks.

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I love taking time to experience Joy with my kids. After all, isn’t that part of the reason I had children? To be fulfilled? To make an impact on someone else? So, if I’m running around all day and don’t take time to hang-out with them, I’m not doing a good job. Whether it’s playing in the park or having an impromptu tea party, my day is refreshed. I urge everyone to take time out today and experience some of the joy your children bring to your house.

I encourage you to EMBRACE JOY in your children. Do that silly dance, laugh and giggle with them at the dinner table, or play dress-up with them. Embrace the silliness that comes with children and in doing so, you will find joy. If you have older children, embrace Joy in helping with homework and watching them master a new subject. It can be challenging some days to do this, but try. Parenting will seem so much easier if you embrace it.

What has brought you joy in children? How do you embrace joy in parenthood? I’d love to hear from you!

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