In the midst of challenging stages we may be in with our children or even difficulties that seem to have no end, there is joy to be found in parenting. Like anyone else, I appreciate the days (sometimes weeks or months) when everything is going well and my world feels right. It’s so much easier to appreciate the role of mom or dad. But it’s important that even if we’re not in that place, we don’t miss out on the joy that can be ours.
Here are some ways you can find joy in parenting (regardless of what’s going on):
I’m not talking about surrendering to depression or the thought that things will always be hard. Surrender yourself to God. Give up the pursuit to over-manage your children, to attain perfection, or the need to play the role of Holy Spirit over your family. Surrender your children to God and trust that He has a purpose and plan far beyond your comprehension and/or the circumstances you’re currently facing.
Know When to Say Yes and When to Say No.
If you happen to be a people pleaser, saying yes tends to come more naturally. But it’s not always a good thing—even if what you’re saying yes to is “good.” Recognize when you’re in a stage of life that saying yes would cause you to be stretched beyond your limits or negatively affect your family. Which means that you must learn how to say no. Don’t try to make excuses or blame someone else (it’s easy to put it off on your spouse). Take ownership of your no. Having a balanced life is an important key to finding joy.
Increase Faith So You Fear Less.
You won’t gain increased faith by fearing less but you will fear less with more faith. Trusting God with your children and life in general will bring greater joy. Because instead of the focus being on your circumstances, it’s on God. The enemy of your soul wants to rob you of joy by instilling worry and fear. Don’t let him become greater than the One who brings peace in the midst of a storm.
Learn to Relax.
Some parents (raising a hand here) are oftentimes wound so tight they don’t know how to relax. I’m not just talking about getting away to do something for yourself (whether it’s lunch with a friend or going outside to read a book)…although, those are important, practical ways to relax. I’m referring to the way we sometimes freak out over the smallest stuff. How we waste energy and time fretting about things that don’t really matter in the long run. Let kids be kids and remember that messes can always be cleaned up…that they won’t always be that age and one day you’ll miss even the challenging moments of parenting.
© 2015, Stephanie Romero