Here, RD&T contributor Kathryn Sandford offers ten insights as to why some mothers are always joyful.
To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow. – Maya Angelou
After 22 years of being a busy Mum, a working Mum, an involved Mum, a helicopter Mum, a kind Mum, a nagging Mum, an insecure Mum, and a taxi driver Mum, I am still asking myself: Is there an easier and less complicated way to be a good Mum?
The answer, thankfully, is yes. There is a better way, and I found it when I met Sarah – a self-proclaimed joyful mother. She actually said to me she was a “joyful mother” of seven children. The fact that she had seven children was amazing enough; however, what I also couldn’t get over was how fantastic she looked.
I wanted to know Sarah’s secret about how she managed to look so great and be so happy while being a mother to seven children. Secretly, I was hoping that she would turn out to be a Wonder Mother, who is so perfect that I wouldn’t even try to follow her advice.
But Sarah is definitely not a wonder woman, and as I got to know Sarah, I discovered that her secret for being not only a great mother but also a fantastic woman, is that she truly is a joyful mum, who loves her family and lives a happy and fulfilled life.
I now believe 100% that the secret to being a good mother is to choose to be a joyful mother. I also realise that it is hard for us to be great mothers all the time. However, by being joyful we can be good mothers most of the time.
With Sarah’s guidance, I am working toward being a joyful mother. And this, thankfully, releases me from all the constraints of having to play all the other roles of motherhood – it can get exhausting trying to play out what I believe to be over 50 “mum roles.”
As a joyful mother, I get to play only one role. Life is simple, my parenting skills have improved, and the husband and kids are happy! It’s a no-brainer.
So, what is it that makes being a joyful mother so appealing?
A joyful mother will have sticky floors, dirty ovens, and happy kids! – Unknown
10 Things Joyful Mothers Know
Joyful mothers understand 10 things about being a mother that many others just don’t get.
If you are planning to become a joyful mother, then these 10 things that only joyful mothers understand, will give you a really good insight into the mind and life of a joyful mother. I guarantee that once you have read these 10 things, there is no way you can do anything but become a joyful mother!
1. Don’t aim for perfection
Joyful mothers understand that it is an impossible job to aim for perfection – so they don’t.
They aim to be the best mothers they can be, with imperfections and all. Perfection creates a huge distraction from the joy of being a mother – that’s why joyful mothers have no interest whatsoever in being perfect or being everything to everyone.
A joyful mother would rather be a real mother who does not get everything right all the time than a super-efficient, perfect mother. Joyful mothers understand how important it is not to sweat the small stuff.
2. Take time for yourself
They will happily take time to be alone to revive and energise themselves.
Joyful mothers know how important it is to their family’s well-being and happiness for them to look after their own spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Joyful mothers will happily and with no guilt take a time out from their families on a regular basis.
3. Trust your gut
They understand the power of their intuition.
They trust and have faith in themselves and will act on their instinct. Joyful mothers use their intuition to guide them through the minefields of challenging times. A joyful mother will know immediately, by looking at her child, if something is wrong. Joyful mothers focus on getting to know their children and they use this knowledge along with their intuition to support and parent their children.
They understand that their number-one role is to be a parent to their child. Their second role is to be their friend. Joyful mothers strive to build loving, respectful, and happy relationships with their children.
4. Ask for assistance
They are not afraid to ask for help.
They understand that by asking for help, they enable themselves to be an even better mother. Joyful mothers are not hung up on the fact that they have to do everything for their children. They believe that it is “healthy role modelling” for their children to see that their mother is not perfect and that she will ask for help. By asking for help, everyone in the family benefits – it’s a win-win situation – and joyful mothers get that.
5. Let it go
They understand the importance of letting go – so they do.
A joyful mother understands the reality of parenting and knows that there comes a time when their children leave home. A joyful mother will encourage and support her children to go out into the world and live their lives to the fullest. She also understands that her children need to be independent and will make mistakes, poor decisions, or wrong choices in life.
She will not shelter her children from the reality of life. A joyful mother understands that her role as a parent is to instill in her children the core values and behaviours that will keep them be accountable for their own life – their successes and their failures.
Joyful mothers trust their children and know that by letting them go, they will always come back to her because they love and respect her.
6. Nurture relationships
They understand how important it is to take care of relationships.
Joyful mothers value their relationships and will work hard to take care and nurture them. Joyful mothers in any relationship, with or without partners, will focus on ensuring that communication is flowing and conflict is resolved as quickly as possible.
A joyful mother does not like to have unresolved conflicts, as it impacts her role as a mother. A joyful mother is solution-focused. She works hard to ensure that her children are able to manage and deal with conflict constructively.
A joyful mother understands how important it is for her children to experience “positive and healthy relationships” in their lives. She knows that these healthy relationships will lay the foundations for any future relationships her children will have.
7. Value friendship
They understand the value of friendship.
Friendships are highly valued by joyful mothers. Having friends is a way for a joyful mother to stay sane and feel connected to people who are going through the same things as she does. It is good to be surrounded by your comrades in arms!
Friendships allow you to let off steam, get advice from like-minded people, have fun, relax, and laugh. Joyful mothers know what to look for in a friend and will also be a very loyal and supportive friend themselves.
8. Practice forgiveness
They understand how important it is to forgive.
Joyful mothers are able to forgive themselves and others. They love their children unconditionally, and one of the gifts of unconditional love is forgiveness.
It is a challenging role being a parent and a joyful mother. But they do not hide from the pain and hardship that can come with parenting. They accept that they will make mistakes and that their children will also make mistakes. However, it is forgiveness toward themselves and others that keeps joyful mothers emotionally strong and resilient.
9. Laugh often
They love to laugh.
Joyful mothers understand the immense happiness laughter can bring to their families and to their own lives – so they laugh a lot.
Joyful mothers make a conscious effort to find things in their lives that they are grateful for and they choose to be joyful every day. Gratitude and happiness are daily habits joyful mothers religiously practise.
Playing, cuddling, and hugging their children even when they are adults, brings mothers great joy and happiness.
10. Think ahead
They understand how important it is to be a “Future Thinker.”
Joyful mothers plan for the future. They focus on raising their children to be future leaders and to be accountable for how they live their lives. A joyful mother always has a plan on how she can build her children into future leaders. She will not abandon that plan and succumb to social pressures. She knows her children really well, she listens to them, and she encourages and supports them to be the “best people they can be.”
A joyful mother understands that her behaviours, actions, and values have a huge influence on how her children live their future lives. She, therefore, chooses to live her life demonstrating the values, behaviours, and actions of the leader she wants her children to be.
To be a joyful mother, one has to wake up each day and choose to be joyful. It takes work, commitment, and the desire to be the best mother you can be.
The thing about being a mother is that you only get one shot at it, and you want that one shot to be the “best one shot” ever.
By choosing to be a joyful mother, you are definitely on the right path to being the “best mother in the whole world” for your children.
A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us when adversity takes the place of prosperity when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” – Washington Irving