My Kids Broke Me. How I Am Finding The Joy In Motherhood… Again

Joanna Fowler March 7, 2016 Family, Parenting

Four kidsI walked around my home trying to pull together outfits for all four of my kids, so that my husband, Mike could take them out, to give me a much needed break. The screams from bored toddlers and cries from my 5-year-old, who was already in a funk, but her big brother decided to go poke the bear, echoed through our house.

I was done. I could feel my chest tighten and hot tears started streaming down my cheeks.

As I tried to compose myself while quickly wiping away my tears, I couldn’t hide my sniffles as I walked down the stairs. Mike overhead this telltale sound and said, “what’s wrong?” “Everything.” I replied as the sobs started to exit my body. “I feel like I am failing. If I am being really honest, I am not enjoying motherhood lately.” Instinctively, he thought he was supposed to ramp up the discipline. He stormed around the house trying to create order, but really, he was only adding an extra level of tension.

Our kids started to mirror our tension and fights broke out in front of us.

I turned to Mike and said, “the balance is off right now. I know it’s me. I know that my lack of joy and level of impatience is creating a toxic environment that everyone is feeding off of. We need to problem solve this in a real way.” I could see understanding wash across his face.

Before he walked out the door, he looked back at me, as a fresh tears started to appear on my face. “I am failing as a mom,” I sobbed. “No you aren’t. In fact it’s the opposite. You care so much. We will fix this, like we always do.”

While Mike and the kids were out, it dawned on me. I was waiting for spontaneous moments of joy with my kids to come to me. Why was I not initiating activities and outings that I would also find enjoyable and fun?

Once they arrived home, I packed up our 5-year-old, Beau, and the two of us went out to get her hair cut, have a little one-on-one time, and chat about each of us listening to each other better.

Then later that day, we all sat down, as a family and enjoyed colouring together. I love being creative, so this was bliss for me.

By the time we packed up the art supplies, not only were the kids’ emotional buckets filled, but so was mine. Something that in the past, I wasn’t doing enough of.

Of course, the craziness resumed, and fights still break out, but just having those moments of joy with my kids, makes all of motherhood a lot more enjoyable.

Watch our day as it unfolded, starting with my mini¬†meltdown…

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4 thoughts on “My Kids Broke Me. How I Am Finding The Joy In Motherhood… Again”

  1. Wow! This is exactly how I am feeling! My almost 5 year old girl is doing the EXACT same thing and I just sitting here coming up with ideas for activities to do tomorrow! So nice to feel like I am not alone!! Thanks!

  2. As the mama of 1 year old twins and a 4 yr old, I can relate to just feeling overwhelmed and the amped up noise level makes it worse. You’re an awesome mom because you care so much about your kids’ happiness. You’re doing a wonderful job raising loving kiddos.

  3. Reading this hit the nail on the head. As a full time working mother of three and wife of a LEO, the weekends for me lately feel like an OVERLOAD!!!! I want to just do a bunch of yoga pants nothing, because I’m so exhausted from the work week. I’ve got to take your advice and find the JOY in motherhood again, because sometimes I le the exhaustion take over and turn into frustration with the kiddos. Thanks for the topic.

  4. Thanks for this post! I definitely relate. We have 2.5 year old twin girls and a 4.5 year old daughter as well. The noise volume some days in my house just makes my head spin and I too have a hard time managing the chaos. I feel best and most confident during quiet moments with my kids, and need to constantly remind myself that I’m doing the best I can and to be grateful for this chaos. I definitely thought that by now my brain would be re-wired to handle the chaos but it’s not. I’m just learning to accept it and find joy in small moments.

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