Choosing Joy

So, I don’t think I’ve made it any secret that this month has been exceedingly difficult. Isaac started sleeping better last month but during the day he started to become incredibly clingy, refusing to go in my slings and carriers yet refusign to ever be put down, lots of screams, needing to nurse 24/7, etc. etc. etc. And on top of that we had a trip to urgent care with Emmy for a cough that sounded a bit like croup and ended up being bronchialitis. 2 hours and a breathing treatment later Emmy started sounding better and was given a nebulizer. Then Isaac got a cold a few days later and became even more clingy and unhappy due to not being able to breathe, which of course affected his sleep and nursing. Poor kid couldn’t suck on his paci while sleeping because he couldn’t breathe through his nose. Not to mention that lately I have been dealing with horrible headaches and back problems. Ah, poor me. I found humor in the fact that when I babysat for my friend’s 5 month old and got to experience what it would be like to have sort of twins, I thought to myself, after the baby had left, and Isaac was screaming and Emily insisting I hold her while I cooked dinner, “Hey, it could be worse. I could have 3 children. ” Heh. Oh deear.

So, yeah, it’s been exceedingly difficult and challenging. The kids have been better for about 5 days now and it’s been heavenly. Isaac has just recently been getting better with me putting him down and is now starting to learn to crawl and pulls himself into standing whenever he gets the chance. Babies on the verge of developmental milestones = insanity to the point of tears on your part. Like transition during labor.

It’s getting better. It’s hard to find joy in the midst of feeling like you can’t find air. It’s really difficult to use the challenges God has given you to become a better person through endurance, patience, perserverance and prayer. I feel like I fail at it. It’s one of my most frequent confessions. That I waste my aschesis feeling sorry for myself. I’m just a beginner at this whole “becoming whole” thing. Less than a beginner. I’m just learning how to learn how to become a beginner. I’ll be there.

Luckily for me, at MOPs yesterday, we had a talk by an awesome speaker about “What Happened to Happy?” She humorously explained that happiness isn’t determined by our environment. How we can choose to be happy. And as moms we are the “CEO of happy in our homes.”  I have always really believed that saying about how “when a Mama wears a smile, she lights up her home.” At dinner last night, I asked my husband if he knew that despite my grumblings, complaints and frustrations, that I was indeed sublimely happy. Fortunately, he replied that it was obvious that I was happy and that I love being a mom.

But let’s face it, no matter how you slice it, being  mom is hard. It kicks my butt, in a good way. The speaker also reminded us that our children’s happy childhood memories are happening now, today and we should try to remember that. With this new outlook, it helps me to remember how important my job really is and gives me a new sense of purpose. And today, I saw these memories forming in a way I never have.

Here are a few that brought joy to me today:

Emmy and I dancing to Christmas music

Emmy offering and helping me feed Isaac applesauce.

The kids and me snuggling in our bed for no reason at all, just to be close and cozy.

Emily asking Isaac to hold her and Isaac cracking up when she sat in his lap.

Emily holding onto my leg while I act like a giant stomping around.

Reciting Thomas and his friends and listening to Emmy recite all of Thomas’ friend’s names.

Watching Isaac crawl sucessfully.

 

I’m going to go through phases of trying times and fun times but it is important that through it all I choose joy. I choose to be a happy mom. I choose to love my kids and be there for them first and foremost no matter what. However I can accomplish this makes it all worth it in the end.

 

“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” Romans 12:12

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4 responses to “Choosing Joy

  1. Amen, girl! You are such an inspiration 🙂 I will be coming to you with LOTS of questions about how to deal with 2 kids!

    • Youre too kind Kelly! Seriously. I write to inspire myself too. Hopefully “putting my thoughts out there” helps me to actually live them, you know?

      I’d love to help you with anything you need, if I can. 🙂

  2. Aww! Good blog Erica. I say there should be a mother/daughter dance at weddings. I love dancing with Lilly. 😉

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