It begins in pregnancy… hormones take over and we begin feeling ourselves tear up at the news story of the kitten that was rescued from the well. Suddenly seemingly mundane articles that pop up on our social media, move us. We begin to empathise with the people we read about, put ourselves in their shoes and feel all the feelings. It doesn’t get any better. I assumed when pregnant, that all those feels that I was feeling were purely hormone-related. Wrong. The feels stayed. Not only did they stay, they expanded and started to permeate every aspect of my life.
The joy was amplified. For some it is instant. BOOM goes the heart when your baby is born. For others it is more insidious, I know it was for me. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy when our daughter and eldest child was born but I didn’t have that overwhelming, heart-bursting feeling. I think I found the whole thing surreal initially, which I suppose you can associate with joy. I couldn’t believe it was happening, but in a good way (not in a – WTF why is this happening to me? way). The joy came in stages, it grew exponentially with her. Who would have thought something as simple as a smile could provoke such joy?
Joy is defined as ‘a feeling of great pleasure or happiness’. It really is the foundation of being happy and is hard to imagine it could get any better. Except it does. The concept of joy doesn’t change but the ways in which you find it do.
People often highlight the hardships of motherhood, the most common being: ‘enjoy your sleep now because soon you will be desperate for some.’ (If I had a penny for every time someone said that to me, pre-kids, I’d be rich.)
What people often don’t share though, is that motherhood takes the little moments of joy and amplifies them.
Watching your sleeping child, hearing them laugh, enjoying all the ‘firsts’ they experience. I suppose it isn’t groundbreaking news – your kids will bring you joy. In fact, it has been told so much it has become clichéd. The bit that surprised me though, was the ways in which children made me realise how little I need to make me happy. Take waking at 5am to your rambunctious toddler… not exactly joyful in theory, but on the days where you don’t feel like you are desperate to crawl back into bed, you can enjoy the sun rising on the day and the relative calm that comes with dawn.
Suddenly 10 minutes to yourself with a cup of tea, in the afternoon whilst your child naps, becomes the therapy needed during a chaotic day. Or settling in on the couch at night to watch trashy reality TV with your husband is something you really look forward to.
Motherhood can often feel like a time when you don’t have enough; enough sleep, enough money; enough time in the day. Really though, I think mothers are the eternal optimists. For we take the little moments, the little joys and find so much satisfaction in them, that they become the fuel that lights the fire in our hearts and minds, for our children, each and every day.
Author: Jessie Parker is the owner of breastfeeding wear label, Borne Too.
Her vision is for mums to maintain their sense of identity, to feel confident, comfortable and most of all to not be afraid to put themselves first.
You can find more about Borne Too at: