Joyful Mommy, Joyful Babies

I have seen firsthand in my life how my mood has a DIRECT relationship to the moods of my children (specifically the toddler, but really both). It is incredible to me how quickly they can pick up on how I am feeling. Whether it is in my tone of voice, my demeanor, how “present” I am – I don’t know for sure, but they pick up on it and they most definitely act according to my lead.


Being a mommy is incredibly hard work. What can make it extra hard is feeling like I have 500 things on my to-do list and all I can seem to make time for is un-sticking play dough from a toy fire truck and wiping runny noses. Of course there are the household responsibilities – unload and re-load the dishwasher, do the laundry, straighten up, take out the overflowing diaper pail liners, prepare food for a picky toddler and a finger-food eating baby, oh and also provide entertainment, preferably educational and creative, for these children. But what about other responsibilities as well? I do part time work from home, so I squeeze that in wherever I can. Grocery shopping and errand running with a 2.5 year old and 8 month old? It should be considered a professional sport. There’s not enough time in the day!

Then you get to the part of the to-do list that barely ever gets scratched off. It’s the part of the list with the want to-do’s. These are the things that filled me up and bring me LIFE, and at the end of most days, those items go un-done.


What I’ve been learning as I’ve been striving for a healthy, balanced life, is that while it can seem selfish for me to get to the want to-do list, those are sometimes the most important. Because if I’m not taking care of myself, if I’m not being filled, then before I know it I’m going to be out of steam. When I run out of steam, I am impatient. I have a temper. I am frustrated and irritated and bitter. These are NOT examples I want to be setting for my children! Because they KNOW. They can sense it when I’m “off.”

I don’t want my kids to think that I’m perfect. But I want them to see me love them out of my overflow. In order for that to happen, they need to see me taking care of myself, mind, body, and soul.


I certainly don’t have this all figured out. Hopefully it will be a topic I come back to on the blog as I continue to sort through what this all means. I’ve been reading a great book called “Freefall to Fly” and it has been speaking to my heart so strongly and I feel like I am learning so much. The main question I’ve taken away from it is this (in my own words): Can moms love their families and children 100% and also care for themselves 100%? Can we as moms live out our passions and dreams, the ones outside of motherhood, while still being the kind of mother we crave to be?

I think the answer to both questions is “yes.” But I’m only just beginning to learn how to get there.

These photographs were taken by the extremely talented Meg Porter of!


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