First: People can relate more to your pain than your joy.

Sometimes amidst the busyness and chaos of being a mom, we forget who we even are anymore. Being a parent means making sacrifices and taking care of others. It’s a 24/7 job.

And, every now and then we realize that we forgot who we are. What do we even do for fun? What do we love? What brings us joy?

We tend to think that happiness and joy can be found when things are going “well” in life.

I know it sounds morbid, but people can relate more to your imperfection and your pain than your perfection and your joy.

[bctt tweet=”People can relate more to your pain than your joy.” username=”bapetrino”]

I mean, I love seeing cute pictures on social media of babies and happily married couples sipping fancy drinks while on their 10th anniversary celebration trip in the Bahamas, BUT….

I also feel a welcomed sense of relief when I see a “real talk” post where someone shares something beyond the highlight reel of their life.

And, I think, “Woah, it’s NOT. Just. Me.”

That reassurance and the willingness to be vulnerable brings more real joy than most other things in life.

Second: Joy is a choice.

Sometimes I panic about letting things go.

I start to feel anxiety when I see the huge pile of dishes at the sink. Or, the stacks of clean, folded laundry sitting on the coffee table that still hasn’t made its way into drawers DAYS later.

But, the truth is that your husband, your kids, your cat, and your friends don’t actually care if my house is clean. Or, if the dishes are done. Or, if the laundry is put away.

These are all rules that I use to judge myself and determine whether or not I am doing a good job as being mom. If the house is tidy and the chores are done, then I get an A+.

It’s a false validation though.

Yes, a clean, organized house feels good. But, I am allowing that to determine my happiness and my worth. When actually, it’s my choice.

Because at the end of the day, the house could be a total mess, or it could be completely spotless, and my husband, my kids, and my friends don’t actually care either way.

They only care that I am choosing joy.

Finally: Belonging > Happiness

I have to constantly remind myself amidst my perceived chaos that these are the days.

Because in fact, we think that what we desire for the most in life is to be happy.

But, it’s actually just to belong.

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