Where’s the bliss?

Bliss? Are you kidding? There’s paradise and heaven to be found in the middle of diapers and temper tantrums and piles of laundry?

I know that’s what you might be thinking right now. And the whole idea of mommy-bliss might seem a little far-fetched.

But, actually, it’s not.

And, no, I’m not kidding.

The problem is that sometimes we miss it.

It’s as simple as that: we miss the bliss.

We get caught up in rushing around from soccer to ballet, from the grocery store to the doctor’s office, from one load of laundry or dishes to the next, and we don’t have time to think about what’ssomagicalaboutmotherhood, anyway. We’re just trying to get everyone fed, or everyone to sleep, or have everyone clean their rooms—for once in their lives.

If that’s you, don’t be hard on yourself.

It’s easy to get into that mode; I’ve done it plenty of times.

Because life is busy and motherhood is busier. The schedule never seems to slow down and the to-do list never seems to get done. And even though our kids bring us more joy than we ever dreamed, they also test our patience and endurance like nothing else can.

And any sort of bliss might seem totally out of reach.

Whether you have one child or eight, whether you work outside of the house or stay at home, whether you have babies or teens, whether you’re raising your own kids or someone else’s, whether you’ve adopted or not, home-schooled or not, are single or married, have “little angels” or “wild things” running around your house, being a mom can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

But it can also be one of the most challenging.

And the most overwhelming.

And the most humbling.

Who knew we could learn so much from these little human beings?

Like how to function on only a few hours of sleep? And how to help with homework, make dinner, answer the phone, and look for the missing binky—all at the same time?

Who knew that being a mom came with its own set of priorities and sacrifices, or that it would teach us so much about compromising and negotiating? (And the fact that, most of the time, we shouldn’t be compromising and negotiating, because we’re the moms, right?)

Who knew that being a parent would be such a balancing act?

We want to be organized, but we feel like we’re not.

We want to be productive, but we never seem to be able to get it all done.

We want to be consistent, but sometimes we’re exhausted.

We want to make the right decisions, but sometimes we don’t know what the right decisions are.

We want to be role models, but we’re far from perfect.

We want time to ourselves, but our kids need our time.

Most of all, we want to be good moms.

And we just don’t know if we are…

We get frustrated and lose our patience and spend some days looking forward to the next phase of parenting, when our kids will finally be out of diapers, or when they’ll finally be out of strollers, or when they’ll finally be driving themselves around. When things will be easier and we can get back to feeling like ourselves.

We hope.

And this is where the bliss comes in.

Because being happy as a mom doesn’t mean sailing through motherhood. It doesn’t mean having it all together or having the best kids. It doesn’t mean never making mistakes. And it’s not about perfection.

Experiencing mommy-bliss—the deep joy that motherhood can so freely give—is really about loving the mom that you are. It’s about learning to laugh at things you might not find funny at first (because parenting is full of those things). It’s about letting yourself cry when you need to. And it’s about learning to love yourself and your family the best you can, each and every day.

We’re all in this together.

Even though the experience of motherhood is unique to each of us, the love we have for our kids is universal.

And once you have kids, you suddenly feel the truth in the saying time flies. (Well, except on those days where you’re counting the minutes until everyone goes to bed so you can get one single second of peace and quiet.) Except on those days, time does fly. One second you have a baby and the next thing you know, she’s almost a teen. And even though I’m no expert, I do know it goes that fast.

I also know that I’m a whole lot better at mommy-hood with others by my side.

Others like you.

So grab a chair or sit down on the couch and hang out with me for a while. Grab a few of your friends while you’re at it. Because, just like the journey of motherhood isn’t meant to be walked alone, this book isn’t meant to be read alone, either. It’s meant to be shared, like those stories we tell each other at play dates or over coffee.

For me, it’s often those stories that I learn from the most. They inspire me and give me new insights. They motivate and encourage me to live my mom-moments to the fullest. And I hope this book will inspire you in that way too. I hope it will encourage you to come alongside other moms and share your own stories, whether they’re funny or sad or embarrassing or painful.

I hope it will encourage you to recognize the bliss that sometimes hides in the corners of motherhood—in the feel of your baby’s sleepy head on your shoulder as you carry her through the grocery store, pushing the cart with one hand, in the quiet singing of your preschooler as he sits in the corner during his time-out, or in the smile of your eighteen-year-old as he walks across the stage to get his high school diploma that, after all the challenges he’s had in school, you weren’t sure he was going to get. Because those kinds of moments—even though they’re sometimes sandwiched between a whole lot of stress—are paradise.

They are bliss.

So let’s hang out together and look for these moments.

Let’s laugh a little.

Let’s cry a little.

Let’s love a whole lot…

Click here to read more from the book I’m writing, Laugh a Little, Cry a Little, Love a Lot.


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