What Steals Your Joy?

what steals your joy - 31 days of joy in motherhood from thishappymom.comWhat steals your joy? Do you even notice when it’s gone?

Some days, I wake in the morning and realize I just don’t have “it.”

For whatever reason, something snuck in and stole my joy while I was sleeping. And I wake up feeling like I am anything BUT a happy mom.

Honestly, there are days when I calculate if I can go back to work and earn enough money to cover after school care AND maid service.

There are days when I mentally run away from home.

There are days I just want to pull the covers back up over my head and stay in bed, or at the very least stay in my favorite PJ’s all day.

Remember? I’m not a morning person. I’ve battled with depression. I have a real family and a messy house.

I had one of “those days” recently.

(ok, it was more like several of them in a row)

My husband noticed, and he asked me one of the most interesting questions I’d heard all week.

How is it you can go to bed perfectly happy and wake up grumpy? What changed?

He was right. I’d fallen asleep with joy in my heart and it was gone when I woke up.

Something stole my joy.


Since I’m not a big fan of anything creeping into my house like a thief in the night, I got mad. I had myself a genuine princess moment or two. I stamped my foot and decreed “we are not happy” in a big princessy voice.

It didn’t help.

Since I doubted wearing the tiara was going to help either, I opted for my thinking cap instead.

(yes, i own a tiara and magic wand.  i’ve answered the door with both.  i think i’ve been to walmart with the tiara on my head.  sometimes i just want to be a princess, ok?)

I came up with a short list of things that steal my joy in the morning.

1. “Mommy, I can’t find any clean underwear” is not the way to wake up.
2. Checking my email and seeing all my spam isn’t helpful.
3. Stubbing my toe on random objects and stepping on legos on the way to the bathroom doesn’t help my frame of mind.
4. Foggy wine-head is bad.
5. Remembering that I’m out of lunch box foods (or milk for breakfast) kind of stinks.
6. Waking up late pretty much starts things on the wrong foot.
7. A lack of sleep from staying up too late makes me grouchy.

My Husband Wasn’t Impressed

He doesn’t exactly view list making as helpful.  To him, its just another way I avoid doing laundry or changing the cat litter box.

But I showed him the list anyway.

That’s nice, what are you going to DO about it?


He wants me to DO something.

I’m standing here feeling like anything BUT happy mommy and having a bad princess moment and he expects me to DO something about it?!?

He had a point.

I dislike admitting it, but he was right.  For each of the seven things I listed, there was something I could DO to change it.

In essence, I was stealing my OWN joy.

That … … vacuums.  I might even venture to say it stinks.

Sometimes, stuff happens that is beyond my control.  And sometimes, that stuff upsets me and makes me unhappy.

But more often, the stuff that’s making me unhappy and dis-satisfied is stuff I can change.

So what steals YOUR joy?

And more importantly, what are you going to do about it?

Your “Joy Assignment” today is to go DO something about it.  Pick one thing you can change to make tomorrow better than today.

I’d love to know what small step you’re taking today.  Care to share?

This is day 22 of 31 days of Joy in Motherhood.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://thishappymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DSC_0036.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker has a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination  for eggs, socks, and books.  She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family.  She serves an amazing God.   She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder. [/author_info] [/author]

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. There are many mornings I could make a list just like your list!
    Jean recently posted..Menu Plan for a New Fridge!My Profile

  2. “That … … vacuums. I might even venture to say it stinks.” Love this line!! My mom would approve.

    My joy gets stolen most often during my interaction with the kids. If they aren’t listening while I’m talking or don’t do what they’re told, I get grumpy. Feeling taken for granted can do it too.

    As I’m typing this, I’m realizing that both of these feelings are self-centered. Both make me cranky – which I hate. So I’m letting my own feelings rob my joy. I’m not sure of the solution, but I’m certainly thinking on it.
    Dawn recently posted..Lessons I’m Learning As A BloggerMy Profile

    • I don’t have the answers. I wish I did. I can’t tell you how many times a day I say “123 eyes on me” because I realize my kids aren’t listening to me. Sometimes I realize I probably sound about like the teacher voice on Peanuts.

      It helps when I can speak in short, “man friendly” thoughts. My husband says that women talk in paragraphs but men listen in bullet points. When I can take the time to break my paragraphs down into short, easily digested points, the men in my house hear me better. (that’s the kids AND my husband).

      Perhaps the answer is in that last post – the one where I spelled out Joy. (Sorry, I know you didn’t want to hear that!)

  3. Kissing my son goodbye so mama can go to work…joy stolen.

    Students who are not grateful for the hard work I put into my job…where did my joy go?!?

    That awful lunchroom talk that inevitably leads to a peeing contest…joy runs the other way.

    Luckily, there are always those joy fillers too, like cuddling under the blankets on a rainy afternoon, completing that 4 mile run that hurt so good, seeing that aha! moment in a kid’s eyes…

    • Remembering why I left teaching — ugh! I don’t know how you do it! For what it’s worth, I’m grateful for the hard work you put into your job. Teachers who care are amazing. You are making a difference. And there ARE kids who are grateful, they just can’t admit it. You know that, right?

      Keep focusing on those joy fillers. Find them and cram more of them into your days!

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