I hit my threshold the other day. You know the one I'm talking about. The one where you aren't quite sure if you want to laugh or cry. I was picking up in the bathroom and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. The woman staring back at me donned no makeup and an over-sized t-shirt to hide the extra 10 pounds that have seemingly taken residency on my body...15 if I'm being completely honest. There was no spark in my eye.

I looked tired. Worn. Tense.

Somewhere between babies, working and sleep deprivation I had lost my own joy.

These are the parts of motherhood no one prepares you for. The not so shiny moments. The moments where you don't even recognize yourself.

But sister, in that moment I had an epiphany.

That load, I was carrying? That was mine. I chose to carry that. Sure, I could blame it on my husband, kids, work you name it - but truthfully? It wasn't anyone else's doing but my own. No one told me I had to do it all. No one told me that I needed to be everything to everyone, at least no one that actually mattered.

So what was I doing?

They tell us, "Make sure to fill your own cup too, mama." But, do you know what my cup was full of? Guilt.

Guilt for trying to do it all, yet still somehow falling short.

Guilt for trying so desperately to keep it all together when really I was falling apart.

But, why?

Every moment of every day does not need to be accounted for. Life isn't meant to be a series of checklists and distractions, it is meant to be lived. I know there aren't enough hours in the day. I know you feel like you can never get ahead, because I do, too; but maybe that's the point.

Our focus is off. We're putting too much weight on things that don't really matter. We're carrying things that aren't really ours to carry and we're missing moments that are happening right in front of us.

Sister, it's not your job to ensure that everyone in your household is happy. But, IT IS your job to get in there and be a part of it.

I'm tired of missing moments because I'm watching them unfold from my kitchen sink.

We have to start protecting our own joy.

If it doesn't serve you, let it go. If it brings you joy? Do more of it.

So, I made a pact with myself.

I'm taking back my joy. I'm giving myself permission to let go. To drop the comparisons. To slow down. To be present more and distracted less. To replace the words "in a minute" or "not right now" with one simple word. YES. I'm choosing to fill my cup with the things that matter. Moments.

kenny-krosky-788248-unsplash

It's looking my baby in the eye and blowing bubbles in the hot sun.

It's bike rides to the park and trips to the zoo.

It's singing a duet of Old McDonald in the car at the top of my lungs.

It's grocery shopping with one hand on the cart and my toddler's hand in the other.

It's belly laughs and late night snuggles.

I'm redefining what my version of motherhood looks like. I'm choosing to live intentionally. To let go of the things that don't serve me and invest more in the things that do; and you should too.

Because your joy? It's worth fighting for, sister.

selfie

JENNIFER THOMPSON

Jennifer is a working mom, blogger, wife, and mama to one rambunctious little boy. Surviving motherhood with a good laugh, dance parties, lots of coffee and a glass of wine. Follow along with her blog for the not so perfect, unorganized and unfiltered working mom at https://www.theywhinesoiwine.com/

Related

pablo-varela-311608-unsplash

Let Go of the Guilt, Mama

How are we ever going to get ahead when we are stuck in the guilt of yesterday?

6e09a5_a20ce21a23dd4c32aefacf9de8e20f0d~mv2_d_5472_3648_s_4_2

I'm Done Chasing Perfection and You Should Be Too, Mama

Because mama, YOU are in control. Even in the moments when you feel anything but.

bigstock-Funny-family-Mother-and-her-ch-123706058

It's OK, mama, you're normal

If you struggle and question every parenting decision you make, you are normal.

How to Be a Happy Parent

Want to be a happy parent? Let go of these 15 things to find joy

Allow yourself to be a happy parent for your child—and yourself.

Image placeholder title

Capturing Every Small Moment

This is my job. To capture, freeze, and memorialize small moments to last forever.

Getting Rid of Mom Guilt

3 Tricks to Silence Working Mom Guilt

If you've ever uttered "I'm the worst mom ever..." in your head or aloud, this article is for you. Silence mom guilt with these three tips.

bigstock-Mothers-Day-Concept-Mother-Ki-293588677

I hope I loved you enough today, my baby

Because you are the greatest thing I have ever done.

stay organized back to school

The Frazzled Moms Guide to Staying Sane This School Year

Somewhere between Generation X and millennial movement, school has become so much more involved for parents, and so much more complex than it used to be.