Welcome to my very first post on ADayinMotherhood.com.  Originally published May 31, 2010. 

So I picked up one of those signs the other day – you know, the ones have the catchy sayings and are all the rage? Yea, well – mine says Be a joyful mother of children.

be a joyful mother

Now I don’t know who came up with that but I thought it genius. It HAD to have been a mother who had a ton of kids, no help to take care of them, no sleep, a messy house, no shower and – well – a mother. She must have needed to be reminded that children are special, that motherhood is a privilege and that at some point during the day, YOU MUST SMILE. I don’t know- but again, I thought it genius.

So, I hung this nifty little saying above my kitchen entrance so I would be forced to see it daily and repeat it to myself when things got stressful. “Be a joyful mother of children”, “Be a joyful mother of children”. Got it- OK – surely with it hanging right there I can remember it and be – well – a joyful mother of children…. surely

So the morning after I hang the sign I think – today is going to be the day. The day I develop patience and remember that they are just little girls who need a positive, affirmative, loving Mother. And if I can be a “joyful” mother then the day will be smooth and easy and wonderful. Like- the best day of motherhood EVER!


17 seconds later – with my 3 and 2 year olds fighting over a coloring book of which they own identical ones and my 10 month old eating spilled Cheerios off the floor that I had not found time to mop in a week, I thought… joy?? Are you freaking KIDDING me?? Joy?? Where?? The damned sign should say “be a non-screaming mother of children”!

As I get the older girls calm and playing nicely together once again, clean up the spilled Cheerios and promise myself that today is the day I will mop the floor, I think – “OK – joyful… from this point forward.”

3 minutes later “Moo-ooomm – Sarah is drawing on the wall with chaaa-lllkkk.” “Mooo-ooommm – I just pee – peed on the ruuu-uuuggg.” “Waaaaaaaaa – haaaaaaa.” And – just because the timing could not have been more perfect, my husband calls home to inform me that it will be another late night at the office and – oh – could I wash his clothes and could I balance the checkbook so that he knows how much he can spend on a fishing pole. His 7th one… he’s fished twice in a year. But yes, honey – I’ll get right on it. Laundry, bills, pee, screaming infant and chalk art… and no break til after bedtime. Got it.

“Be a stressed out mother of children”

After cleaning up the pee from the still un-mopped floor, throwing some laundry in the washer, pulling up our bank account, cleaning a child’s bottom of pee, attempting magic eraser on the chalk and nursing a screaming baby to sleep, I reaffirm to get back on track. Joyful…. JOYful…. OK – got it. From now on – I promise!

“Mine” “MINE” “Mine” “No, MINE” “Maaamaaaaaaaaaa”

“Waaaaaa – waaaaaaaaa”

Nice. Nothing like two kids fighting and waking up a sleeping baby to make you feel joy. Really… nothing.

“Be a fuming mother of children”!

“Mama – Katie hit meeeeee”

“Mommy – Sarah stole my tooo-oooyyyy!”

“Waaaaaaa- Waaaaaaaaa”

Oh my holy HECK!!! So I throw 2 into time out, retrieve screaming, tired, cranky baby form the crib and attempt to sit and *hopefully* nurse her back to sleep. I barely hear the phone ring over the joint screaming of children and choose to ignore it. The baby is not latching – she’s full after all from previous nursing just 20 minutes before you see – the kids are screaming and the phone continues to ring. I give up on force feeding the crying, wiggling baby and head towards the phone which is still ringing. I stop to throw the other screaming kids back into time out and then get the phone. It’s my Husband.

Could I go to the garage, go to where his 7 fishing poles are and tell him if the line on the one with the silver reel is showing any wear because he’s at the fishing pole store place and is thinking of buying another pole with the same reel system but wants to know if it hurts his line. Or something like that… I wasn’t listening.

“Can I do this later? I am a little busy right now.” I ask – attempting to talk loud enough to drown out the 3 screaming kids in the background.

And I quote “What are you doing? Updating your facebook page?”


“Be a non- murderous of their father mother to children”

Anywho – after searching high and low for the tape measure, sorting all of the poles that look alike to basically tell him “I have no freaking clue.”, allowing children to come out of time out, finding a loud flashy toy to occupy the cranky baby and contemplating time to check our bank account for when the dear husband calls again, I reaffirm to take a deep breath and become JOYOUS.

5 minutes later…

The baby is at it again – time to put her in her crib and see how long it takes for her to fall back asleep while the guilt of hearing her scream resonates through my every cell. The 3 and 2 year olds have each other pinned on the floor and are fighting over a pink color wonder marker that is one of many, the phone is ringing again as predicted, the washing machine buzzer is going reminding me that between now and 9pm, I should put them in the dryer… the dogs are barking at the neighbors’ cat who is sunning itself on my front walk, and I am all done being joyful.

I walk to the kitchen, see the sign mocking me from above… “Be a joyful mother of children” and think:


Maybe tomorrow…

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