Last week, my baby started kindergarten. This means not only has my son started a new chapter in his life, but I have as well.

For the past 12 years, I have had someone at home with me the majority of the time. Suddenly, I find myself living in the land of freedom. In this new space I am experiencing things like: quiet, the ability to run errands with zero mommy-guilt, freedom to choose how I will spend my day and, amazingly, when I pick something up and put it away – it stays there.

It’s all very foreign to me.

At first, I was lamenting that time had flown by and my babies were no longer home with me. My internal dialogue was more my enemy than my friend. Did I play enough? Read enough? Explore enough? Teach enough? Take advantage of our time together enough?

I quickly silenced that joy-stealing monster. Going down that path leads to more questions and a heavy feeling of guilt. Doesn’t sound very beneficial to me.

And I hope if that joy-stealing monster is knocking on your door – that you refuse to answer, too.

For the past 12 years, I have tried. Honestly – that’s what matters. Right? It definitely wasn’t perfect – not even close. There was room for improvement – as there always is. And I’m sure anybody who is in the business of judging others would have found plenty to say about my parenting.

But, as I said, I tried. And I’m still trying. I will continue trying for as long as I am given the gift of breathing in and breathing out.

And above all – God is with me. I have Him. He knows my flaws and weaknesses and He loves me just the same.

And that is more than enough.

As I begin this new chapter in mamahood, I thank God for the blessing of life’s seasons. I thank God for the time I had with my babies and I thank God I am able to now experience this new space.

One of my hopes and dreams for this time in my life is to be more consistent with my writing. I hope this blog becomes a daily source of inspiration, creativity, affirmation and a reminder that we are all humans – destined to make mistakes, dust off and keep trying. I pray God is glorified through my writing and that my readers leave my page feeling like they sat down for a cup of coffee with a friend and left receiving a little hug.

Thanks for supporting me in this journey.

It really means a great deal more than you will know.


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4 thoughts on “Silencing the Joy-Stealing Monster Within”

  1. I’m still feeling “I’m not enough,” and I know better, but it’s a bad habit and not easily changed. On the flip side, my kids would never want me to feel this way and would be sad to know I sometimes do. We are all works in progress.

    1. Thanks for sharing your heart, Carol. You are enough! God made you in His image and there is nobody else like you. I hope you always know how special you are. And yes, I am SO glad we are all works in progress. It’s good to know that perfection is impossible to attain and even the people who seem the most put together still have their struggles. We all do. Hugs! Thanks again for sharing! xoxo

  2. So nicely written. You are SUCH an amazing mom, Jen! And I have so many similar feelings about kindergarten. Don’t let the guilt monster get you!! I hope P. has an amazing year. We all miss y’all!

    1. Thanks so much, Emily! I hope the same for Thomas and David! We miss you, too! Thanks so much for your sweet comment. I wish we could sit down for a cup of coffee. Maybe the next time we are in town? Until then, we will both run far away from that sneaky guilt monster! Hugs, my friend!

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