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Microdosing Joy to be a Better Mama

Episode Summary:

Hey mama, how are you feeling now that the holidays have passed? How are you finding rest? In today’s episode, we’ll be diving into finding joy in motherhood, which I think is something that we can really focus on in the new year. I think it’s a positive thing to focus on instead of beating ourselves up about not working out enough, not eating the way we want, not being productive enough [insert whatever it is society is telling you that you need]. Focusing on joy and cultivating a mindset of gratitude will only help ourselves and help our children. However! I know that you may be thinking you don’t have time to add one more thing on your to-do list as a SAHM or WFHM, but in this episode I’m sharing my secret on making each day more joyful with ease.

Topics:

  • How taking care of yourself and infusing joy into your life are two separate things 
  • The phase Brittni found herself in post-divorce when she wasn’t feeling excited about her day-to-day and how she started actively cultivating joy in her life
  • What a microdose of joy is, how it looked for Brittni, and the ways they can help you feel more calm, regulated, and a better parent 
  • How prioritizing gratitude each day can shift your mindset to a more positive one 
  • How to find the small things that bring you joy and learning to infuse them easily into each day

Resources:

Read a raw, unedited transcript of this episode.

Brittni (00:00.79)

Hi, friend. How are you today? How is your day going? How is your evening going, depending on where you are and when you are listening? I am so happy to be back after the new year. And I know last week we talked about my views on the new year and how we can prioritize rest.

And I kind of want to roll off of that. And today’s episode, we’ll be diving into finding joy in motherhood, which I think is something that we can really focus on in the new year. I think it’s a positive thing to focus on instead of, you know, beating ourselves up about not getting to the gym enough or not working out enough or not eating the way we wanted to or not being productive. This one is a positive one.

that I think that we can all focus on and be mindful of, which will only help ourselves and help our children. But before I dive right in, I wanted to share how I’m currently finding rest in motherhood. And how I’m currently finding rest in motherhood is just by being nice to myself. I am the hardest critic on myself, and it’s so funny because day after day on Instagram,

And with my clients, I’m cheering my community on, telling you you’re doing an amazing job, telling you you’re exactly the mom your child needs. And then I tend to be hard on myself, right? Like I have a day where I’m not patient and then Lila goes to sleep and I sit there and beat myself up for all of the moments that went wrong. And I’m sure that you can relate. I’m sure most of us can relate to that.

but I’m really trying to actively remind myself that I’m human, that I’m doing my best, that my best is going to look different on different days. And also reminding myself that sometimes things look bad from my perspective, but if I kind of switch the perspective to, if I kind of switch the perspective to Lila’s side.

Brittni (02:12.222)

I’m like, she probably had a great day and is not even thinking about what I’m beating myself up for. For example, I was sick over the holidays. I was busy kind of trying to wrap things up for the end of the year in my business. And I was just tired. And so we had a lot more screen time than normal. And there was day where we had…

And there was a day where we had watched two movies and I beat myself up, right? Oh my gosh, we watched two movies in a day. And then I went to bed and I was like, Lila is never going to think like, oh, my mom’s such a bad mom, right? That day was gonna be a fun memory for her. Wow, we got to watch two movies. I got to snuggle with my mom. And so I’m trying to really be kind to myself in that way and treat myself how I would treat you, right? Or a friend and really…

encourage myself and uplift myself. So I hope that maybe you can take that into your life and apply that in your life and find more rest that way. I would also just like for you to take a second and contemplate how you’re currently finding rest in motherhood. If you aren’t, this will be a little bit of an opportunity to kind of tune in and see what you need and where you could find rest.

So I will jump right into today’s topic. And I will say that I kind of touched on this in one of my first podcast episodes where I talked about how important it was to realize that I needed to start taking care of myself. But taking care of yourself and also infusing joy into your life are two separate things. So I wanted to dive deeper into the joy piece of it. So…

When my life went from having a partner to somewhat split the load with, to solo parenting all day without a break.

Brittni (04:48.81)

When my life went from having a partner to somewhat split the load with, to solo parenting all day without a break, it quickly became really clear to me that I was going to need to prioritize me, myself, and I. And I have talked about this before, really finding that time, and I have talked about this before, really finding that time to take care of myself so that I could better take care of Lila.

But gone were the days where I could at least look forward to Lila’s dad coming home from work so that I could get a few moments to myself or an hour to myself. Gone were the days of looking forward to weekends where I would have a partner home and able to help me around the house or with Lila. The load was solely on me. And…

not just the physical load, right? Like the mental load, like after a long day, you know, when your partner comes home and you just want to tell them about how hard the day was or how you’re feeling. And I do, I have a very close relationship with my mom and I have a very close relationship with my sister, but I didn’t want to feel like a burden. So I had lost kind of this sharing the mental load and the physical load with a partner. I also want to stop here and say that

She was spending time with her dad. At this time, she was doing like two days a week with him, no overnight, so he would pick her up, bring her back like around dinner time. Then she would sleep with me and then he would pick her up the next day. So I did have two days a week where I had time for myself. But during this time when the load solely fell on me and I truly was solo parenting,

I realized that I had really become reliant on outside things bringing me joy, like my then husband, or looking forward to exciting things we had planned on the weekends, or just looking forward to a break. And then when I became a solo mom, I was left with myself and my child and all of the responsibilities that come with parenting and running a household.

Brittni (07:02.058)

Yes, I could plan fun outings, but I was quite honestly exhausted. And I don’t wanna say that we can’t let outside things bring us happiness and joy, but this was a huge wake-up call to me. I had stopped really loving myself and nurturing myself and just finding joy in life. I wasn’t allowing happiness to come from the inside. I was solely relying on it from the outside, which left me feeling unhappy and exhausted.

Brittni (07:40.914)

I didn’t feel excited about life. When I woke up in the morning, I would truly wonder how I was going to make it through the whole day, and I just couldn’t wait until bedtime. And I’ll be honest and say that I still have these days sometimes where I wake up and I really question like, oh my gosh, how am I gonna get through the day? I can’t wait until bedtime, but they aren’t the norm now. And there was a time where they were the norm, where I would just get so overwhelmed thinking about

living in the day to day. I remember having these feelings of just wanting to run away from it all. And again, I wanna be real here and say, I still have those days, but they’re few and far between. Again, they’re not the norm. I had one last week. I think we all can have those feelings, right? But as time went on, I realized that it was really up to me to bring joy into my life. I needed to accept where I was and find joy in it.

I needed to love the life I was in. Obviously, my amazing, wonderful daughter brings me joy each day, but I really needed to focus on finding joy in my circumstances. On the days that I don’t have Lila,

Brittni (09:00.138)

On the days that I didn’t have Lila, which was two days a week, I really tried to use those days to take care of myself while also still running a business. And I have talked about that before in a previous episode, but that left five other days of the week in which I was completely on my own. And this is where I realized I needed to spark joy. And as we all know in motherhood, the day to day is hard and exhausting. And the thought of

actively adding joy into the day feels like an impossible task, but I knew it needed to happen. I wasn’t being the mom I could be and my general outlook on life wasn’t very positive and I knew something needed to change. I deserved better and Lila deserved better.

So I started actively cultivating joy in my life. Let’s call it microdosing joy, meaning that we take these small moments or activities that bring joy and infuse them into our day-to-day life. And the more that we do them, the easier they get. The more they become a part of our routine, the more calm and regulated we feel.

the more they become a non-negotiable, regular part of our life. So what did I do? I started actively adding in these moments. I thought to myself, what brings me joy? I started buying myself fresh flowers to have in the house. I started taking time to make myself my favorite warm beverages, like a latte or a matcha at home, or going and buying myself one. I started putting my favorite songs on while cooking or cleaning.

I started planning fun outings for both myself and Lila, like going to get a smoothie bowl or just going to sit in a coffee shop together or going to my favorite restaurant for lunch. And this was key, adding in these mutually enjoyable activities because I’m gonna be 150% honest here and say that I do not like going to the park. I don’t like it, right?

Brittni (11:11.486)

So when I’m going to the park, especially in the summer, every day, and I’m like, oh, I don’t wanna go to the park again. And I can’t tell you why I don’t like the park. I don’t know why. I will say I think it is getting easier, obviously as Lila gets older, but like going to the park in that one to two year age group or age range is really hard because you’re chasing around this kind of like drunk toddler, right? Like they don’t have to.

real ability to kind of go fully independently play at the park. And now, like I said, with a four and a half year old, the park is a much different experience. I still don’t love it, but I don’t dread it the way I used to. But my point being here is that we get so caught up in doing these fun activities for our children that often we’re like, oh, well, we did outings. And it’s like, okay, yes, you did outings. Maybe you went to the zoo.

You were carting around things. I’m sure you found small moments of joy in the zoo. Maybe you went to the park, right? But those are activities where we’re actively working on our children or like actively working on parenting, right? Now, if we can find a mutually enjoyable activity, such as like I said, I love going to get smoothie bowls. Lila loves going to get smoothie bowls. It’s a fun little date for us.

or again, going to sit in a fun coffee shop and getting Lila a banana bread while I drink my latte and she drinks a hot chocolate. Those are things where we’re actively doing little things that bring us joy, but our child is also finding enjoyment out of it. I started focusing on moving my body in a way that felt good to me. Walks, simple yoga flows at home, my Peloton workouts, whatever my body…

told me that day that it was craving was how I was going to move and I made it a regular part of my day. For so long I had given myself this idea that I didn’t have time to workout. I had a child. I didn’t have child care to go to the gym on my days when she wasn’t with her dad. And then I realized, put a yoga mat down in the middle of the living room.

Brittni (13:25.458)

Lila can play or join you. I had, I cut like an old yoga mat for her that’s her size. She has like little two pound weights. I would put them out for her. Some days she would wanna work out with me and flow and stretch. Other days she would play right around me. Other days she would kind of do a little bit of both. But I realized that I had been making this as excuse about not having the time to do it.

When really I did, I just needed to build it into our routine and make it a normal part of our day. And walks to this day, Laila and I go on a walk almost every single day. And it’s a point of joy for both of us. I love being outside. If you follow me on Instagram, you know this. I would live outside if I could, I love it. And so just getting out on a walk every single day, getting that fresh air, getting that movement, getting that sunshine.

We have lots of great nature trails around us, so it’s a nature experience for her. It’s a win-win for both of us. And I know that morning walk is key to kind of starting our day off well. I started adding joyful activities into the day with Lila-like dance parties. I started focusing on wearing things that made me feel good about myself.

Cough cough.

Brittni (14:51.102)

I started focusing on wearing things that made me feel good about myself. I had gotten into a place where I was only wearing sweats. And if you feel great in sweats, that’s wonderful. But it’s important, I think, to remember that how we feel about how we look is going to impact our mood, right? So if we’re in sweats that we’ve worn for three days and a sweatshirt that has children’s stains on it, whatever it is, snot, spit up.

depending on your child’s age, right? We’re not going to feel that great about ourselves. So I actively focused on finding clothes that made me feel good. My body had changed since becoming a mom, so finding new styles that I liked. I started a gratitude journal in which I would list what I was thankful for that day. And I will say I’ve fallen out of that habit a bit.

But when I have a day where I’m feeling really frustrated, really angry, whatever the case may be, I will get out a piece of paper or I will go to my journal and I will write a list of 10 things that I’m thankful for to just kind of bring me to the present of like, oh wow, I have a roof over my head. I have a wonderful child that I love so much. And those, whatever they may be, if you can do five things that bring you joy or that you’re grateful for.

It can kind of just help your mind reset and be like, okay, yes, this is really hard and I never wanna downplay how hard it is, but it’s a great reset for the mind. I started getting adventurous and doing things that I was afraid to do solo. I started taking us hiking. I started doing solo things with Lila that I had never done before because I always had a partner to do them with.

I truly started prioritizing joy, but it was that microdosing of joy. It wasn’t these big, elaborate moments. It was these little things that I brought into my life, our life, that were realistic for me and allowed me to have that joy in my life without these big grand moments of like going to the spa, right, or something like that. Another thing I did was filled my house with things that bring me joy.

Brittni (17:13.122)

I love plants. I love them. I love them. I always joke that I like take on too much responsibility for things I have to keep alive. I have Lila obviously, myself, my dog, and then I have so many plants that I have to keep alive. But I love it. I’m a natural caretaker. I love taking care of things. And so adding lots of plants into our living space, putting pictures on the wall that brought me joy.

These are the little things that we can do that will help us microdose that joy into our lives. And the more I did it, the easier it became. The more I focused on nurturing myself and infusing joy into my life, the more aligned I felt in motherhood. I came to love solo motherhood, and I came to enjoy each day. I don’t wanna paint a false picture here and imply that…

days didn’t happen or that I didn’t still feel burnt out sometimes or that motherhood was always easy because that would be a complete lie. The hard days happened and they still happen. The sadness came and it still comes. The exhaustion came and it still comes. The burnt out came. The burnout came and it still comes. But by microjosing

But by microdosing joy into my life, I’m able to show up on the hard days. I infused my life with… Oh.

But by microdosing joy into my life, I’m able to show up on the hard days because I’ve infused.

Brittni (19:02.882)

But by microdosing joy into my life, I’m better able to show up on the hard days. I’ve infused my life with joy, joy that I created and joy that doesn’t depend on how the day is going or isn’t sourced by someone else. And it has been such a game changer in motherhood. I think so often we can get stuck in the day to day of being a mom, a partner, an employee, a business owner, et cetera.

that we lose ourselves. We’re technically, we’re on autopilot and almost kind of in a hamster wheel. And in motherhood, we forget to take care of ourselves. We put ourselves at the bottom of the list of everything that we need to do. And we often hear about how important self-care is, but we’re always wondering, well, how do I do this with a child? And the answer to me is micro dose it in.

make it small moments throughout the day that don’t require a lot of work. I think we tend to think of self-care and motherhood as this, like everybody tells us to get self-care, right? And we’re like, well, how am I gonna do that if I’m a stay-at-home mom or I work all week and then on the weekends, I wanna be with my child? And so I think it’s important to say yes, if you can get that time to go do

two to three hours of whatever you want to do, that is amazing, but that’s not gonna be realistic in every single day of our lives. It might not even be realistic every single month. And that’s where it’s important to microdose that joy in. Think of what brings you joy. And you might be listening to this right now and be like, I don’t know what brings me joy. And that is a valid thought because I think that we get so far into motherhood that we lose ourselves.

and we kind of think about like, well, what do I like? What do I like doing, right? And that’s where it would be important for you to maybe sit down and take some time to journal and think about what would bring me joy. Or maybe you just start experimenting. Just going to sit in a coffee shop with my little one, bring me joy, or does it stress me out? Because it might stress you out. Does having fresh flowers in the house bring me joy?

Brittni (21:27.954)

whatever the case may be, really think about what will bring you joy, how can you make those moments happen easily in your day, and that will allow you to microdose that joy in so that joy just becomes a regular part of your life. And again, I don’t want to say that microdosing this joy in is going to take away the bad or hard days. It’s not. They’re going to happen. But when we have this cultivated

joy in our lives that we’ve added in, it makes it easier on the hard days because those things are already there. So if you’re having a hard time finding joy, if you feel like maybe the end of the year was hard and you’re just kind of having a hard time settling in, I encourage you to first be nice to yourself as we talked about at the beginning of the episode.

but also focus on, do I feel joyful in my day-to-day life? If I don’t, where could I add that in? Maybe it’s simply texting a girlfriend. Maybe it’s calling a girlfriend if you can. Maybe it’s listening to a podcast, right? Like, whatever it may be. Maybe it’s reading your favorite book after your child goes to sleep. Find those moments of joy and add them in, and they will become a regular part of your life.

so it doesn’t feel so unattainable. I hope you have a wonderful day. I want to remind you that you are doing an amazing job. Bye, mama.

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