Below is the podcast version of this article. The podcast explains things so much better than a blog post. I invite you to listen and also hear some examples and enjoy some laughs! You can subscribe to the Podcast by opening your favorite podcast app and typing “Balanced Working Moms” into the search or click here for a link to the podcast on iTunes.
Motherhood Isn’t Always Exciting
When you think of Motherhood, the words that come to mind are not usually excitement, unless you’re talking about a new baby.
Once that baby is born, topics usually include:
- I’m tired
- What dosage of Tylenol is safe to give a baby?
- Of course, the most annoying words ever “What’s for dinner?”
But excitement? Not so much. That usually goes right out the window the more tired you get. And it makes sense. Who has energy to be excited?
I barely have energy to pay my bills on time, let alone feel excited about my life.
But let’s talk about talk about being a little different, in a good way.
Let’s talk about how it can be possible feel excited about life even when we’re doing the day-to-day mundane tasks of motherhood.
Being Inspired by A Planner
The inspiration for this post came from the most unlikely source. You’d think I had an inspiring story of how excited I was about something.
The episode actually came from a humdrum, not so exciting source. That’s ironic, I know.
But the inspiration actually came from planner.
Now, if you’re a planner girl, planners are the most exciting thing ever. Almost as exciting as little baby fingers. Is there anything as cute?
But for most people, planners are just a tool to get organized.
The planner I bought that inspired this post had something subtle it beautiful: it had a daily spot to list 3 things you were excited about.
What’s the Big Deal?
I didn’t think much of this. Sure I’d never seen this before but, it didn’t make a big impression on me — at first.
The planner simply had you list 3 things you’re grateful for and 3 things you’re excited about.
For the first time ever, I started thinking in terms of excitement. And this was different than gratitude.
The result was I realized that EXCITEMENT is very important.
It’s easy to think of things you’re grateful for. But as a Mom, things you’re excited about, that’s much harder and takes some serious thinking.
Once I started down this journey, I realized how it was slowly changing my happiness factor.
Having things each day that I LOOK FORWARD to and feel excited about is very different than gratitude or Joy.
What is Excitement?
Once I started thinking about this I wondered – what is excitement?
I found the most beautiful definition by a random stranger on the internet. Her name is Aimee Sparrow and she wrote on Quora (a webite that answers random questions like “what’s the difference between joy, happiness and excitement) and she wrote that
“Excitement is an anticipatory spark of energy. “
Isn’t that beautiful?
When I think of excitement, I think ENERGIZED!! (No wonder I’m encouraging you to do this. Giving you some energy, even if only a spark, is the greatest gift.)
I would say my only tweak would be that I don’t think it’s necessarily anticipatory. I’m sometimes excited about things that already happened.
For example, sometimes I’m so excited from something that happened during my day that I can’t sleep.
But I still like her definition!!
When I asked google to define excitement, Google tells me it’s:
“a feeling of great enthusiasm and eagerness.”
I like that definition, too.
Whatever excitement means to you, you can’t go wrong. It’s such a delicious feeling, isn’t it?
And it could be a feeling that many of us miss since we’re busy getting everything DONE!!
Feeling Excited During Your Day
Think of a day that you’re excited vs a day you’re not excited.
I’ll give you an example. Last year I signed up for an in-person class about 50 miles from my home. Although I could have commuted, I treated myself to a stay in the hotel where the training took place.
For MONTHS leading up to this class I was excited? This isn’t the same as happy or grateful.
I was going to go away for a whole weekend without my family to learn something amazing.
Luckily, this class was in February since by March, things were shut down.
But words cannot express how much I was looking forward to this class.
Tim ferriss has a wonderful quote. He says that
“Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase. It is the cure-all.” ― Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek
Moms Need It
I wanted to especially talk to you as a Mom.
As a Mom, we do SO MUCH mundane.
I’ve never done so much mundane in my life.
I cook. I clean. The house is literally getting messed up while I clean it.
I remind my kids to brush their teeth.
And if your kids are still in diapers, this is no joke. There can be some gross mixed in with the mundane, isn’t there? No getting around it.
It’s almost all mundane. There’s no other word to describe it. Except perhaps boring. It’s also SO BORING!!
There’s a reason most of us are addicted to social media — it’s because who wouldn’t want something fun to see with all the mundane we’re doing every minute of the day?
But since our lives are so full of mundane, I want to remind you that perhaps you need some excitement in your life.
Good excitement. I’m not talking about “the baby had a blowout excitement”
I’m talking about looking forward to things in your life.
Imagine what your life would look like if you had good exciting things to look forward to regularly.
It can be hard to start thinking this way because we’re so MIRED in the details of our day.
Last night when I was writing what I was excited about, I really had to pause to come up with something.
It wasn’t easy because I’m not used to thinking this way and you may be struggling with this, too.
It takes some practice at first but then it gets easier because you start to know about the types of things that excite you.
Here are some things I’ve recently been excited about:
- My tree that’s about to bloom with flowers
- Hopefully going on vacation later this summer
- A new dress I recently got that’s SO COMFORTABLE! I can’t wait to wear it!
- Trying a new bedtime routine that includes lots of yoga
- A day off work that I’ll be scheduling for myself
- New episodes of a favorite show
Write It Down
I’d like to extend an invitation to you to start thinking about things you’re excited about.
This can be a challenge if you’re not used to thinking this way. I love that my planner forces me to do this.
BTW, the planner is the Rocketbook Panda Planner. It’s very interesting concept – it’s erasable. You use Frixion pens and can scrub the page when you’re done.
But you don’t need to buy the planner to add excitement to your day.
Just grab a sheet of paper, or better yet, a post-it so you can see this list and be reminded
Write out a list of things you’re excited about. Or just think about it. You’re a busy Mom. You may not have time to write it out. After reading this, pause for a bit and think — what am I excited for today?
If you want to make these mundane tasks more fun, that’s another episode. Listen to Episode #13 – Super Easy Ways to Have More Fun.
I actually enjoy a lot of my mundane tasks because I find ways to make them fun. That’s a way to add a little more excitement to your day.
For example, a lot of women in our facebook group like pairing laundry with watching TV. One of the ladies reported that the only time she allows herself to watch TV is when she does laundry.
For her, she may be excited to do laundry.
So start writing down this list or think about what makes you excited.
What you Focus on Grows
And like everything in life, what you focus on grows.
As you write this list, you’ll be more open to doing MORE Of these things.
And this would be the ultimate — you may even start building more excitement into things that used to be borning, now that you’re thinking that way.
Perhaps you’ll look forward to cooking dinner because you’re excited to listen to your favorite podcasts and you can listen while you cook.
But if this concept is new to you, just dip your toe in.
For now, you don’t need to change anything. Just start noticing — what makes me excited?
And that shift will help you make the mundane in your life feel….less mundane so you can feel that anticipatory spark of energy.