118. Joy amidst depression in motherhood with Jenna Griffith

There is an emotional experience of motherhood that can feel dark, angry, exhausting, hopeless. Some of us even experience postpartum depression or other hormonal imbalances that impact our emotional experience. 

Is joy still available to us in these really tough times? Does joy mean I’m always happy? Does joy mean it comes easy? Can I find joy in things OUTSIDE of motherhood?



This is my conversation with Jenna about these topics.

Jenna is a mom of two (with one on the way) and she hosts The Joy Filled Podcast. She started a podcast to give her a gathering place and build community as she shares her real-time story of walking in joy amongst her struggles with PPD after her firstborn.


Joy filled motherhood

Topics we covered in this episode:


Postpartum depression in motherhood

  • looking back and recognizing postpartum depression in yourself
  • seeing when something is ‘off’ and ‘not me’ 
  • learning from PPD and deciding what you want to do differently 
  • doing the work of keeping your peace and joy


The damage of the cultural message that “motherhood is bliss”

  • struggling to connect with our new babies
  • this creates a stigma around the other end of the spectrum that motherhood is hard and we do get angry


Joy filled motherhood vs happy motherhood

  • feeling like joy is unavailable to us in motherhood
  • “joy isn’t feeling happy, it isn’t the absence of hard”
  • having hope and relying on God to find joy in motherhood
  • joyful vs joy-filled
  • not buying into the myth of being happy all the time, and that if you are happy you are doing it right


Getting rooted in joy amongst daily life of motherhood

  • not putting Jesus in a box of how it looks like to connect with him and rely on him
  • separating the feelings from the lies and getting recentered on what is true
  • having imperfect days
  • setting boundaries around our connection to our phones 
  • being present in parenting 


Struggling with hormonal imbalances and depression 

  • navigating a diagnosis and handling of depression, as a Christian woman
  • using resources and a community to support the journey of treating depression
  • the power of speaking our experience and having someone point out the lies we are stuck in


Doing things that light us up and make us feel joyful

  • the big things and the small things we could be doing that feel like an outlet
  • listening to who God made us to be so we still do things we are passionate about and don’t lose our identity to motherhood
  • we are all creative in our own ways, it isn’t just about art
  • being passionate gives us a sense of purpose and energizes us
  • what MLM has taught us about the desire to put our hand to something in addition to motherhood
  • motherhood being an important calling, but not the only one in our life


Practical ways to set boundaries between motherhood and work (and other pursuits)

  • setting boundaries around social media 
  • getting family/friend support
  • what it means to be a ‘present mom’
  • setting a routine of independent play and work time for parents
  • spending proactive time with our kids 
  • using our time wisely and efficiently when we have time allocated for work 



The Joy Filled Podcast

Jenna on Instagram 







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