JOY-WORTHY: A Mother’s Guide to More Joy, Less Stress and No Guilt

MediaQuire author interview with Julie McGrath – Read about this wonderful book.


Tell us the story behind the story. How did Joy-Worthy come to be?

I realized, after working with many people—women in particular—that they were not as happy and joyful as they could be. Many mothers put their children, spouses, and chores first, before themselves, making them stuck in a boring and tiring routine. I want to inspire them to be ready to face their fears, dream big, take risks, and learn how to put themselves first on their own to-do list.

As for myself, I travel by myself and with friends, I engage in many hobbies and never loose myself for long in the motherhood journey. Still, staying strong in my own power and esteem as a mother, I was saddened to watch so many mothers lose themselves and become shells of what they once were. I witnessed sad, tired and empty women, going through their day worrying about everyone else but themselves—women who have convinced themselves that this is how it is, doing everything for everyone else, making sure husband and children are happy and comfortable and leaving nothing for themselves.

I wanted to wake these women up and share my ideas on living a joyful life! I was frustrated that all these important issues were not talked about in women’s circles. And they should have been. I looked at some of my friends and I cried for them, these tired mothers, not thinking they are worthy of a joyful exciting life. I became so inspired to change that I grew into a strong, confident woman. I faced many of the tough issues women face: work/home balance, guilt, tough in-laws, fussy babies, stay-at-home mothers that lose a sense of purpose and excitement. I lead by example so writing this book was really about me: I lived it and continue to live it. I knew I wanted to share my insights and encouragement with women. One day, after a long talk with one of my supportive and encouraging friends, I decided to sit down and write. And I wrote. And I wrote. For 2 months, morning, noon and night I wrote, I was surprised at how much I had stored up inside of me!

What was the most challenging aspect of writing Joy-Worthy?

I have so much to say to all the women out there! Did I include it all? I wanted to be able to reach all mothers and make sure they understand the need to take care of themselves. I wanted my book to encourage women to reflect on their current situation and make positive changes if necessary. Once it was written and I was done with the editing process, I had to make it final or I could have kept adding more thoughts and more details.

What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?

You are responsible for creating your own happiness! Every woman can put joy back into her life, no matter what the situation is. Put yourself first on your to-do list; every day do something that makes you happy; work at becoming resilient; say “no” to things/people/events that do not bring you joy; say “yes” to hobbies, uplifting friends, vacations, quiet time, spirituality and new experiences. Happiness and joy take work but it is worth it! In order to stay personally fulfilled and beaming with joy, you have to have a balance in your life of work, play, family, friends, alone time. Mothers are worthy of joy too!

Describe your background.

I grew up in Peabody, MA, and decided early on that I wanted to be a social worker because I enjoyed helping people. I was a very sensitive child.  My parents always had an excellent work/home balance.  They showed me how to celebrate life, to set personal boundaries and to take nice vacations. I lived in Honduras and Costa Rica, soaking up the language and the culture. After graduating from college, I stayed in Miami for years loving the sunshine and my work as a social worker in the inner city. I decided to return to New England to be close to my family and continue my career near Boston. After running many groups and working with all different populations, I was drawn to hearing women’s stories. Once I became a mother, I was rudely awakened to the many details of motherhood that no one spoke about (what should a good mother/wife do?). The magazines only showed happy kids and happy parents. What about the pressure to be a good mom, to take care of the family down to every last detail of running the household and putting yourself last?  Hey, husbands are good but not that good. Why didn’t anyone tell me that?  It occurred to me that I wanted to remind all the women out there to take good care of themselves and seek out joy as your constant companion.

Describe your writing schedule. Do you outline? Any habits?

I become inspired to write; I come up with an idea and just write and write until it is all out.  Then I go back and cut it up and make it sound nice. Sometimes I use an outline and sometimes I am more random. I have 5 journals going at all times. I love to write my thoughts and dreams.

What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?

The Invitation by Oriah, The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer, Simple Abundance, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah BanBreathnach, Blessings by Julia Cameron, Brainstorms: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions by Eric and Ann Maisel

Currently reading: Fifty Shades of Grey

Which authors inspire you?

Oriah in The Invitation, Wayne Dyer, Sarah BanBreathnach.

What have you learned from this experience?

Have positive uplifting people by your side and all is possible. When you share your exiting adventure of writing a book, your true friends are there to give you support and words of encouragement. 

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Learn to make yourself happy; nobody will do it for you.

What are you working on now?

I am focusing on my 5-week group for women, developing new groups and inspirational blogs and talks. Also, I am putting together my March Getaway Weekend for women in Rockport, MA.


Julie McGrath is a licensed social worker who created The Joy Source to encourage and empower women to rediscover themselves, find their joy and passion, and then live it!  Joy-Worthy can teach you how to live a more joyful life with small changes. Julie gives plenty of concrete ways to bring more joy into your life. She also offers testimonials from women who have succeeded in making joy a priority in their life and are living testaments to the power of joy. Filled with exercises, journal prompts and inspiring quotes, Joy-Worthy will change the way you live and view your life.