You know the drill.
Wake early. Change nappies. Butter toast. Load dishwasher. Wipe noses. Read the same books again. Cut off crusts. Brush teeth. Change more nappies. Cut up fruit. Hang washing. Kiss bruises. Wipe tears. Hold hands. Change nappies again.
This is real. This is life as a mother.
To someone standing on the outside looking in, it probably doesn’t look that beautiful. Actually, it probably doesn’t look overly beautiful to us some days!
But it can be.
And if we want to thrive during this period with little ones afoot, then we have to learn to recognise and acknowledge the beauty in it all.
Because this is it. This is motherhood. This is our now.
We can’t change it or rush it and we don’t want to wish it away. We don’t want to wait to thrive. We want to start thriving now.
One way that we can start to retrain ourselves to see the beauty in the day-to-day, is to keep a daily gratitude list.
Even on the really rubbish days as a mother. Even on the days when nothing seems to go right and we feel like we are constantly failing, constantly falling short of our own ideals,there is always something to be grateful for. Always.
The key is to take the time to notice it.
Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna
On some days we feel grateful for motherhood itself – those are the joyful days, on which we find it relatively easy to parent these gorgeous little people and feel like we’re doing an ok job.
On other days we might only feel grateful that sleep finally rescued us from this exhausting, depleting journey of parenthood.
It doesn’t matter what it is we’re grateful for, as long as we take the time to recognise the goodness and express gratitude for it.
This isn’t a magic bullet that will somehow turn the bad days into good days; some days our gratitude list won’t have anything do with parenting.
Because on the days they are teething, screaming in the supermarket, spilling drinks, smearing poo across the cot,it will be hard to find a grateful mother-moment.
On those days, our gratitude list will likely include things that removed us from this parenting gig, things like the kid’s channel.
So let’s stop and take a couple of minutes each day to be grateful, to really, truly feel grateful. This is how we will start to thrive in our own reality.
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Five ways to nurture daily gratitude:
- Share with your spouse as you go to bed.
- Text it to a friend and she can do the same to you.
- Write 1-5 things in a journal each night before retiring.
- Take a photo and upload to Instagram or Facebook as a kind of photo-journal.
- As your kids get older, cultivate a habit of gratitude and share around the dinner table each night.