As we move farther into the month of Thanksgiving and begin the holiday season, we’re surrounded by people asking what we’re thankful for.
I decided to challenge myself to create a 26 item A-Z parenting gratitude list.
Amazon Prime– I don’t think it will be surprising why I’m thankful for Amazon Prime… free two-day shipping on pretty much anything I can think of, and I don’t have to get dressed, look presentable, or buckle and unbuckle my toddler at twelve different stores. It’s every mom’s saving grace when they need anything from party supplies to diapers.
Big Girl Undies– No. More. Diapers. With the exception of the occasional accident (not unexpected), we’ve nixed diapers and moved onto the big girl undies.
Cameras– Whether it’s my simple iPhone camera or my Nikon that I take almost everywhere with me, I am a mama who loves to take pictures. It makes me so happy to have a tangible memento of my favorite memories.
Disney Pandora– Does anyone know of any karaoke bars that are devoted solely to Disney songs? I feel as though I have a very specific skill set that isn’t being put to its full potential. Listening to the Disney channel on Pandora is an instant mood booster for both me and my daughter, which is always a good thing.
Empty Laundry Bins– You know, when it happens once in a blue moon for about twelve seconds? Feels pretty good…
Family– I know, it’s a little “on the nose” to have family on a list of parenting gratitude, but I absolutely can’t imagine life without the people I call family. Parents, grandparents, brother, in-laws, nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends who have become family. Each and every one has shaped who I have become as a person and as a parent.
Google– What did previous generations do without Google? When my daughter was an infant, if my mom wasn’t available to answer a question (say, during 3am breastfeeding sessions perhaps) it was straight to Google I went. The other night at bedtime, while halfway through a round of the, “What does this animal say?” game with my daughter, she asked me what a zebra and a hippo say. To Google we went for video clips. Google is also my companion when I need my virtual mom community and browse Moms Blog posts.
Holidays– I have always been a lover of the holidays. I love the traditions, the decorations, and the magic. Since becoming a parent, however, that love has increased tenfold. There is something indescribable about seeing all of that holiday magic through the eyes of your child, and, in fact, being the one to create that magic.
Instagram– Sure, it’s a time waster, I often spend too much time on it, and sometimes it’s easy to get into a, “Why don’t I have that/look like that?” trap. However, it’s also a fun way to share, be inspired, promote my business, and believe it or not, make friends with other like-minded moms.
J.K. Rowling– It might seem silly to have the author of a children’s series on my list, but I grew up with Harry Potter. The series was a fixture in my childhood and holds a special place in my heart. I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to enjoy the series in the way I did. (Though she won’t have the agonizing wait between book releases…)
Kindness– It costs nothing, it’s not hard, and you don’t have to be a certain age to partake in it. And yet kindness can have such a huge impact on the direction our lives take. My husband and I try every day to impress upon our daughter how important kindness is.
Laughter– I don’t care if it’s laughing by myself over a silly meme, or laughing with my husband over a stupid joke, or listening to my daughter’s awesome, carefree giggle. Laughter is one of my favorite things in the world.
Mom, Mama, Mommy– It’s funny how I spent months trying to teach my daughter these words, and now there are days that I think I might lose my marbles if I hear this litany one more time. I tell my daughter all the time that I’m going to change my name. (As much as I joke though, it really is one of my favorite words in the world and the best thing I’ve ever been called.)
Naptime– Ahh… naptime. The sweet sound of silence. And also the time when I complete work for my business, try and get some cleaning or laundry done, eat lunch without someone asking me to share or hear someone ask me to wipe their butt.
Old Friends– Some of my very best friends are girls I have known since I was five years-old. They know me, they’ve seen me at my best (and my worst), stood by me while I got married, and they can make me laugh until I cry.
Projects– I have always been a, “Create or burst,” type of person. I love crafts, sewing, baking, or creating in any way. My daughter has inherited that love. She loves to do projects, and I love a) crafting with her, and b) the fact that when we do a project, I can contain her in her high chair for a chunk of time. Win-win!
Quiet Toys– You know the ones. They don’t have lights. They don’t sing songs. They don’t beep, or squeak, or whirl. I don’t have to take any batteries out to save my sanity. I think the majority of our noisy toys have come from friends or family who don’t yet have children of their own. (I won’t forget… Your time is coming.)
Ryan & Reagan– How appropriate that R would be reserved for both my husband and my daughter. They both make me laugh, they put a smile on my face, and they make me completely and utterly crazy. But I wouldn’t trade either one of them for everything in the world.
Sundays– Being a stay-at-home-mom can be both amazing and isolating. My husband works incredibly hard, and the majority of the parenting duties during the week are my responsibility. Sunday is one of my favorite days of the week, not only because I have a teammate to tag off to, but it’s also the day where we all get to spend the most time together. We all lounge together in bed with a cartoon or two in the morning, often grab breakfast at the local bakery, and run our normal errands. Doesn’t seem all that exciting, but for me, it’s very refreshing.
Toddler Tantrums– This is probably the last thing anyone would expect to see on a list of parenting gratitude. And let me assure you, when I am in the midst of dealing with a toddler tantrum, feeling like this season of life will never end, tantrums are the last thing I really feel thankful for. However, every time I do deal with one, I learn something new, and become stronger in my sense of “mom.”
Unconditional Love– When I have those inevitable, “Lousy mom” days, where I have raised my voice too many times, left the TV on for longer than is probably appropriate, fed my daughter cereal for dinner, or lost my cool, I know my daughter still loves me unconditionally. She is quick to forgive and still is content to cuddle up with a story at bedtime, give me a wet kiss, and say, “I lob you, mommy,” as I put her to bed.
There’s not much in the world quite like the unconditional love of a toddler.
Vermont– I have lived in Vermont my entire life, and while I’m not in love with being cold for what sometimes seems like ¾ of the year, no one can deny how completely breathtaking our state is year-round. (Even mud season has its unique charm.)
Wine– See above: Toddler Tantrums.
Xoxo– I mean, how many things can you come up with that you’re thankful for that also start with X? But really, hugs and kisses from those that I love really are some of my favorite things.
Yesterday– I wouldn’t be the me I am today if not for the things I learned yesterday!
Zzzz’s– Our daughter has been a fantastic sleeper since nearly day one and has slept through the night since she was a couple months old. I’m not trying to brag, I’m just exceptionally grateful because let me tell you, this mama needs her sleep.
What is on your parenting gratitude list?