I’m a #Grateful Mom (Before You Barf, Let Me Explain)

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I’m trying to find the grateful moments in each day with my kids. Before you barf, let me explain. I consider myself to be one of the most openly honest moms in my crew. This means I complain when my kids are whiney. I lament winter and all the colds my runny-nosed tykes pick up. And, just like you, I often feel sleep deprived, like I’m coming up short somehow, a little bit crazy, rushed and late for something.

But, I want to be grateful. And I think I am.

As cheesy as it sounds, I’ve started to have what I refer to as my “hashtag grateful mom” (#gratefulmom) moments. I need these moments, especially after a 12-hour day with both kids, or when the stomach flu has just left our entire family in its sticky, smelly wake. I need my #grateful moments.

Here’s an example. I swear all I did the other day was raise my voice at my oldest daughter. Everything that came from my mouth erupted in the negative. The day was a blur of no’s, stops and don’ts. Clenched teeth. Hunched-up shoulders. Finger wagging. All. Day.

After bathtime (and dinner — dinner was the worst!), we were both exhausted. We argued over whether she should brush her teeth at which point she eventually locked herself in the bathroom. Later, I had to tell her to stop throwing stuff and then to stop kicking her sister. We couldn’t even.

Cut to bedtime. She whined that it was bedtime, asked for water, a chance to pee again, another story, for a nightlight. At one lovely moment, she told me that I was not invited to her birthday party this year and she was never going to give me anything for Mother’s Day again. Yep. And then, just like that, she only wanted to hold my hand.

I grasped her tiny, baby-soft mitt and within a few minutes, she was asleep. Rather than rush to get up, I took a moment to look down at this hand, this kid, this scene. This small hand has actually gotten bigger over the past five years! 

I thought of how glad I am that this kid isn’t a pushover. She is just as stubborn as my own mom describes me as at this age. She is feisty and spirited, tough, and dramatic. And I love that about her. I will worry about many things when she heads off into the world, but I will not worry about whether she will speak her mind.

Next I thought about our mornings when I’m trying so hard to get us out the door for something and I feel like I’ve had it (I can’t even!) but then I take a moment, a grateful moment. I freeze frame the situation and I witness this totally grown-up kid who wants to zip her own coat, put on her own shoes, and comb her own hair. She wants to do it for herself. Then she wants to help her younger sister do the same. And while that petrifies me in all the right ways because it means she’s becoming more independent and these moments will soon be years and she will not be mine to freeze frame any longer, I am above all grateful for this chance to be here, to be her mom and to have this time.

Here’s another quick one. My youngest is going through a sleep regression. She screams in her crib and kicks the sides in defiance. Sometimes this lasts up to an hour and I have to go back in several times to talk her down. Inevitably, there’s a moment in the dark when I’m whispering to her and she wraps her chubby arms around my neck, nuzzles me, and says something like, “Mommy, I want you.” I know there will be a day when she will probably not want to do this. Come on, can’t you just hear Oprah singing it? “Hashtag! Grateful! Momma!” (#gratefulmom)

What was your most recent “hashtag grateful mom” moment? Share it here. 

Photo: Meredith Franco Meyers