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A lesson in gratitude: a touching post on how to live in the moment as a mom

gratitude and motherhood

The cup of juice slips, crashes, splashes… juice splatters on every conceivable surface.

The muddy boots of small feet hurriedly romp onto the living room carpet just seconds before you yell, “Take those shoes off!”

The home-office is piled high with an assortment of children’s drawings, miscellaneous receipts, junk mail and last week’s newspaper. You think the folder containing the plan for the school carnival will balance on top, but you’re wrong. The entire pile spills like a waterfall over the edge and onto the floor.

The husband comes home… 30 minutes late.

I feel quite sure that you can add your own annoyances and mishaps to the list. (I could fill a book.)

These types of daily incidents are the stuff of life. This “stuff” makes me want to pull my hair out, or on a more dramatic day, wish I were in another country, sitting on the beach with a cool drink in hand and taking a light nap while the sea breeze gentle caresses  my face. (Insert your own daydream.)

But what about the good stuff?

The sweet, sleepy smile asking for that cup of juice.

The giggles of delight from splashing in mud puddles.

The life that allows you the luxury of a home office, regardless of clutter.

The husband who comes home. (Because someone is grieving a husband who didn’t.)

A few years ago I discovered a challenge to “count your blessings.” When I was cleaning out a basket last month I found a notebook with a list numbered up to 164. That was my first attempt at tracking thanks.

Cotton-candy sunset.

Little girl talking in her sleep.

Snuggles on the couch.

Toys scattered on the floor.

Are you surprised at that last one? It turns out when you start focusing on things you have to be thankful for you find them even in the least likely of places. Anyone with a teenager can tell you they remember toys around the house with a certain measure of fondness!

The problem is today. It’s hard in the moments (that can feel like days) to focus on the good that we have all around us. I was able to change my own attitude by taking up my notebook again. One hundred and sixty five. That started my journey of thankfulness again among the muck of today.

Want to know what happened?

The dirt and drudgery hasn’t stopped, but all of the lovely things I have to be thankful for make the burdens feel lighter. Counting my reasons for thanks… being able to hold them and read them… has changed my disposition.

Do you need an attitude adjustment?

I’d like to suggest a simple three-step plan: 1) Find a notebook. 2) Pick-up a pen. 3) Start listing all that you have to be thankful for.

Jenna lives in Littleton with her favorite man, Mark (watch out – he will hug you) and two fun kids, Zoe (the 11-year-old who already {thinks she} knows more than her mother) and Eli (the sleep-walking 8-year-old). You’ll find her out for coffee with a friend when she’s not trying to keep the hubs and kids alive.

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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  1. Wonderful post and perfect for the first day of spring! I’m thankful for sunshine and I’m going to lunch at my favorite restaurant with my besties!

  2. Also, I’ve been really really trying to not sweat the small stuff and it helps me with life’s day-to-day annoyances. Kids are messy and I’m constantly reminding myself that yes, it’s important to teach them to pick up after themselves but someday I’ll be missing those windows with finger smudges on them.

  3. This is so sweet!

  4. Thanks, Amber and Melissa!

  5. So many times I need to readjust my perspective. Thanks Jenna!

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