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Challenge: Gratitude & Giving

Love, patience and perspective: Things I'm grateful for this holiday season

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Today I looked at my first born… and saw a kid. I touched my middle boy’s cheek… and savored his soft baby skin. And looked at my youngest …and realized he’s embarking on toddlerhood. My sons are growing up beautifully, but rapidly; the passing of time is out of my control.

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As the holidays approach I could go on and on about why I am thankful to be a mom; but instead, I am going to reflect on what my boys are teaching me, as I am extremely grateful for the lessons I have learned (and continue to learn) since becoming a mother.

1. Patience

This is obvious for every parent — kids take patience, especially when you have three kids under five. I strive to keep my cool, remembering my children are babies and are learning things for the first time, but sometimes, I snap. Granted, I cringe every time my toddler throws his food on the floor, takes forever to clean his toys, refuses to nap, and won’t sleep at night, but I’m embracing being calm. Sure, I raise my voice, and it pains me when I do, but I’m a work in progress, trying to bite my tongue when I repeat myself a million times to no avail.

I am grateful to provide my kids with a peaceful environment.

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2. Priorities

I’ve learned the true meaning of priority. Things that once meant the world to me don’t seem as important anymore. I’ve morphed into a blessed WAHM and wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d rather toast wine to my son’s apple juice than party at a bar. I take 30-second showers and sport yoga clothes because my getting ready alone time has since diminished (and I don’t do yoga). I continue to endure sleepless nights rocking my baby, knowing he sleeps better in my arms. Once admittedly kind of selfish, I’ve learned to be selfless when it comes to loving and tending to my children.

I am grateful I have gained perspective.

3. Affection

I’ve always been rather affectionate, but my children have taught me I hold a magic power: a mother’s touch. There’s nothing like hugging my children and having them hug me back. Their snuggles are priceless. They come to me when they’re hurt, when they’re sick, when they seek validation, or when they crave comfort.

I am grateful to act as a rock in their lives.

4. My child within

I suck at singing, but I sing to my kids every day. I’m not the best dancer, but dancing is part of our daily routine. I was a little intimidated by becoming a boy mom, but as it turns out, I’m damn good at building Thomas the train tracks. It’s really fun being a mom — having children has given me the opportunity to re-experience childhood; sing songs my mom once sang to me, and do things I once did with my sisters. They’ve re-instilled in me a sense of innocence.

I am grateful to reconnect with my inner child.

5. Resilience, Independence, and Creativity

I’ve always had a determined persona, but my children have taught me a different degree of resilience. My oldest is a thoughtful thinker and loves to decipher how things work. He is persistent in helping me do everything: the laundry, cook, clean, etc. — his sense of “I can do this” amazes me. He also encumbers a unique, creative spirit that I find so admirable- dressing up in capes and Captain Hook hats; I applaud his imagination. Then there’s my middle, who can sit at his train table for hours, constructs brilliant Lego concoctions, and loves tenderly and truly. And finally- my baby, who yearns to be part of the boys; tries to do everything they do with confidence and ease.

I am grateful to witness such dedication among my children.

6. Brotherly love

Sure, they argue, they wrestle, and they tease, but the love I see among my boys is a beautiful thing. They hug one another. Laugh with one another. Talk among each other. Kiss and snuggle one another. Hold hands. Look out for another. They really are best friends, and there’s nothing better than watching your children bond, and it’s a constant reminder that family is so very important.

I am grateful my boys have given me a newfound sense of family.

7. Unconditional love

You knew this was coming. Never before did I know a love like this was possible. I pray every night my children will lead happy, safe, and healthy lives—there’s nothing I want more. My boys have given me purpose—they are sweet, forgiving and kind little souls. My love for them is so deep, so pure, and so real. I now it’s possible to love something so much, it actually hurts.

I am grateful I have been given the gift of true love.

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