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Challenge: Keeping Your Cool

Here's why gratitude is hard

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Here's why gratitude is hard...

This morning I woke up later than I had planned.

I had all the intention in the world to wake up between 5:00 and 5:15 am so that I could practically guarantee myself at least an hour of morning 'me time.'

But after a night that involved

all three children waking up at separate times in the middle of the night,

me loaning my bed spot to my eldest,

laying with my son on the couch,

and then rounding out the night in my toddler's tiny bed with said toddler,

I was not well-rested or invested in a peaceful rising as opposed to more sleep.

So, when I finally got my overeating biscuit out of bed, my tiniest tyke decided she would do the same.

Not long after we woke up, so did two of three, and then the third, and now Mommy was "ON" for the rest of the day.

Can you put a show on?
Can I have some milk?
What can I have for breakfast?
Can I have some orange juice?
I'm still hungry.
What are we doing today?
I don't want to do that!
Can I have some more milk?

And so I yell, "There is no more [freakin'] milk because you drink too much milk all of the time!”

And then I walked my now-feeling-really-guilty self to the kitchen to pour her some more milk and deliver it to the little monkey along with an apology --
for my piss poor attitude,

how easily I agitate,

and for being frustrated with my children over the things they don't have

much control over like

having trouble sleeping and feeling hungry and thirsty

-- how dare they?

It is tough to feel grateful when you feel rushed and needed all of the time, and since mid-March, thanks to this dang pandemic we're all facing, the demand for me and all the things I do has been ungodly high.

So, my hope was that I would wake up early today and try my hand at some meditation and that perhaps I could/would head into this mid-week day feeling a bit lighter, balanced, appreciative, and purpose-filled.

I didn't wake up early -- I just told you all that.

But, I still did try to meditate, and do you know what happened?

My four-year-old just couldn't take not sitting in my criss-cross-applesauce lap any longer, and she propped herself down in the middle of it.

And, exactly what I didn't think I needed

-- an over-affectionate, touchy child all over me while I *tried* to relax --

turned out to be precisely what I needed.

Because here's why gratitude is easy --


Children who, though they require so much from you, only really need and want one thing:

your love,

your light,

and, occasionally, your back or your lap.

This face.

Her face.

The faces of her bother and sister.

They make feeling grateful easy.

How can anyone not be thankful for miracles they get to call their own and share adventures with?

This motherhood journey has been just that, a journey, and way harder than I could have ever imagined, but also so much more damn fulfilling than I could have ever thought or hoped.

Just because gratitude is hard, doesn't mean its not present.

And, just because you are present, doesn't mean you are grateful.

Work on both when you can, but be understanding of yourself when you're not capable of being both grateful and present at the same time.

Life is so much easier and better when we give grace to ourselves and others, making the hard times a bit lighter and the good times that much sweeter.

It's in the smiling eyes of our children that we can see the magnitude of the beauty that's right with us

in our homes,

our arms,

sitting in our laps,

and climbing on our backs.

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