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The True Meaning Of Gratitude

posted in: Motherhood | 0

Andy Broadbear

When you’re knee deep in nappies, surviving on minimal sleep, struggling through days of toddler tantrums or scoffing at the idea of “me time”, it’s hard to appreciate your position. Finding gratitude in life’s circumstances when life appears to be serving you lemons is a challenge.

Lately, I’ve found myself exploring this idea of finding gratitude for my life. My kids, a 4 year old and a 15 mth old, are running rings around me. Never a day goes by without a series of toddler tantrums, obstacles in the routine that I’m trying desperately to create and the constant feeling of wanting to tear my hair out. But regardless of how tough my days feel, I won’t allow myself to be anything but truly grateful for where I am.

I may be running around after two crazy kids, but I have two wonderful, healthy children in my life. I may find my husband’s work schedule frustrating, but we live comfortably and he’s truly supportive. At times I may feel alone with no family living close by, but I know that when push comes to shove they’ll be there when I need them.

If I have particularly hard days where I begin to question my resolve, I simply think of all the women who are not lucky enough to be living in this chaos. Who would give anything to be suffering through sleepless nights. To be tearing their hair out over broken routines. To be dealing with a demanding toddler. I simply think of all the women who desperately want to take on the challenges of motherhood, and can’t.

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognising and appreciating what we do have.

~ Frederick Koenig

One of these brave women is my close friend. Due to circumstances beyond her control, and a condition her husband has, she has no choice but to engage IVF to get pregnant. She’s attempting to have children later than she would have liked and despite a consistently positive attitude, of which I will always admire her for, she’s experiencing heartbreak after heartbreak.

Every time we catch up and she gives me a run down of the latest tests, costs, procedures and near misses. It’s absolutely heart wrenching. I’m trying not to feel guilty about my position, and she wouldn’t want me to, but I can show her respect by being grateful for where I am.

Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment.

This week at YogaMamas we’re exploring the theme ‘appreciate’. To be honest, when I started to think about what this meant to me, my first thought was about “feeling appreciated”. How often as mamas do we feel unappreciated for all that we do. We slave and give all of ourselves for our kids constantly and often feel little reward.

Well, perhaps that’s a case of mindset too.

How can we hope to feel appreciated when we don’t appreciate what’s around us. This doesn’t mean stop the complaining, everyone needs a good vent every now and again. But don’t let it blindsight you. Don’t let it overshadow the truth of what you truly have.

To be appreciated is nice, but to appreciate is powerful.