Parenting can be tough and tiring, but there are also many joys. The problem is sometimes the joys can be overshadowed by all the hard work, especially in the first years. One of my besties has twin babies, and I’m so fortunate to get to hear all about her parenting in these early years, as I remember it so vividly with my girls. There are so many baby to dos, household tasks and the general new parenting stress. Parenting is hard. It’s not uncommon to feel overworked, unappreciated, and to blame your partner for not helping enough or not completing the tasks you deem most important. The reality is, your partner may think other tasks are more important, and this can be a breeding ground for resentment.
I believe that you get more of what you focus on, and in these early years, it’s hard to get caught up in the stress. I’m encouraging you to stay focused on the positive, even when you are sleep deprived and all you see are the dirty bottles, the laundry, and the toys everywhere. I’m generally a positive person, but with the work of twin babies, it truly was a challenge to stay positive. I decided early on to practice gratitude as it is a practice, and some days are easier than others. As you progress, the gratitude muscles will get stronger.
Ways You Can Easily Make Gratitude a Part of Your Daily Life
- When I’m driving in the car, I think of all the things that I am grateful for. They can be small like the hugs my kiddos gave me before I left for work, or that my husband emptied the dishwasher or cleaned the kitchen. Once I’ve thought of all these things, I really put myself in a place to feel the gratitude. This usually brings a smile to my face and changes my whole energy.
- I think of people in my life I can be grateful for, and send gratitude to that person. This is a little tougher when driving but just think fondly of the person and how thankful you are for them. I think of this as sending good to someone who has helped or been there for me.
- At dinner as a family we all name one thing we are truly grateful for. The kids do sometimes list a toy, but other times it’s the delicious dinner, or a family member, or a friend from school. Although some of the answers are frivolous, I believe practicing this gratitude helps them recognize how to be thankful, and it is good for our whole family.
- “It’s good because…” We use this saying all the time. If something goes wrong, this saying compels you to come up with a reason why it could be good. It puts the silver lining in everything.
- Lastly, say thank you to those people you love. This one is the toughest because I don’t want to appear sappy all the time. But, in general I want to return the favor, show love, and let those in my life know I care about them. Sometimes this can be as simple as sending a text telling someone why you are thankful for them or maybe picking up a “little something” to show your appreciation for them.
Remember mamas, your vibe changes your whole house! If you are exemplifying gratitude and happiness, so is everyone else… well most of the time.