Why Being a Parent is at the Top of My Gratitude List
I am sitting this morning in the quiet, sipping my coffee, and making a gratitude list. I must admit, it is very long. It is so good for me to actually list what I am thankful for because in my everyday life, I often overlook some of my simple daily blessings. My life with my husband who is best friend and love of my life and our four children and our son-in-law definitely tops my gratitude list. Everyone will be home by Wednesday and the house will be lively. Life is good. I am grateful. This time of year always turns my thoughts to gratitude, and I realize that simply because I am a parent, my blessing cup overflows. Our children have brought me a greater joy than any other aspect of my life. I am grateful for so much in my life, but some of the reasons that I am grateful to be a Mom include:
The Experience of Parenting Love.
From the moment I “fell in love” with each of my children, the definition of love changed. It was a mix of responsibility, awe, pride, exhaustion, frustration and wanting more for them than myself and an immense, heart expanding love. All of this has a overflowed back to me. A total gift…so much more than I have given.
Enjoying the wonder of Life.
Being able to enjoy the moments of childhood wonder again, reliving those moments of awe and magic. Experiencing the world new again, even participating in those school projects that I actually learned more from the 2nd (3rd and 4th) time around! (I finally know the state capitals!) I continue to enjoy the wonder even now as young adults finding their passions in life….the world is completely open to them!
Learning that there is more joy in the accomplishments of your child than in your own.
The greatest pride is in the accomplishments not of yourself but of your child, and the greatest accomplishments are not material but that moment that you realize your child is a wonderful human being. There is nothing better than seeing your child become a caring, passionate, adult you respect.
Remembering the hugs, kisses, smiles, high fives, and “the looks” I have gotten from each of my kids that showed me I was loved. Experiencing now, the “I’m home” hugs as they return home from their world now.
There is nothing like feeling loved. Those beautiful wet toddler kisses, the quick hugs from my teenagers so no one would see, the high fives after a game, the looks from across the room that said “Thanks I love you Mom”, and the wonderful hugs and kisses as they walk in our door now as adults…that is the love I hold in my heart.
Loving my husband more.
Children expanded the love I have for my husband. I loved him with my whole heart before children, but even loved him more and yes maybe differently when I saw him become the amazing Dad he is. I continue to love him more each day in our life as he continues to “father” our children in each season of their lives.
Remembering the sticky fingers, skinned knees, messy bedrooms, late night “emergency talks” and yes loads of college laundry that have made me feel like a Mom. There is nothing like feeling needed….
Kids definitely come with messes…but those messy times hold a special place in my heart. I am so thankful I was the one who was blessed to put the bandages on knees, clean up sticky messes, and work through life’s problems.
Realizing that my children have helped me appreciate my own parents.
Until you are a parent, it is difficult to “get it”. As the years pass, I realize over and over again what sacrifices my own parents made for me; the lessons they taught, the love they lavished, and the roots they gave. I think that by becoming a parent, you realize more the blessing of your own parents. There becomes this special bond…a kind of “parenting club” where you finally “get it”. I am more aware each year of the blessing of my own parents, and am more grateful than ever for their example to me.
Realizing that my children have made me a better person.
Our children have brought me challenges that have made me stronger, they have made me admit my weaknesses and accept them; they have focused me on prayer and have helped me ever expand my capability to love. Yes….each has made me a better person…
Yes, being a parent is at the top of my Gratitude List this Thanksgiving. My heart is full…Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, may your hearts be full of gratitude too.
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.