10 Things I am grateful for in Motherhood
I am blessed with two healthy and happy kids, good health, a kind husband and a wonderfully loving family but recently I have got to thinking about some of the little things I’m grateful for, that are extra precious since becoming a mum:
I’ll start with the most obvious. As a parent of two young children I yearn for long stretches of unbroken sleep at night. My son is 22 months old now and would probably be defined as a ‘poor sleeper’ as he wakes up 1-2 times a night for ‘cuddles’ while my daughter who is 4 is currently ‘scared of the dark’ and wants to jump into our bed in the middle of the night. Combine that with them both being early risers (6am guys !) which means having a full night of uninterrupted sleep is something I am looking forward to in about 10 years time ! That said, there was one night a couple weeks ago – when my gorgeous girl and boy slept from 8.30pm until 7am. I slept 8 hours that night guys. 8 HOURS! I wish I could say that was the start of a new chapter in our sleep story; unfortunately it was not. But I am super grateful for those random ‘special nights’ of unbroken sleep. They give a me hope.
2. Hot tea or coffee
I’m generally a green tea girl and a lukewarm green tea isn’t so gross in my opinion, but there are days where only coffee will do and a lukewarm coffee really is gross. But caffeine is caffeine. My kids seem to have a sixth sense as to when my coffee is at the temperature for prime drinking enjoyment. That’s when my daughter decides she wants me to help her to sharpen all the pencils in her arts and crafts box or my son starts removing the compost from the plant pots in the patio and bringing it into the kitchen to play. That’s when not only the dream of enjoying a hot ‘pick me up’ beverage quickly dies but is also forgotten amongst all the chaos. Disclaimer: tea or coffee - always best enjoyed hot
3. Available cashiers at the supermarket
One of my favourite activities to do with my kids is to take them to the supermarket with me. I realise a lot of mums do not enjoy this but my idea is - make it fun, make it quick and always get them a ‘reward snack’ for good behaviour. That said, one thing I cannot tolerate in a supermarket is waiting in a long queue with young kids. As soon as movement stops and we are in waiting mode, thats when things start to get a little tough. My almost-two year old pokes at everything within reach – even the stuff in other people’s carts – and my four year old daughter can ask the most awkward questions like - Mama, which shop lady is going to help us? Is it the one with the orange hair, she looks kind.... ummmmm ok. When I get to the checkout and see a cashier wave at me to indicate that her lane is open and ready, it’s literally like THANK YOUUUUUUUU.
4. Alone time at home
Pre-kids, this is something I took for granted in a big way. Taking long naps or baths or both. Seeing a task through to completion in one sitting. Texting, guilt-free. Tending to my home. Post-kids, I am always in standby mode. At any given moment, one or both of my children might need me, so I find it difficult to fully immerse myself in whatever it is I’m doing. So when my husband declares that he is going to take the kids to grandmas house, the blinds come down, the popcorn gets popped and I netflix and chill. For all of 60-90 minutes but I’m not complaining, that is almost 2 full episodes of This Is Us!
5. Clothing with pockets
Picture this: Me, trying to get the kids out of the car, baby bag on my back, baby boy in my arms, phone in the elastic waistband of my leggings, my water bottle held between my chin and my neck, and the free hand opening the door to take out my daughter when .... smash. Iphone 12 down. Post this incident, about six months ago I bought a pair of khaki dungarees with a middle (nice sized) pocket just where the chest is and two normal pockets either side of the waist. My husband and my sister both laughed and said I would never wear it. Well hey, it is my go to Sunday ensemble. I literally feel it is one of my best clothing investments (30 euros from Zara guys!) I have bought two more ever since.
6. Someone else planning mealtime
I don’t mind cooking. I actually quite enjoy it. But I loathe meal planning. And I mean loathe. I try to make sure that I don’t cook separate meals for everyone, I think it is important for my kids to learn to eat the same food mum and papa eat but that means I am left to do the meal planning alone and I have to take into consideration the needs and likes of: an easy eater (me), a picky husband who some days wants more carbs and some days more protein all depending on how his gym workout is that day, a 4-year-old who, if she had it her way, would eat nothing but Chinese noodles and watermelon for the rest of her life and a 22 month old who started off as a good eater but is all of a sudden the worlds number one food regurgitator. If someone – anyone – would just hand me a meal plan that made everyone in my family happy at the same time, I would gladly cook away all day.
7. My friends with kids
Parenting is by far the strangest and wildest adventure I have ever been on in my life. Thank the lord for all my mama friends right here with me! They get it when I talk about how heavy and all-consuming the responsibility can sometimes feel. It’s those same people who can relate to the intense joy that comes with being a parent. They understand the relationship strains, the total exhaustion, the changes in priorities. My mama friends know how long the days can feel with little ones, but also how shockingly fast the time goes. The connection and support that I get from my mama tribe has kept me afloat during some very dark days. Their collective knowledge, experiences, and encouragement are better than anything I could ever hope to find on Google. I am eternally grateful to have them in my life.
8. My friends without kids
These are my lifesavers. They are reminders to me of the person I was pre-kids. Even though whole months sometimes pass, during which I am too consumed by the tornado that is motherhood to reach out and say hi, they are always there for me, ready to pick up the conversation right where we left off. They bring me back to the days before kids and make me realize how far I have come on this journey, that I am still me but just growing everyday.
9. Good weather
I am fortunate to live in a place where the sun shines about 90% of the year. That is island life for you. It means we get to be outdoors a lot without much chance of it raining. I am grateful for this because - You know what rainy days mean to a mama with two little ones? Mess. They mean catastrophic mess. Without the option to go outside it means my kids stay home turning our playroom, patio, kitchen and bedrooms upside down. As I am a strict mama about screen time it means playtime indoors with two infants who leave trails of destruction wherever they go. So those looonnnnnnnng days trapped indoors due to bad weather do make me extra appreciative of the days we can get outside to play and explore and not have to tidy up a tornado mess indoors!
Life with kids can be loud. Sometimes the noise is pleasant – laughter and singing and make-believe play. And sometimes not so pleasant, like when my son bangs his head walking into a door or at dinner time when my daughter wants her pink coloured Hello Kitty spoon instead of her purple Frozen one (of course). That noise I could do without. I don’t think I appreciated silence enough before I became a parent. I didn’t even notice the silence. But now I do. I notice it, and love every moment of it, no matter if it only lasts a few minutes