I’m standing in the middle of my kitchen almost ready to have a complete meltdown. My sink is overflowing with dishes that haven’t been washed in days and the kitchen floor is covered with sticky, leftover juice spots that spilled but were not properly wiped clean. I can barely walk through my living room, where all of my furniture is covered with blankets and sheets tied together to make, what my kids call, a fort. In the hallway are half-built Lego block castles waiting for someone, most likely me, to painfully step on or trip over. At the bottom of the stairs is another obstacle—a play “nest” consisting of blankets, pillows, and an odd jumble of objects from around the house.
Some days I just don’t know if I have the strength to keep going, but this time of year I am always reminded of thankfulness. It’s easy to focus on things that are going wrong when life is much harder than you ever imagined. The chaos that comes with three young kids can test your limits. During these times, I remind myself that this is just a phase and it will get easier. But most importantly, I choose to make a mental list of things that I’m thankful for.
I’m thankful for my oldest daughter, Ella. Her positive energy and sense of humor is a gift to us all. She loves to make her little brother laugh when he’s on the verge of a meltdown or when he’s fallen and hurt himself. She’s become quite a little nurturer with her baby sister and shows incredible maturity for her age.
- I’m thankful for my son, Connor, who absolutely adores his little baby sister. I can already predict that he will be her protector as she grows up. I’m thankful that he is still little enough to allow me to kiss and cuddle him when I need it most. His pat-on-the-back hugs are the best.
- I’m thankful for my baby daughter, Olivia, who greets me with a bright, beautiful smile each morning. Just looking at her melts all of my stress away and brings me back to the realization of how blessed I am to be the mother to these three amazing human beings.
As I list the things that I’m thankful for, my current concerns and worries are wiped clean and I’m able to move forward with renewed energy. This exercise is so effective in changing my attitude and outlook that it will help me continue being thankful beyond the Thanksgiving season.