It is so easy for moms to fall into the habit of saying “I should be grateful for __________________ (fill in the blank).” Gratitude is one of those beautiful transformative powers. It is also a double edge sword we yield against ourselves.
Not being grateful “enough” is one more way to point out to ourselves how we are not measuring up. Although finding gratitude for our blessings has the ability to transform the darkest moments, NOT finding gratitude has it’s benefits as well.
When things aren’t going the way we would most like them to be, staying aggravated/peeved/pissed off or sad keeps all the other needy people in our life at bay. It also gets the people around us that don’t normally step up to the plate to start stepping up to the plate.
There are real, valuable needs that are met by holding onto what I call the gratitude grumpies.
But we also lose a lot in the process – mostly we are stuck feeling grumpy.
So what is the solution?
1. Acknowledge how your gratitude grumpies are serving you and see if you can meet those needs some other way. Perhaps saying “no” a few more times to other people’s needs would lighten your load. Maybe asking for help is the way to go.
2. Forget about feeling gratitude. Lean toward appreciation. Gratitude carries heavy weight for many of us – as if we are beholden to someone (even a higher being) for granting us that for which we are grateful. Appreciation is gentler. For example, it can feel much lighter to say “I appreciate this sunset” versus “I am grateful for this sunset.”
3. If #1 & #2 aren’t working for you, then do your grumpies up big! Exaggerate the misery you are feeling until you can laugh at yourself. When all else fails, laughter is the best medicine and it is also a very high form of appreciation!
I’m not suggesting you don’t have a reason to feel stressed/overwhelmed/angry. I KNOW you have reasons to feel all of those emotions. I wouldn’t imply you “should” do anything in particular. I simply want what is best for you.
I know what an amazing mother you are. I know what a powerful woman you are. I see your beauty. I know your pain. And at the end of the day, you deserve to see the bounty that lies at your feet. Not because you SHOULD. But because it is what you DESERVE!