We are told to be so grateful, to cherish every moment, to love every single inch of motherhood. Babies don’t keep, and soon they will be walking. The toddler years fly by. Suddenly they will be off to school and driving and staying out late and heading off to college. We are told they will be all grown up in a blink. In some moments, this sounds like great news. But mostly we just feel it looming over us, like a scary, unfamiliar event that is about to happen, one that we know is coming but can’t begin to prepare for.
So we try to cherish it all, every moment. And then milk gets spilled on the new couch, we find marker on the wall and we realize we’ve been walking around all day with spit-up in our hair. We showered yesterday and probably weren’t going to get another one in today, so this is very bad news.
None of these are the moments we would like to cherish. And the ability to find gratitude here may completely lost on us. We are perfectly ok with these moments flying by.
But there is something very important to remember about gratitude in motherhood: this is a journey, and without the downs, we wouldn’t fully appreciate the ups. And these little ones who are on this ride with us, they are figuring it all out for the first time. They are looking to us for guidance to help them shape their lens of the world. How will they react to situations? How will they see others? How will the respond when life gets hard? How will the celebrate the beautiful moments? We are helping them to shape this in everything we do.
So celebrate the happy moments, cherish those times when motherhood is easy and beautiful. Then breathe deeply and embrace the hard times too. Find the learnings in them, find the chance to show your child something new, something important. Teach your child how to navigate both sides of this world with grace and gratitude. What an amazing gift to give them.