Giving Thanks for the Little Things

Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump
Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump

Every Thanksgiving when we all think about what we’re thankful for, we usually focus on the biggies: our health, our families, our jobs. I’m thankful for all of those things, but let’s not overlook the little stuff. As a mom, I am ever so grateful for anything that makes life easier. Here are four:

People who know when to stay mum. When I was pregnant, I was thankful to all those women who didn’t tell me their labor horror stories. There weren’t many. Now that I’ve given birth twice, I understand how difficult it is to overcome the powerful impulse to share your birth stories with anyone who will listen, especially a pregnant woman. But as an already anxious mom-to-be, I was grateful when strangers, especially, kept the gory details to themselves.

Thoughtful new-mom gifts. Once I got home from the hospital, I was so thankful to people who showed up with food. Baby clothes are cute and all, but what a new mom really wants is to not have to worry about dinner. One woman I didn’t even know that well showed up with an entire meal including salad and dessert, in disposable dishes I didn’t have to wash or return. Also, she made me promise I wouldn’t even think about writing her a thank-you note. That was awesome.

Babysitters. I love the heck out of my kids, but every mom needs a break now and then. There is no greater gift than a patient, loving caregiver — paid or unpaid, related to you or not — who will happily rock your colicky baby, cut up your toddler’s food the exact right way, or play endless games of Candyland with your preschooler. I am always refreshed and grateful after a few hours away.

Sleep. It took both of my babies close to a year before they slept through the night. Brutal. Even now, they don’t do it consistently. So for every morning that I wake up on my own, and well-rested, I am thankful. It still feels like a miracle every time.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of laughter, food, family and friends, followed by a good night’s sleep!

What little things are you thankful for this year?