A few years ago, at a time of desperation after my second child was born (more on how 1 child + 1 child felt like 85 children here), I signed up for an online course that truly changed my life. It was Shawn Fink’s Abundant Mama online program. And it truly helped me begin to find the abundance in life amidst some pretty crushing overwhelm.
Taking that course started me on a path to adopting a daily gratitude practice, which had a profound effect on my perspective on motherhood. I’m now a huge fan of The Five Minute Journal, which has wonderful prompts for both a morning and evening gratitude practice.
This Mother’s Day, I wanted to step back and reflect on the many things I’m grateful for in motherhood. Here are my top 50. I know there are at least a few thousand more.
50 Things I’m Grateful for This Mother’s Day
- My amazing redheaded boys, who made me a mother.
- My remarkable husband, who is truly an “all-in parent” in this raising kids thing.
- The women who have mothered me throughout my life.
- The health of my family.
- That I didn’t have to choose between having a career and becoming a mother.
- A challenging job with flexibility and autonomy, making this working mama thing possible.
- A wonderfully supportive and engaged community of Mindful Return alums, and their openness and vulnerability in the Mindful Return program.
- Mother Earth.
- The parents in my firm’s Parent Professional Network.
- My working mama posse.
- My son’s recent question: “Mommy, are boys allowed to be lawyers?” (Ha!)
- The 5,726 paper airplanes that are currently all over my living room floor, hand crafted with love by my youngest son.
- The ability to have created life.
- All the skills motherhood has taught me, that are also useful in my career.
- That motherhood led me to slow down and appreciate more of the small things in life.
- The financial ability to have taken two maternity leaves (even when not fully paid for by my company).
- The amazing teachers at my children’s daycare center, who loved them from the time they were babies.
- My children’s elementary school teachers, music teachers, and coaches.
- That motherhood gives me the “excuse” to play.
- Rediscovering my love of the piano through my son’s own interest in it.
- The chance to be a DC sports fan.
- The opportunity to be an entrepreneur.
- Motivation to have screen-free parts of my day.
- A new way of connecting with people.
- Healthy, uncomplicated births and the opportunity to breastfeed.
- Baby cuddles.
- That my 7 year old still ran into my arms when I picked him up from his aftercare program today, and that he’s still little enough for me to have swung him around in the air when he did it.
- The chance to re-read some kids book classics, and learn new ones.
- Having strawberries blown on my belly, resulting in my own fits of giggles.
- The grey hairs and smile lines that tell me I’ve been through something huge.
- My boys’ growing independence…they can wash their own hair!!!
- Being inspired to confront my own emotions and demons, so I can be a good teacher for my boys.
- Bonding with friends over motherhood experiences.
- My Hineni mama posse.
- Date nights.
- Being awoken by a maraca + happy birthday serenade on my special day.
- Watching my kids learn to swim.
- Learning how to “rip” a Beyblade.
- Having a renewed appreciation for consecutive hours of sleep and my pillow.
- Wonderful neighborhood families.
- The alley behind our house where kids from the block gather to play.
- The mamas in my Mindful Return accountability group.
- All the perinatal professionals out there.
- My daily yoga practice, which was first inspired by my experience with prenatal yoga.
- Medela steam clean bags.
- The Fisher Price Rock N Play Sleeper.
- Chef Geoff and Nora O’Donnell’s amazing baby food cook book, Baby Love, (which lives on through our boys’ daily consumption of pureed sweet potato).
- Snuggles. (As distinguished from cuddles, listed above.)
- My kids’ insatiable curiosity, which always prompts me to learn new things.
- More laughter and love in my life than ever before.
Much love to you all this Mother’s Day. May you soak in the wonderful joys of life and celebrate yourself for the beautiful, wise women you are.
If you need more help getting your head in a better place to return to work after maternity leave, join us for the next session of Mindful Return.
Want more practical tips on working parenthood? Check out my book, Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave.