This is the month of thankfulness, when we are supposed to be basking in our blessings, but I’m going to rebel and whine a little instead. Thank you for humoring me.
Sometimes life is just difficult. Like when we don’t have enough money to buy the pricey hypoallergenic formula for the baby, and we have to decide what we can live without. It’s usually something like new underwear for Mommy. I am almost 6 months postpartum and still have not made the leap into correctly-fitting undergarments. It’s just one of those things I keep putting off because it’s going to require time and money, and now I finally understand how some people just don’t ever make that leap. I WILL make it … eventually. It’s just taking much longer than what makes sense, and I have a suspicion that ill-fitting underwear is probably a big part of why my life seems difficult.
Some of my other, more minor difficulties are things like when nighttime diapers don’t do their job, when the grocery cart hits a big bump in the parking lot and I spill Peppermint Latte all over my toddler, when my kindergartener drops the mail in the street and all of our bills start to blow away (actually, maybe I should have let that happen) or when the dishwasher breaks and I have to hand-wash everything. Because I have a lot of free time to do that.
I can get bogged down very quickly in lots of little life problems that eventually seem to roll into an insurmountable heap. It starts to feel like everyone else’s children are calmer than mine, their husbands are home more often, they have more money and nicer homes and as a result of all of this … absolutely perfect lives. Their boobs probably stand up on their own and they have a Jacuzzi instead of a too-small 1980’s tub that is impossible to submerge in BECAUSE EVERYTHING ABOUT THEIR LIFE IS EASY.
I know it’s stupid. So, so stupid. All of this sounds absolutely ridiculous, but my point is that it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of self-pity from time to time. I know because I’m very good at it. Thankfully, I have people in my life who know the right things to say to help me snap out of it when I go too deep.
I have this magnet on my fridge, and I love what it says:
My parents gave it to me, and I think the reason I like it so much is because it reminds me to be thankful for my life – ALL OF IT – every time I open the refrigerator. It also reminds me to be particularly grateful for whatever trials I might be facing that day, because they will keep me strong. I need that. Being a mother requires a deep kind of inner strength that is refined every time something difficult happens, starting with childbirth.
My petty problems, my wild children and my old underwear are all shaping me into one tough chick. So, at the risk of sounding Pollyanna-ish, I just want to say that today I am thankful. I’m thankful for my too-small tub, my screaming children, my broken dishwasher and chipped nails. I’m thankful for my trials, successes, faith and determination … because all of it adds up to happiness. And I do have a lot of that.