As I have declared many times before, my purpose here on this earth is to live daily gratitude and to inspire others to do the same. As a mom to a three year old little girl, I find myself challenged to live by my own life philosophy sometimes. It’s been said that the terrible twos have nothing on the terrible threes and as my beautiful child turns three in a few days, I am wondering if there may be some truth to this.
A typical day in our lives has many ups and downs, and I do my best to find gratitude in all situations. Luckily for us, morning wake up is usually very happy. We generally let her wake up on her own, so she’s often smiling and cheerful. Once the blind is open, she’ll say “Thank you for the sunshine!” We’ve been teaching her to say thank you in the morning when she wakes up, and this habit has stuck so far.
Getting dressed and eating breakfast are both somewhat of a challenge, but I am grateful that she does eat in the morning and it’s usually a healthy choice. Except when she asks for cookies for breakfast. That’s where we draw the line. Ok, well maybe the occasional quinoa cookie, cause it’s healthy, right?
Once a week we attend a circus-gymnastics class which she loves. Today was not the case. Toddler tantrums are not fun. Not for the parent, nor the child, nor the people who are around to witness it. I find it difficult to ‘find the gratitude’ in the situation (as I tell so many others to do) when my child refuses to listen and is crying and screaming. I do my best to stay on an even keel and not get angry or raise my voice. And during this time, I am certain not grateful. I find it especially difficult to understand when they seem to have a tantrum for no reason! We ended up leaving the class early because she was no longer participating and simply disrupting the other children.
In the car on the way home, as she continued to scream and cry, I forced myself to breathe and let go of the anger I was feeling at having to leave because of her behaviour. Little does she realize that I enjoy the classes as much as she does as it’s a once a week opportunity to connect with some of my mom friends. Leaving was not fun for me either! And I asked myself, where can I find the gratitude? I decided to focus on other things to be grateful for, such as my car and being able to go to circus class in the first place. By the time we got home, we had both calmed down and she willingly went upstairs for a nap.
What I love about children is that they don’t carry a grudge or hold on to negative emotions. I knew that when she woke up from her nap, she would be right as rain again and her mood would have turned around. When I heard her asking for me a few hours later, I was greeted with smiles and an apology for not listening earlier. It’s easy to be grateful in this moment, right?
There are so many moments with a toddler and my challenge as a parent is to live my purpose while raising a child. I love how she challenges me to find gratitude in all situations during the day, no matter what mood she is in. And I love how there are so many things to be grateful for about our relationship, which makes it easy to let go of the moments when she isn’t an angel.
So, next time your child has a tantrum in a public place (or even if your own home), check in with yourself and manage your own reaction. You may not be able to find the gratitude in the situation, but I promise you that once the storm has passed and you get another hug from your child, it will be much easier to be grateful once again.
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