Lessons in Gratefulness From a 5 Year Old

Holidays… a time of family bonding, rest and relaxation. A time where post-dinner elastic waistbands are not only acceptable, but a way of life, and gluttony is alive and well in its purest form. Hold it! Not if you’re a mom. Crazy, chaotic, and frazzled are more like it. Forget the relentless ten hours of dinner preparation; will you even have time to eat that delicious meal? In between slicing up turkey for your little one, cleaning up gravy spills, and keeping plates loaded high with carbs and cranberry sauce, it’s likely that Thanksgiving will completely pass you by without so much as a thank-you.

Mmm, no thanks. This year I am opting out of the madness. Thanksgiving will be spent at home, just the three of us, with a meal that has been perfectly made to order. Ok, full disclosure, my family lives like 1200 miles away and most of our friends are in another state. But still, the madness that surrounds a holiday meal leaves much to be desired. Seriously, it isn’t for the faint of heart. If Thanksgiving dinner was left up to me, we would eat pizza and drink wine (…yea, it goes with everything…) I don’t need a fancy meal in order to be thankful. In fact, not preparing or cleaning up after a giant feast is what makes me thankful. Much to my dismay, however, my little family thinks otherwise. Very begrudgingly, I ordered a turkey from a local restaurant. Guess we’ll be eating turkey stew, turkey sandwiches, turkey nachos, turkey everything (you know the drill) for the next two weeks. Please hold while I contain my excitement…

And just to be clear, I am not against the tradition of spending time with loved ones. I absolutely love that part of the holidays. I just hate how one-sided everything seems. The guys hang out, drink beer, and watch football, while the women slave away in a hot kitchen (at least, that’s how it is in my family). And here’s the kicker; after dinner is over, the guys retreat back to the living room and the women are left to clean-up! I can’t figure out how they rigged the system so far in their favor, but regardless, I want in.  

But it is Thanksgiving, and I am grateful to be a mom, so in the spirit of sharing-is-caring, I wanted to share a few “blessings-in-disguise” with my fellow mommies…just in case you somehow misconstrued them to be “small annoyances.” (Insert sarcastic grin)  

I am thankful to be a mom because:

I always have someone to give it me straight. From telling me I don’t look “old and crumbly like an elephant’s butt…yet” to asking Grandma why she “is so squishy”, your child will never betray you by telling you how great you look, when in reality, things just aren’t working. On a recent shopping trip to find new workout clothes, my son told me, “…those pants make you look big and yucky.” Thanks buddy. #nofilter

My ego is kept in check. For a few years I single-handedly raised my son, yet Dad was always the superhero. Dad “works harder, is stronger, and is better at football than you Mom.” My son also likes to remind me that my job really isn’t all that important because “…you just push buttons on your computer, which isn’t even hard.” If he only knew... #millennialmomproblems

Even when I’m not working out, I’m working out. I don’t remember what going to the mall childless feels like, or Target, or grocery shopping… but I imagine it feels equivalent to a relaxing afternoon at the beach. Trying to control a small child while running errands or getting tasks accomplished is tougher than one would originally think. I found a strength I never knew I had when forced to carry a kicking, screaming child under one arm and pushing a full shopping cart with the other. I won’t even get into the parking lot “race you to the car” competitions and throw down wrestling matches to get a nice church outfit on. I am pretty sure I burn fifty percent more calories as a mom than my pre-baby self. #fitmom

I never have to be lonely. Having a kid is kind of like signing up for a Siamese twin. Even when you go to the bathroom, you aren’t alone. They want to know what you’re doing, why it’s taking so long, and when you’ll be out. I try to take five minutes to myself in the shower and there my son is, asking me how to build a Lego shark (like seriously, this can’t wait?) And at nighttime I never have to worry about missing my little guy. He comes in at least three times every night to “check on me.” #trustysidekick


So, remember to enjoy your little darlings this holiday season and count your blessings. There are childless parents out there who would give anything to have a messy toddler sticking crayons in the mashed potatoes or making handprints in the pumpkin pie. Yea life is tough sometimes, but so are you. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. 

Have you learned any great life lessons from someone half your size and one-sixth your age? Please share if so! 

If you love Taylor Swift (or even if you hate her), this video sums up how it feels to be a mom somedays. Just know that during this busy (and sometimes overwhelming) holiday season, you are not alone. So perk up buttercup. Grab some caffeine (or a glass of wine) and enjoy.  

These moms are my heroes. See more 'WhatsUpMoms' YouTube videos here.