The hard part to being grateful

This morning I read yet another article cajoling us to be grateful with our lot as parents.  I must admit that sometimes I get heartily tired of reading this claptrap. I’m sorry but to be brutally honest sometimes its bloody hard to be grateful…there are the moments when you have been awake since 3am and its now 6am and you know, you just know you aren’t going to get any sleep and if someone tells you be grateful for this time in life well you might just scream! Be grateful for sticky hands (thanks that was my new top), the sleepless nights (that no concealer can quite conceal) and the fact you don’t have five minutes to yourself.

Attached to this article was a poem that when I first read it (a few months ago) made me well up and hug my rugrat even tighter. Since then I’ve read it on numerous occasions in various moods. Today I read it and thought oh what utter crap! That was the mood I was in. It’s called ‘Once Last Time’ and it is basically about how children are only small for a very short time and that one day it will be the last time you rock them to sleep, the last time you hold their hand and the last time you wipe their s***** bottom (okay I made that last bit up). Essentially the perfect poem to read when you are close to tears and feel like a bad mother. Worry no more this poem will make you feel like one.

Just for the record I know my tiny lady won’t be tiny forever and I am so grateful for her and I would never want this time to just fly by me, unacknowledged and unappreciated. But I can’t pretend I am grateful for every moment or that in the midst of wiping wee off the carpet that I thank my lucky stars. Sometimes it sucks to be a parent. Yes it just sucks. It is like being tortured by a very small, very cute master villain who knows all your weak spots and can bring you to your knees in mere minutes. And sometimes you might want to run very, very far away.

You are not a bad parent for wishing this. You are not a bad parent to long for the day your child can wipe their own s***** bum! Nostalgia can be a dangerous thing. In the midst of whatever our current situation of course you will look back (through rose-tinted glasses) and think oh how I wish I knew how lucky I was back then. This poem is nostalgia at its worst. You may well look back, as an older person, and wish for these days again. But that’s because you will have long forgotten the vomit-filled days and tear-stained nights.

Now if you should read this poem I suggest you mentally tear it up. Don’t attach it to your fridge or burn the words into your brain. Yes we will have lots of ‘one last times’ as parents but we will also have so may firsts. Aren’t these worth celebrating and focusing on instead? They also come with the positive addition of not making you feel guilty!

So give yourself a break, don’t feel guilty that you aren’t ms. or mr. grateful one hundred per cent of the time. None of us are.


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