It's that time of year again where I reflect on all the things that I am grateful for. Being a parent has helped me to not take things for granted and to appreciate many simple moments in life. Here is a list of the top 10 things that I've learned to be thankful for since I became a mother.
1. The value of a good night's sleep. Seriously, I had never known true exhaustion until I became a parent. Now that my children sleep soundly through the night, I thank my lucky stars for eight hours of uninterrupted bliss. Without it, I turn into a crazy person.
2. A closed bathroom door. It's rare that I spend time powdering my nose without a child following me in there. Oh, but those moments that I do escape are so beautiful, even if both of my children throw themselves against the door repeatedly until I emerge.
3. Other mothers. They laugh with you. They cry with you. They give you sympathetic looks when your child throws a temper tantrum in public. I thank God every day for the friendships I've made with other moms. We all need a support system.
4. Wild rumpuses. I love that my house is loud and that my children feel free to be themselves within those walls. I am grateful that at the end of the day, toys are scattered everywhere from pretend play. My home has never felt so full.
5. Watching my husband become a father. I feel so blessed when I see my man being a good dad. There is something terribly sexy about a man who reads bedtime stories with silly voices.
6. The importance of self care. Since becoming a mom, I've learned the value of a hot shower, lipstick and clean clothes. A woman can only live so long with greasy hair until she starts to feel like the troll from Three Billy Goats Gruff. And we all know what happened to him at the end the story.
7. Going to the grocery store alone. I never imagined that taking a solo trip to the market would one day feel like a day at the spa. My favorite thing to do is glide down the empty aisle with my shopping cart and stop at the magazine section to read the latest gossip magazines in silence. Pure heaven.
8. School presentations. Nothing can make my heart melt like watching my child sing a little song or perform in a class play. One year my older son played the role of Squanto in the Thanksgiving play at school and it just about did me in. I always get verklempt and end up wiping my tears with my sleeve while I clap.
9. The importance of family traditions. I'm addicted to decorating our fireplace mantel for the holidays because I know that the children look forward to it. I want them to remember that our home was always covered in glitter or that we listened to Elvis' Christmas Album each year when we put ornaments on the Christmas tree. It's a privilege to craft a childhood for my kids.
10. Hearing my children say "I love you, Mom." At the end of a crazy day, when I just want to collapse on the couch from exhaustion, there is nothing more rewarding than hearing those four words escape from my kids' lips.
What are some things that parenthood has taught you to be thankful for? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.