Thursday, 22 January 2015

grateful for family: 10 things which are great about my family

I've been away for a while. I've been busy decorating my daughter's room (doesn't that always take longer than you expect), and getting the house tidy again. This morning I took for bags to the charity shop, so I'm feeling virtuous.

I'm  so happy to be back at my writing desk (otherwise known as the kitchen table), with my third instalment of the gratitude challenge. This week it's all about family.

As a mother, the first thought that pops into my head is my children. I have three of them, and was at my wits end with them last night when my husband got home. We had had major battles over various homeworks and sharing issues. I was fed up. My husband turned into the laughing elf and told me how wonderful I was, how wonderful the tea smelled, and how lovely our home was. I growled at him and offered him a hat with bells on. And he said: 
"you know, the trouble with our kids, is that they have our genes" 
He was right, and that's hardly their fault is it?

So, what am I grateful for?

1. My children have shown me how strong I can be, just by coming into the world. The first was difficult, to say the least, the second was relatively easy, and a wonderful experience, the third. Well, I came to terms with dying while having the third. I rapidly learnt a lot about trust, how brilliant health professionals can be in a crisis, and about compromise. A caesarian wasn't my first choice, but it was the right choice in the circumstances, and hey, I didn't die.

2. I am very lucky. My children's bodies all work as they are supposed to do, and they are healthy. I am profoundly grateful for that.

3. Talking of bodies, I may be completely biased, but I think my children are beautiful, and perfect. There was an occasion when I picked up my youngest and said 'oh you're just perfect'. My mum was there and couldn't quite agree, 'well she is a bit chubby' she noted. She was chubby, mum was right. She was chubby and perfect. That realisation helped me feel a lot better about my own body, and helped me keep in perspective concerns over my appearance, and I'm grateful for that.

4. We've moved a lot in recent years, and it can be difficult to make friends in new places. Children make it an awful lot easier, and most of my friends now are the mothers of my children's friends. I'm grateful to them for helping my children feel at home quickly, and for having the space in their lives for me too.

5. Moving our family has helped ensure we support each other, which makes us all stronger and more resilient. It also means that we look out for each other more. I'm grateful for that.

6. Because of moving around we've had to do without family support most of the time, so now that we do have it I really appreciate it. While we lived in rainy town my mum would come up to help out for a few days at a time, which was great. Now we're lucky enough to see my husbands parents every week. It is good for me to have the support, but it's also great for the children to have more grown ups involved in their lives.

7. I'm now too far away from my family for people to pop up, unfortunately, but we still get to see them for family holidays and in the shared school holidays. I'm really grateful for their keeping in touch, and for the fun and laughter we have together, as well as the miles they travel.

Me, by the big girl
(Daddy's is less
8. I'm grateful to my children for making me come at things from different angles, and try new things (although I don't often feel grateful at the time). They're helping me to learn in practice that there are many ways up one mountain.

9. I'm grateful to my children for the interest they show in me. They don't like me taking time out, but they're proud of my achievements in writing and the choir, and they often tell me things they like about me. Even the non-huggy ones.

The little girl and me
10. Which brings us on to the hugs. My youngest sucks at staying in her bed all night, but she excels at hugs and kisses. I'm making the most of them while I can get them (and I've forced the older ones to accept one kiss on the head, because manners cost nothing). I love hugs and kisses, so thanks for those.

I keep wanting to add a caveat saying my husband is great too. But he was last week. Sorry chum!

So, what are you grateful about when it comes to your family?