Ask yourself what you take for granted every day and the list is pretty long. I always think of this when I see that saying on Facebook or Pinterest that reads, “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?” The first time I saw that it really resonated with me. Do I thank God enough for the things that mean the most to me? Or do I spend more time asking him for more things, better things, or complaining about fixing other things that I forget to thank him? Since then, I’ve made it a point to say a quick prayer of thanks every single night as soon as I get into bed so that, on the off chance I do wake up with only what I thanked God for today, I’d have certain things that mean the most to me.
It really surprised me that first night when I said my prayer, because it was me being honest with myself and God about what is most important to me in life. My kids and my husband, hands down, are the most important. But from there it is my job. I love my job and I love what I do, and the creativity and the freedom to be home with my kids that it allows me. I thank God for my kids’ health and for my husband’s health. I thank him for our home, because I cannot imagine raising our kids anywhere but here. And I always thank him for our friends and our family, and for our happiness and our blessings.
It just serves as a reminded that, as parents, we have so much to be thankful for. We take for granted so many things. You’ll note I don’t thank God for running water, electricity or indoor plumbing, though I feel I would be in a tortured version of hell without them. I don’t think him for my material things, because while I’m pretty materialistic and okay with it, those things are not the most important to me. I take for granted so many things, such as the ability to book a vacation and take my family of 6 to some exotic location for some family fun. I take for granted the fact that I can head to the supermarket and buy whatever I want and not worry about the cost. I take many things for granted, but there are some things that no parent takes for granted, ever.
I’m going to be honest here and tell you that sleep deprivation has never been an issue. I think it’s because my body just never produces enough breast milk and I’ve had to supplement since day one with all four kids. Our kids all slept a minimum of 6 hours at a time at night when they first came home from the hospital and that quickly increased to 8 and then 12. By the time they were all about 3 weeks old, they were sleeping 7 pm to 7 am. We have four kids who sleep 12 hours a night, and we are very fortunate. However, there’s still never enough sleep. We stay up later to get things done and they wake us up earlier than we’d like. And considering how hard we work to care for them and our lives during the day, we’re tired. So when we get to sleep, we never take that for granted.
These are the golden hours in our house. When the babies nap, the house is free. This is, at this point in my life, about the only time I get any work done. It’s summer vacation, and I have two older kids home from school driving the babies insane, and I have two 16-month-old babies that like to get into everything and act like they are invincible.
I can’t speak for single parents, but I know that I thank God every single day for my husband. I am so appreciative every single day that he is such a hands-on parent, never hesitating to take the kids to the store with him so I can have a break, or to change a diaper, or to give baths or cook dinner or do dishes or help clean up. He’s so great, and I know that I cannot take him for granted.
If you are a parent with a family that loves your kids, you know you never take them for granted. You never take them for granted because you know that every hug, kiss and quality moment that your kids spend with your siblings, parents and their cousins is so precious and so wonderful. Your kids love these people so much, and that’s not something you ever take for granted.
Every Single Kiss and Hug
These are not going to be around forever. There will come a time in which they will become fewer and further between, and that’s going to break your heart. And mine; I don’t look forward to that day, and I hope that it doesn’t happen in our home.
A Roof over Our Heads
I come from a family of teachers. My mom, my aunt, my cousin, my best friends; they’re all teachers. I hear the most heartbreaking stories all the time of kids that are living in their cars, tents in the woods. Kids that come to school early to have the free breakfast provided; the kids that ask my mom what they will do to eat all summer if they aren’t at school where they get a free breakfast and lunch or where they will take a shower since they won’t have access to the gym. My heart aches, and I am so grateful to have a home in which I can raise my kids.
Food on the Table
I might take for granted the amount of money I spend at the store, but I don’t take for granted the fact that my kids are well-fed. I hear too many stories from the teachers in my life and from my own kids to ever take this for granted.
Quality time with my Kids
I never take this for granted. Life is hectic, especially with four kids. I work from home. My husband works outside the home. Our kids are involved in sports and extracurricular activities, and we have a busy social life. We don’t take for granted the down time, those moments when the big girls wake up early and come to our bedroom and crawl into our bed for a few minutes of snuggles and giggles before we wake up to start the busy days. Those moments won’t last forever.
The Fact that we are Raising our Kids in a World in which They can do Anything they Want
I never take for granted the fact that my three girls and my little boy can do anything that they want in life. They can do anything, be anything and succeed so easily. They’re smart, they’re creative, they’re intelligent and they’re wonderful people, and the world is their oyster.
Every Breath they Take
I know a lot of people think I live a ‘perfect’ life, and I won’t lie; it’s pretty good. It’s not perfect, but we are blessed, and it’s by choice. We do not take for granted any of the little things we might have previously taken for granted. We are very thankful people who choose to focus on the good rather than the negative. You won’t hear me complain so much as you will hear me give thanks for things that I appreciate. We learned a very difficult lesson five years ago when we went through two miscarriages in a row trying to make our daughter a big sister. We took for granted my first pregnancy; the fact that I was pregnant after our first attempt, the fact that I had a picture-perfect pregnancy, delivery and baby. We never once thought life would be any other way, but then the unthinkable happened to us – and on Mother’s Day the first time around – and it was devastating. We learned very quickly to appreciate what we do have. It’s far more productive than focusing on what we don’t.
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