5 things every parent should be thankful for

Family

2019 is already a little bit over a week old and amongst my new year’s resolution to be more conscious about my consumption, I want to be more thankful for my life. “Be the energy that you want to attract” is a good mantra for this. In the past I used to see some of my relationships rather negative and I want to stop judging and nagging about people, I believe with practice one can learn that. Additionally I think that positivity can be contagious, so I hope to catch it and to spread it!

In my first year as a mother I experienced some situations in which I was left with a negative feeling. When I started reflecting these situations, I also realised that to all the negative experiences there were positive ones too and I also saw that the neutral experiences were in fact something positive. So here’s a list of all the things I started appreciating as a mother in the past year:

1. Advice from everybody

Usually, when reading about advices given by others on ‘how to parent’ and what to do when baby does this or that, there are many negative feelings involved. The majority would call it annoying, unnecessary and hidden criticism. Let’s think about it for a minute though. Have you ever given advice, wanted or not, that was actually intentionally bad for the person? Have you ever given advice to lead another person into a bad situation? Most likely your answers are no. So that’s why I believe that every person giving you advice, actually just wants to genuinely help you, whether you asked for it or not. Let’s rather be grateful about that, in the end it’s you who choses which advice to follow or not.

When I think about all the advice I was given, I always appreciated it because it led me to think about that topic for a moment or gather more information about it in order to make up my mind and decide what’s best for us. None of us knows everything, so each advice you get, should be rather regarded as something that we can think about – even from a different perspective sometimes!

2. Other moms

I’ve often read how moms are annoyed by moms. Whether it’s about comparing their children’s achievements, parenting styles or lifestyles, there are reasons to feel overwhelmed by other moms. Now to be frank, yes, at times I felt some pressure from other moms about kids achievements but as a woman I have never ever before experienced such a strong bond with other women than when I became a mother. It is almost like a secret club that you are all of a sudden part of. I have felt understood, I have felt accepted and I have felt loved. My concerns, my daily struggles were shared and the joyful moments were doubled. I met women I usually wouldn’t have met and I became closer to all the women in my life who have been already mothers. I’m extremely thankful for that. Ain’t no hood like motherhood.

3. Strangers reacting to your child

Now this one is a two-sided one. We all know how “disturbing” our child is for the society. We all have these bad examples on our minds. I’d like to focus on the extremely good side of the coin, when strangers react – or better – interact with your child. My best experience was probably our flight from Munich to Split last summer. We had a group of Portuguese people, young and old, on the plane. Thanks to them I had the best time with my baby on a plane! Usually baby N tries to get attention on the flight with laughing at everyone around him, trying to stroke the person who’s in reach or by squeaking and sometimes, when nobody is reacting, he gets upset. This group of people understood that and they reacted to my baby! They laughed back, they talked to him, they gave him cookies, they played with him. Fortunately these lovely people gave him the attention he needed and I had a relaxed time on the plane with a baby! Obrigado!

4. Mom blogs

Today we have endless opportunities to use the internet to our advantage. Any kind of information is just a fingertip away and if you are a first-time-parent, you will look up online if there’s a solution to your problem. I found that there are millions of solutions to any problem! It is really amazing to see how people on blogs and forums share their advice and it is a great source of inspiration for parents. Especially when it comes to product reviews, you’ll get tons of great reviews in every form: written, video, podcast! Thanks to all the parents taking the time to share their opinions.

5. Paternal leave

If you are not living in the US, Papua New Guinea or Lesotho, you are lucky, because your government has made a mandate for paid time off for new parents. That being said, of course the amount of time off you get varies amongst all those countries enormously. The inequality on women vs. men or mothers vs. fathers is also very obvious from one country to another. To put it nice: There’s room for improvement. However, it is a good thing because first of all, the government acknowledges by law that families can spend time together without suffering (much) financial struggle and secondly, it ‘allows’ women to go back to work. The system is flawed and all but it’s a work in progress and a lot of it is in our hands to change it.

In the end there is way more to be greatful about being a parent of course. Those are examples on how to stay positive and recognise all the good things happening. Please comment below what you are thankful as a parent, I’d love to know.

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