From Guilt to Gratitude
Submitted by Shannon Mika - "Some friends help us shift our thinking ..."
My husband and I have three boys. The first can legally drink, the second wishes he could, and the third is a decade from it. Not only are the boys spaced across fourteen years, none of us shares the same two biological parents. Our first is a product of my husband's first marriage which ended in divorce. Our second is the product of my first marriage which ended after cancer killed my husband. And our youngest – he was the product of this blended chaos! Like any house, there’s always lots going on under our roof. Oh, and not only am I the Mom of this tribe, the Director of Operations for this household, I work full-time too.
Frequently I find myself talking about motherhood with other moms. And guess what? As different as we all are, we’re not all that different. Through it all – the joy, the heartbreak, the guilt, the laughs, the tears, the fear, the days we’re hanging by a thread – it seems to me that we’re all just doing the best we can! I suspect the dads feel the same way.
Even so, I can’t help but feel a little (okay, a lot) guilty about what I do or don’t do.
But I’m working on that. A while back, a friend posted something profound on Facebook. She said she's trying to frame life with gratitude instead of guilt. Easier said than done, right? Maybe not. The trick is simple, she’s started replacing her “I’m sorrys” with “Thank yous.” Instead of saying, "I'm sorry I'm late" she says, "Thank you for waiting." Instead of saying "I'm sorry I'm such a mess" she said, "Thank you for accepting me unconditionally."
This switch has really stuck with me.
And once again, it struck me; we all learn from each other. Some friends help us shift our thinking, some accept us on the "messy" days, and some help us understand that we're all just doing the best we can. And most days, that's good enough.
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