Finding Gratitude in the Trenches of Mama-hood {Guest Post for {In}Courage}

Motherhood was a difficult transition for me. As a recovering perfectionist, it seems part of me thought it would come more naturally—that somehow I would just be good at it.

Instead, I found myself struggling—hard. I found I did terribly with little sleep. I was frequently overwhelmed and stressed. It took so much more out of me than I ever thought I had to give. The needs oozing from the tiny fingers of my vivacious daughter were both life giving and life sucking.

After what felt like a battlefield in her first year of life, I finally started to come out of a fog when my daughter was nearly 17 months.

I remember the fall, when the Denver sun still grew toasty but the nights invited candles and sweaters; we began to think about Thanksgiving and travel plans. I had been reading on gratitude from both a faith perspective as well as its significant value from a psychological perspective. As a mental health therapist and a Christian, I’d already believed it to be an effective coping skill and a way to connect to God’s presence. But, when I assessed my reality, I saw I hadn’t been practicing it regularly in my own life for a while. It felt like God was giving me a strong nudge—or maybe a flashing sign—telling me to pay attention. 

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