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Much to be Grateful For

babies and gratitude

Your baby sleeps through the night but still only takes 20 minute naps and is an absolute misery in the evening. My husband and I are ridiculously educated and yet have no cash so most of our furniture still looks like starter furniture that you get right out of college. My kids have a playroom that would make Willy Wonka jealous but they don’t have a complete set of Lego Ninjas which, according to them, is all that matters in life.

It’s really easy to focus most of your energy on what you DON’T have. What’s NOT working. What ISN’T there. Especially when you’re tired and cranky. Unfortunately this becomes a reinforcing pattern where all you can think about is how crappy things are, which just makes you feel worse about how badly things are going.

Instead, what if you took a moment each day to really think about all the wonderful things that are going on. And no matter HOW bad things seem, I know there are lots of great things going on for each of you. Because you all have babies. And even at their most miserable, babies are pretty incredible. Take 5 minutes. Write down 5 great things that happened this week. Take 1 minute. Write down something great that happened today.

It doesn’t have to be big. It snowed. My baby smells great. My husband brought home take-out. I got to take a long hot shower.

It’s not hard. In fact, I’ll go first, OK?

The 2012 Troublesome Tots Gratitude Journal

Things I’m grateful for that happened last year…
[list type=”bignumlist”]

  1. Readers. Lots and lots of readers.

    I started Troublesome Tots with no expectation that anybody would ever read it. Which is a good thing because for a good long while, nobody was. Now over 100,000 people from all over the world come visit every month. I am enormously flattered and stunned by these numbers.

  2. My world is bigger.

    When you’re a parent, your world gets very very small. It’s all about cutting grapes, picking up legos, and shuffling kids into and out of the car. This site helps my world from feeling too claustrophobic. It makes me feel like, in my own little corner, I’m making a difference.

  3. Fan mail.

    The fact that this happens AT ALL is a continual source of amazement. Every single piece of fan mail I get get’s starred so I can go back and read it again and again. They’re awesome. And generally pretty funny. They make me smile.

  4. When people answer other people’s questions/comments.

    It’s not easy to reach out and support somebody else when you’re feeling beat up yourself. Which is why I so appreciate it when people share thoughtful and informed responses to reader comments on my site. Also I can barely keep up myself and am grateful for any help I can get. Don’t worry that you’re stepping on my toes. You aren’t. It’s awesome. Please speak up – we all value you what you have to share.

  5. Everybody I’ve reached out to for help.

    Know what I’ve learned? That when you write about kids and sleep, just about everybody is willing to help you if you ask nicely. Or offer food bribes.

  6. The attachment parenting militia has not found me.

    I didn’t want to talk about CIO AT ALL because I was convinced I would get swarmed with hate comments. Do you know how many nasty comments I have gotten? Ever? Did you guess zero? Yep, not a single one. And that, my friends, is fantastic.

  7. No judgment zone.

    It is so great to have parenting peeps ask questions and share experiences and not get judged for it. I am amazed and appreciate that hundreds of thousands of people can come here from all over the world (especially Australia where I’m akin to Oprah) and respect that we’re all trying to figure this out, success, failure, and all.

  8. My husband never dismisses my little blog project.

    One of the many reasons I adore him.


Troublesome Tots AlexisAlexis Dubief on a real dayPS. This is me. Although my picture has been up on the about page from day 1 lots of people have suggested that I am either hiding a serious deformity or am in fact 85 years old. Neither of these is currently true (probably both will be at some point).

Full disclosure, I rarely look this good. Thus in the spirit of honesty I’m sharing another picture (below) which more accurately represents how I probably look when writing here. Only instead of sitting on my lap looking adorable, the peanuts are pelting me in the head with legos so that I’ll get off the computer.

Anyhoo, this is what I’m grateful for. What do you have to be grateful for? What wonderful surprises have come your way this past year? Please share!