Gratitude Practice: Finding the Good when Motherhood Gets Hard

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During my first year of teaching, I wanted to decrease the negativity I heard from my fourth graders. I thought by counteracting the negative with more positive we could change the culture of our classroom. Starting small we read a joyful quote each week. It began to blossom into a special day of the week called, Thankful Thursday. As a result, I saw the change of mindset from mostly negative to more and more positive thoughts. Each year I expanded on this idea into writing down our weekly gratitude practice, which helped my students reflect on the positive.

Practicing What I Preached

It wasn’t until I became a mom and my world changed (for the best) that I needed positive thoughts more and more. Weekly gratitude dedicated to one special day was something I could do for my students. I loved creating special projects that helped them to become more positive. However, when I was no longer creating things for my students I fell into a rut. I was about 14 months postpartum and my mindset needed a shift. That is when I started following my own advice and began a daily gratitude practice.

“Count Your Blessings”

Friends had given me a journal for my birthday a few years ago and labeled the front “Count your Blessings” inspired by a song by the JJ Weeks Band. In October 2019, I was inspired to start writing down five things I was grateful for each day. For me, the best time to reflect and find a moment of peace is in the mornings before my son wakes up. Now I have over 1,000 small moments of gratitude that inspire me to look for the positive in each day. They range from hearing my son’s belly laugh to a much-needed phone call with a friend.

Moms and Caregivers Need This Now More Than Ever

I truly believe when we look for the good we can find small moments that surround us. Some days are harder than others to write down five things, but afterward, I am in a better place to start my day. This gratitude mindset has carried over into our prayer before meals and our two-year-old lovingly lists the people or things in his life he thanks God for. His sweet words of gratitude bring a smile or laugh to my husband and me. I am thankful my son will grow up valuing gratitude and incorporating it into his daily life.

 

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Brittany and her husband, Harry, met during their freshman year of college in Worcester and fell in love with Central Massachusetts. A lot of things changed quickly once they graduated from college. They were married in 2017, had their first child in 2018, recently bought their first house, and baby #2 is on the way. Having grown up in Connecticut and Maine the couple wanted to create a home in New England not far from their families. Brittany spent three years after college in her lifelong passion, teaching. She was a third-grade teacher and now implements her teacher mindset while staying home with her son. Brittany loves meeting moms in the area, taking her son on adventures outside, and exploring local parks and libraries. She believes resources for new moms are a must and she is excited to be a contributing writer for Central Mass Mom.

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