Thursday, November 7, 2013

I Am Grateful for Parenting Challenges {21 Days of Gratitude Challenge}

This month I am participating in the 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge organized by Inspired by Familia. Each day a different blogger will be sharing something that they are grateful for. You can find the entire list of contributors at the bottom of this post. Last year I shared how grateful I was for the arrival of our new baby boy.

My post last week sharing my favorite tip for calming toddler tantrums really got me reflecting on this past year for our family (and the friends that we consider to be our family). It was filled with some very sweet moments and several hard and sad ones too. 

This year I feel incredibly grateful for the simple parenting challenges I have been given and the growth that I have made because of them. 

Within our little family, I have had the hardest time over the past year with my two year old. In addition to having typical behaviors that come with being two and emotional and trying to be independent... my little one has also struggled with some sensory and emotional issues that have made it often frustrating and hard to go places and do things that we've usually done. They also significantly impacted our family dynamics. I've been sad (and angry) a lot and have felt isolated. I have also been very critical of myself and my parenting skills.

I have a whole separate post to write about my daughter's sensory issues, but one of the most important things I've learned over the past year is to be more sensitive to the kids that seem to be labeled as the "bad" kid or the "hard" kid by other people. I have also learned to be more sensitive towards their parents. 

I am grateful for the kids who are the hardest to love. They teach me the most about who I am.

It is easy to be kind to a little one who is constantly blowing kisses and telling you they love you. It is not as easy to show love to a child (or adult) who is angry, emotional, and yelling mean words. 

This year I learned that sometimes I didn't like who I was as a parent as I reacted to my daughter. I was short tempered, impatient, and insensitive. I am trying to work harder to not be that person and become someone better. It requires constant work and a lot of self control.  

I am grateful for my small challenges. As I have watched some of my friends deal with much harder parenting and life challenges, I've witnessed their transformations from being ordinary to extraordinary. Even though I hate when hard things happen, I know that challenges make us stronger as people and more compassionate. 

What parenting or life challenges are you grateful for? What have you learned from your challenges?

The challenge schedule is here and all of the info for you to join in.
21 days of gratitude challenge

These are the wonderful bloggers joining in the 21 Days of Gratitude: Inspired by Familia, Upside Down Homeschooling, Still Playing School,  Makeovers and Motherhood, P is for Preschooler, The Educators’ Spin On It,  Toddler Approved!,  The Connection We Share, Mama Pea Pod,  Mum in the Madhouse, Mama Miss,  Plain Vanilla Mom,  Tips from a Typical Mom,  Learning with Mouse,  Preschool Powol Packets,  Kids Yoga Stories,  Dirt and Boogers,  Local Fun for Kids,  Positive Parenting Connection,  Kitchen Counter Chronicles, The Good Long Road,Bits of Positivity, JDaniel 4′s Mom, The Eyes of A Boy 


  1. I love your gratefulness post! What a great way to look at a challenging situation. You're one great mama!

  2. I am grateful for the fact that we were wrong about some of the things we said no to when we were adopting and I am grateful for the fact that one of our children has all the issues we refused and I am grateful we didn't know because she is totally perfect for our family and we adore here. Parenting her is complex but I wouldn't swap it for the world.

    1. What a great thing to be thankful for!!

  3. Kristina, Wow, I can't even imagine. My little guy at one point had some very minimal sensory issues that he has now outgrown. I clearly recall one particular 45 minute battle with him on what shirt he felt good in. I was late to work. I was flustered. I was confused and angry at him. We finally found a shirt and I left to work exasperated. At a red light I looked over at his sweet little face that was still red from crying and I burst into tears. Wondering what in the world was going on with my little man. Asking God for wisdom between sobbing breaks. I don't have any advice which I am sure you don't need any but I do want to let you know these two things. You're not alone. You're a great mama.

    1. Mari, thanks for sharing your experience. My little one seems to be outgrowing some of her challenges too and I am also grateful for that. You hit the nail on the head with what has helped- lots of prayer and then just trying my best. Thanks for taking a moment to leave a comment and encouragement. :)

  4. I love this post and I could so relate since I have a then 2 year old too with the same parenting challenges. You are a great mama and you're growing into the person you're meant to be =)


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