365 Grateful blog

Guest Post from a Crazed Mother
Hailey Bartholomew - Thursday, July 28, 2011

This post is by  Sara van Bentum

Sarah a mother who was inspired by the 365 Project and shares about being a mum.

From a crazed mother… who is grateful.

Being a mummy is wonderful work. But it is also challenging and exhausting. Especially when one of the kids you are mum to is a high-spirited, energetic and creative 3 year old who gets up before the sun. Always. And yes, by high-spirited I do mean slightly crazy.

Amongst the nappies, tantrums and sleep deprivation, a battle with postnatal depression and the general madness that is life with two little people, I felt like I had lost myself. Life was going on in the strange way that it does. And I was too exhausted and overwhelmed to really enjoy it.

So when a wonderful friend mentioned a 365 Grateful project that she had read about in her fave magazine, I was encouraged, inspired and challenged. But could I really find one thing per day to be grateful for? For a whole year?

More than 100 days later I have found that indeed I could.  Surprisingly enough, I began to see all the little, crazy parts of my day in a new light. And I was actually grateful for them! I guess it is true. If you seek, you will find.

Sure there are days that are hard. And all I am grateful for is that my loves are (finally!) asleep. Or for any few moments I can grab for myself.

But most of the time there is an array of “grateful moments” throughout any given day...

Moments of hilarity or joy created by my little ones. All of a sudden, I wasn’t frustrated at my son turning his cheesy toast into a guitar. And a boat. AND a number 6! I was instead reminded of the awesome gift of creativity and imagination.

Moments when I’m reminded of the many people whom I cherish. And those who make my world brighter by simply being in it. Like my husband bringing home flowers. Or easing my Mondayitis by getting both kids up and dressed. And cooking me breakfast!

Moments when the littlest things seem to happen at just the right time. Like a red light. While mostly annoying, every now and then you get one just when you need it. To relocate a dummy for a restless baby. Or pick up a toy for a hyper toddler. Or take a much needed sip of coffee.

Moments that bring me back to earth and remind me of what is good and true in my life. Freedom, faith, family and love.

Yes, it is hard work raising my minis. And yes, sometimes I get lost along the way. But in my journey of gratefulness I am realising that despite the many challenges faced daily, I actually wouldn’t change my hectic, wonderful life with my little loves for anything. And for that realisation, I am truly grateful.

But while being a mum is a huge part of who I am, and everything I do revolves around it, I’m beginning to remember that it’s not all that I am. Somehow, through all these wonderful moments, I am finding myself again. I’m remembering what it is I love. To write and create. I love words and stories. And I want to make the world better because I was here. Even if that is simply by impacting and encouraging those I’m blessed to have in my world.

Strangely enough, this little project is doing that in the most unexpected way. I could never have expected how many friends would be encouraged by my simple daily stories. And now people in my world, both near and far, have embarked on their own journey of gratefulness. Each day, I look forward to seeing all the different and creative things they have to be grateful for. It almost feels like a revolution of gratefulness. And I love it!

“Gratitude can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” (Melody Beattie)


To see my 365 Grateful project, visit  here

365 Grateful - a documentary about the extraordinary power of gratitude.