Welcome to the November 2012 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Gratitude and Traditions
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about gratitude and traditions by sharing what they are grateful for, how they share gratitude with their children, or about traditions they have with their families. The Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival will be taking a break in December, but we hope you will join us for the great line up of themes we have for 2013!
This has been in some ways a difficult time emotionally for me, for many reasons. To sit down for an hour or so and think carefully about what I am grateful for is soul nourishing and healing, it is just what the doctor ordered! It helps to put life into perspective, to feel an inner happiness which at times we can all forget. There is just so much to be grateful for in my life, which must be a good thing! Perhaps the best way is in a summarised list format, so it isn’t too long;
– For having a child, the most beautiful, life-changing event of my life. Every day I give thanks for his life, and for being able to share so much of my time with him. As he grows up into his own little person, this becomes more and more apparent, as I see him moving out further into the world I treasure the times he turns around inwardly to seek my support.
– For having a house and garden to live in; having travelled and seen a lot of the world, I am more aware of the huge amount that we do have in the West, and to try not to take all this for granted. Even within my own country there is so much poverty. I am so grateful for the house we live in, our beautiful, huge garden, and for the lake and surrounding countryside which is on our doorstep. All this I love to share each day with my little boy, especially being so close to nature, hearing the owls hooting at night and the geese on the lake, seeing the bats flying by, watching the autumn leaves falling from the trees.– For the amazing, massive amount of support my family offer me every day, which I am truly grateful for. I know a few mums who do not have this secure network of family support to turn up whilst bringing up their children. They face daily struggles which I do not. I am aware of how fortunate and blessed I am to have this support, which enables me to live a rich, full life surrounded by the people I love. It offers my son so much more than I alone could offer him, having his devoted grandparents so close by and to hand. I simply do not know how I would live without this support as a mother. I can both pursue my interests and career as well as keep my body healthy through exercise, plus spend a huge amount of time with my child. Also, for the very close relationship I have with my cousin, who is like a sister to me, and to my (ex) sister in law, who is also a soul mate, as well as my brothers, who all offer support in their own way. It is wonderful to see them all as they play with Ewan.
– For my wonderful friends; I have a close group of friends who are also mums I see on a weekly (or more frequent) basis. Again, I do not know how I would operate without this support. We have grown together through the past 2 and a half years of mothering, always offering each other an ear and a cup of tea and a warm smile. Though we all parent slightly differently, we respect and understand how we have chosen to bring up our children and offer each other emotional and practical support each week. This is a lifeline. As one of my close friend’s moves back to her homeland in Australia, this gratitude is more acute than ever. To lose a very close friend (at least lose in the sense of very rarely seeing anymore) is a very difficult thing to face, but makes me appreciate how much she has enriched my life and how I shall not take having soul mates for granted. I also have many other friends who I do not see so regularly, who also offer me so much love and support, even if this is more at a distance, some from the other side of the world!
– For living in a peaceful, secure, developed country; so many people in the world live with fear of conflict, in desperation, hunger and poverty on a daily basis. I cannot begin to imagine having to bring up a child in such a context, yet millions of strong women face this challenge every day. I am so grateful for living in the UK, even as I write this in the dull November weather. I hope I can pass this onto my son, so that he doesn’t take living here for granted and so that he appreciates the richness of life here. Travelling with him and discussing with him differing lifestyles around the world will give him some awareness of these differences.
– For my loving husband who is always there for me, even through difficult, changing family times. He is my best friend, offering me so much each and every day. We have so much to be grateful for, if we can stop and take in all that we do have in our lives, just by looking at our son, pausing for a moment, and giving thanks.
– For all that life has so far offered me, and all that is left to come; I have led a rich, fortunate life so far, very full and interesting. I have been to and seen so many places, had so many experiences, all of which have made me who I am today. As a mother I hope that I am offering my son a little of what I have experienced, passing on a little of the wisdom of my years.
So, this list, in no particular order, details a little of what I am grateful for in my life. The list really could go on, but as this is a blog post I will stop here!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon November 30 with all the carnival links.)
- Counting My Blessings — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama expresses the importance of reflecting daily on all of her blessings, a ritual she shares with her daughter. Jennifer also shares a few things that she is most grateful for. .
- Thanksgiving — It really is true that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Vicky at Single Mother Ahoy had no choice but to be thankful for all the things that had a good go at finishing her off this year!
- My little gratitude list — Stone Age Parent provides a summary list of all that she is grateful for in her life, including her son, her family, her home, her friends and her country.
- Baking Bread and Nurturing Wonder— Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares her way of keeping family traditions alive and nurturing a sense of wonder and thankfulness for food through preparing homemade bread during the Holidays.
- Going Inside for the Winter Holidays — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children reflects that going inside, both physically and figuratively, allows her family to enjoy the winter season in peace and reflection with plenty of time for appreciation of the most important people in her life.
- Traditions — Sustainable Mum discusses the difficulty of establishing traditions that were important in her own childhood for her own children.
- Giving thanks for parenthood — Can we truly give thanks for both the darkness and the light on our parenting journey? Shonnie from Heart-Led Parenting shares her perspective on how gratitude for all that life offers is possible and essential.
- A Tree for the Birds— Alisha at Cinnamon and Sassafras shares her family’s new tradition of skipping a traditional Christmas tree in favor of one in the yard.
- Cultivating Gratitude In Children — Lindy at Poppy Soap Co. shares her unique plan for helping her son understand just how blessed they are as a family.
- Are You Truly Grateful — Laura at Authentic Parenting ponders about the ramifications of gratitude as a characteristic.
- Maintaining Traditions Through Family Changes — Jenn from Monkey Butt Junction talks about how changes in her family have led to changing traditions.