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What Does It Mean To Be Grateful? Moms Share What Fills Up Their Cup

What Does It Mean To Be Grateful? Moms Share What Fills Up Their Cup

This time of year, we’re often asked what we are thankful for, but we’ve been feeling something more. Touched by the #BeKind21 challenge’s global success while reflecting on our community’s strength and kindness during this challenging year, we felt struck by a deep sense of gratitude. 

And that is our focus this month, gratitude. 

 

So, why focus on gratitude over thankfulness? Aren’t they the same?

While heartening and tremendously important, thankfulness is typically a response to something specifically received, while gratitude is a feeling we can cultivate. 

According to Psychology Today, gratitude is an emotional expression, felt at any moment, that doesn’t require an action, response, or offering from another -- "Spontaneously generated from within, it is an affirmation of goodness and warmth,” with studies showing the benefits and opportunities of cultivating it as a practice.

 

“Gratitude is the heart’s memory.” — French proverb.

And it isn’t just for grown-ups. We’ve created some adorable downloadable coloring pages centered around family, friends, home, and food to encourage gratitude with your littles. Download our gift to you!

Our community of caregivers, community leaders, and parents reflect on the moments and experiences big and small that inspire gratitude in their lives this holiday season.

Take a look! 

Big Hearts, Besitos, and ‘Peek a boo’

@jadoreliv

What moments are you grateful for? 

I am grateful for the intimate moments we have shared this year, as we've spent so much time at home. I am grateful to have been there for my son's first words, first steps, first run... I guess you say I am grateful for the intimate moments we share. The endless giggles, the hugs, the many "firsts" that come as a first-time parent. It's the little things, really— that mean the most to me.

What are the little things you are grateful for? 

As Cuban-Americans, it's important to us that our son grows up in a bilingual home, so we try our hardest to speak to him in Spanish so that he doesn't forget the language (or his roots)! I feel so proud of him when we talk to him in Spanish, and he understands what we are telling him and responds. I love the way he makes sounds for things like a car, a cow, a cat, a dog.

I love it when he plays 'peek a boo' with us or gets on his father's lap to 'drive' the golf cart around the neighborhood (he loves the steering wheel)! And like any parent, as much as I enjoy nap time (aka ME time), I still catch myself swooning over his sweet little face and just watching him sleep so peacefully. Sometimes, I catch him laughing in his sleep, and it just stops me in my tracks. It's like I'm able to pause time for that one moment and just enjoy every second of him infinitely. 

What’s one take away you want your little ones to remember from this season/this fall? 

mom and toddler at disney world

How much time he got to spend with us & all the fun mini-vacations we took as a family. The time that we got to play together, try new meals together, explore the outdoors, go to the beach, visit Disney World for the first time and just enjoy Nate's first year in our life to the fullest— even with all the limitations we faced this year. We really tried to make the best of it— for him, especially.

@mamas_triplet_love

What moments are you grateful for? 

With all the chaos of 2020, we are extremely grateful that through it all, we have had so much time together as new parents and now a family of 5. As new parents of triplets, we have both been part of their milestones, and it’s been incredible witnessing each step of their journey and development. 

What are the little things you are grateful for?

We are grateful to be mothers of our triplets. They each have a way of bringing a unique piece of happiness to our lives. From the way they play with each other, to the way they snuggle one another, to the way they snuggle us Mamas. 

Noah’s such a protector, our firstborn. He’s always concerned about his siblings and Mamas. His laugh is absolutely contagious. 

Penelope’s love for her brothers is undeniable. Her day isn’t complete until she gets besitos (kisses) from her entire family. Her smile is the sweetest you’ll ever see. 

Julian is such a sweet boy. He is our adventurous one. He’s not afraid of anything. He’s such a love bug, giving besitos all day. 

What’s one take away you want your little ones to remember from this season/this fall?

triplets with pumpkins

We want them to be grateful for family and good health. Although they do not understand it now, being a multiple comes with many health challenges, and they are doing extremely well. We want them to always remember to put each other and their families first. We want them to remember the undeniable bonds they will create over the years. We want them to remember to always be kind, loving, and accepting of ALL people. 

@mamamouseketeer

family in matching shirts laughing

What moments are you grateful for?

I’m truly grateful for every second that I am able to spend time with my family and watch my littles grow. It’s been such a blessing this year to have us all at home (since my hubby is able to work from home) so we can spend more time together. He’s been able to watch our littlest grow and has already been here to see him accomplish so many things. I feel like these are such important years, and moments like these, we definitely don’t take for granted.

What are the little things you are grateful for?

I’m grateful for my daughter, always making sure everyone feels included. She’s only two and cares so much about people’s feelings, and I think that’s sweet of her. For example, one minute, she will be dancing with me and realize she hasn’t danced with her dad, and she will stop, go grab him, and make sure to include him in the fun. I’m grateful she has such a big heart at such a young age.

toddler eating snacks while riding in a stroller

What’s one take away you want your little ones to remember from this season/this fall?

I want my littles to remember that family/friends are what make the holidays. No matter if we celebrate at home, knocking on doors, doing trunk or treats, etc., it’s not what we do that’s important but who we do it with.  (And this goes for every holiday, not just Halloween!) We will be having our own version of Halloween indoors with our family, and although it’s not what we are used to, I’m still super excited to spend it with them and make new memories!

Little Giggles & Adventures

@peytoneverafter

mom with toddler on shoulders in woods

What moments are you grateful for? 

I’m grateful for all of the adventures I get to experience with my little family. Our adventures include anything from running around in the backyard to walking around the block to family road trips. As a one-year-old, Brooklyn loves to explore, and when a new experience makes her happy, she gets the biggest smile and babbles forever! Moments like that are irreplaceable.

What are the little things you are grateful for? 

I’m grateful for Brooklyn’s infectious smile and her little trot as she runs into my arms, saying, “mama.” I also love it when she sees us laughing, and she’s not sure why, so she starts to fake laugh, but it quickly turns into a real laugh. 

couple and baby at a lake

What’s one take away you want your little ones to remember from this season/this fall?

Brooklyn might be too young to remember this season for very long, but I hope that in the meantime, she remembers all of the time we’ve spent together and that every day comes with a reason to smile and laugh. 

@aimeeqsantos

mom holding happy baby

What moments are you grateful for? 

During this novel time, I am grateful for having the opportunity to stay home with our baby Milo and watch him grow and spend so much time with him.

What are the little things you are grateful for? 

I am grateful for being there for every little giggle and seeing his face light up when I say good morning when he wakes up. 

What’s one take away you want your little ones to remember from this season/this fall?

I would love him to remember our walks along the beach together.

Snuggles, Dancing & Dress Up

@camille.moore

mom and dad dressed up with baby as Peter Pan characters

What moments are you grateful for? 

I am grateful for family time. Today, we got to play dress up and watch Peter Pan. It fills my heart to see my daughter so excited and happy.

What are the little things you are grateful for? 

I am grateful for every baby milestone—big or small. Even though every little milestone is big to me (LOL!) She is starting to talk a lot. It’s exciting to hear, say new words every day! She is such a smart kid!

What’s one take away you want your little ones to remember from this season/this fall?

This season will be different because of the current pandemic situation we’re in. Even though we have to quarantine for Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas, I want my daughter to have just as much fun by making things extra special for her by having quality family time. We have dance parties at our house, even though it’s just her, daddy and I 🤣

@hreasterling

playing in the leaves with toddler

What moments are you grateful for? 

We are so grateful for cozy blankets! Oakley has loved anything soft since he was a little baby. He can only sleep with his little soft snuggle friend! 

What are the little things you are grateful for? 

As a mom, I am grateful when I see my sweet baby smile, and I can know that he feels safe and loved! He has two bottom teeth that I make it my mission to see each day during tickle time! 

What’s one take away you want your little ones to remember from this season/this fall? 

One takeaway I’ll teach Oakley is that just like the leaves in the fall, sometimes beautiful things have to be let go for something new to grow! There is always an opportunity to shed the past and move forward to new experiences! 

 

Can you relate to these reflections? What inspires gratitude in your life? Share what comes up for you in the comments below!

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