In the middle of all the nausea, excitement, stress and discomfort of pregnancy, an old feeling bubbles up. You’ve felt it before countless times, but during pregnancy and parenthood, this feeling gets amplified. It’s almost as if a higher power understood that parenting is hard and you’re going to need some extra tools to get through it. That’s why new parents get a big heaping dose of gratitude to go along with the hormones, hassles and hoopla of parenthood.
But gratitude isn’t a one-dimensional emotion. It can be sharp and messy, confusing and overwhelming. Dr. Jessica Zucker, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who specializes in maternal health says: “Gratitude can be tricky when it comes to parenthood. Are we supposed to feel grateful for the seemingly irrational toddler meltdowns, the sleepless nights or the mind numbing moments when babies are too young to truly interact? Are we supposed to feel grateful when a stranger asks when we’re due to give birth when we had the baby three months ago? Parenting yields a newfound appreciation for the spectrum of moment-to-moment changes in human development, interpersonal relating and identity shifts. Morsels of sweet happiness pop in at unforeseeable times throughout the day, creating pockets of pause when we as parents realize that the rough patches are worth it. After all, it's the little things that matter most.”
What morsels of gratitude do you have to look forward to? This list of 50 is just the beginning.
First trimester: As you start your journey to parenthood, count on being grateful for:
- That positive pregnancy test
- Your husband’s happy dance when you told him the news
- Your mother’s tears of joy when you told her she’s going to be a grandmother
- The tiny tool belt your dad bought after you told him he’s going to be a grandpa
- Missing your next period and knowing there won’t be another for months
- The day when you knew that little bit of spotting was nothing to worry about
- Hearing your baby’s heartbeat the first time
- Your first ultrasound where your baby looked like a bean…your bean.
- Making it to the toilet before you actually threw up
The second trimester: You’re feeling better and oh-so-grateful that:
- You’re finally looking pregnant, not just chunky
- Your morning sickness is mostly over and the smell of toothpaste doesn’t make you puke anymore
- Those tiny flutters might be your baby moving
- You have more energy
- You’re making new friends in your prenatal yoga class
- Your sex drive is back
- Food looks good again
- Everything looks normal on your ultrasound
- Your preschooler is excited about becoming a big brother/sister
- Maternity clothes don’t look bad at all. In fact, you look great