How to Be Thankful When the Odds are Against You
As a single mom it is easy to think of or dwell on what’s hard in your life. I have often felt like the odds were stacked against me. Sometimes this feeling was so strong that it was suffocating. Like when I first found out I was pregnant with my daughter. It is difficult to put words to how deep the panic was within me. I was in my late twenties, and I had just finally learned how to provide for myself. The business I had started building a few years earlier seemed to be going somewhere because I had the time and flexibility and energy to make it a priority.
Life really was going great. I bought a small townhome—nothing fancy—but affordable and just right for where I was at. When I wasn’t working, I went out with friends and though I loved the entrepreneurial work that was keeping me busy, what I really wanted deep down was to fall in love and start a family.
And then one day, everything that I thought was going so well was flipped upside down.
On a gut feeling that I couldn’t shake, I took a pregnancy test and the word PREGNANT materialized in small pink letters.
There are a lot of details to my single mom story that I am going to skip over right now because I want to take you quickly to this point: I was not immediately thankful for the changes that were about to take place or for my baby. I knew deep down that my baby was supposed to be a blessing and was something to be thankful for BUT I didn’t know why. And this was a mental struggle that continued until I first met my daughter.
I became thankful beyond measure for the pregnancy THAT I DIDN’T PLAN the moment I met her. That said, life was going to be much more challenging moving forward with an infant in tow and as easy as it was to be grateful for my daughter it was REALLY HARD to find things to be thankful for outside of her.
I needed things that I wasn’t getting and this left me feeling UNGRATEFUL in many ways.
There was a shortage of sleep, time, money, energy, emotional support and romance in my life. I wanted to make certain that my daughter and I were going to be okay and that the future in store for us was a good one but I was often running on fumes and so I often felt more hopeless than I did hopeful.
Have you had this feeling before in your single mom journey?
Rember that You Are Not Alone
I wanted to focus on gratitude this month not because Thanksgiving is around the corner, but really because practicing thankfulness is a life and mind saving habit that is incredibly powerful and EVERY SINGLE MOM OUT THERE NEEDS TO KNOW THIS.
Being thankful is key to your own peace and happiness and to your children’s as well.
Being a single mom can be mentally and emotionally isolating.
Your gratitude for the things and people you do have can be a powerful force that helps to melt this icy cold sense of aloneness.
You might be thinking that THE ODDS ARE AGAINST YOU. You might be carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. It might seem like expressing thankfulness and focusing on it is just one task too many. Like it might be the straw that broke the camel’s back. It won’t be. That I can PROMISE.
So, my assignment for today is simple: find just one thing you are very very thankful for and think on this for the rest of the week. Your children. Your faith (if you have one). A special friendship. A small coincidence that made you feel seen.
Think about why you are thankful for them and allow this to open your perspective.
Your gratitude and really giving some solid mental energy to considering something you are thankful for can open your perspective.
Thankfulness brings in fresh air. Thankfulness makes old things new. Thankfulness is a new beginning.
And we all need a new beginning each day.
Don’t let years of hardship weigh you down in the morning, or in the afternoon when you’re struggling with your kids to get their homework done or trying to work but are too exhausted to focus. Give the practice of thankfulness a chance to bring new hope into your single mom journey.
I write this with so much love in my heart. I hope it helps you today mama. Be thankful even when the odds are stacked against you. Its your best weapon against the thoughts and fears that hold you back from being the woman and mother you were made to be.
Written with love-Jenna
What are you thankful for? Tell us in the comments below!
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