Parenting Simply: Love and Gratitude

[ 3 ] February 13, 2012 |

In the busy-ness of life, we often move, move, move forward without noticing the time or the space or the feelings that we’re moving through.  But what happens when we stand still?  When we relax for a moment, and breathe, and notice what is happening around us while we stand still?  Everything changes.

One simple ritual that helps me is pausing in my day to express gratitude.  It can be as easy as pausing while I’m washing the dishes to look out the window and feel gratitude for the sky and the trees.  I breathe deeply, feel gratitude and then return to my chore.  But I am calmer and happier as I finish those dishes.

This ritual has become such an amazing part of my life with my children, too.  It has been transformative to sit together as a family and name all that we are grateful for.  During dinner, we each take a turn sharing our favorite part of the day.  These can be short and sweet, sometimes silly, but they always leave us with a smile and a shared reminder that each day is special.

Sometimes we change this ritual up a little bit- especially when the day has seen a lot of bickering or frustration (from kids or adults!).  On those nights, we choose one family member to start with (we always know the one who really needs to hear it the most) and we go around the table, each of us telling something we love about that person.

Hearing these words, spoken aloud, changes the energy in my home every time.

Tension melts away, and is replaced by love.  My children’s small voices remind me of the absolute beauty waiting in every moment, if we just stand still and notice it.


Category: holidays, parenting, wellness

Allison Abramson

about the author ()

About Allison Abramson: Allison is a wife and mother to two girls living in rural Connecticut. She writes about her journey through parenthood at Her writing and workshops focus on simplicity, living closer to the earth and inviting joy into the every day.

Comments (3)

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  1. Amy Hood amy says:

    I’ve practiced this for close to 20 years now, before it was on TV shows and websites and self-help books. (Sometimes I think I should have written a book then! Ah well.) During a difficult time in my life, I began writing down three things every day that made me happy–small things, but I had to find three things. And write them down. I returned to that practice as needed, and eventually it became such a habit to notice that I stopped writing it down (but I’m going to start again, since I saw such a beautiful gratitude journal I couldn’t resist ordering one!). I can remember having a baby (the third) strapped to my chest and facing another load of laundry that needed to be folded and thinking, “I’m grateful I have a working washer and dryer and I don’t have to worry about how to buy my kids clothes when they need new ones.” I am so grateful for this life, in big ways and small, and I do believe that an attitude of gratitude leads to the habit of happiness. (See? I totally should have copyrighted that phrase or something 20 years ago!)

  2. Sunny Sunny says:

    Lovely reminder Allison.

  3. Allison Abramson Allison says:

    Amy, thank you for sharing your story. You should write that book!
    ~ Allison

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