Being Grateful

“Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World” is a book that I’m reading through, and will be sharing with you. Starting with this post, and to start it off I’m co-hosting a Blog Hop about it!

Raising Grateful Kids Blog Hop

The last few months have been a hard road. It might be odd having a post titled Being Grateful and that being my first sentence but they are both so true.  I have had to learn a lot during these hard months to be grateful for the moments that are good and those that have been blessings.

I haven’t felt the best all Fall but we just put it down as still recovering from the hernia repair this summer and my body adjusting, trying to get stronger. But in November we found out that my hernia repairs in June did not hold. So I was referred to a specialist, three hours away, to discover in December that I would be having mesh put in and the words abdominal reconstruction were being used.  Yes, it sounded scary to us as well.

Add in the holidays and the flurry of the “I wants…” Both from the kids as the catalogs arrived unbidden in the mail slot for the Christmas season, even my own “I wants”, and it can get really hard.  My husband has an awesome job that he loves.  For which I am forever grateful, he is an excellent teacher.  But there are times when paying the bills I have to remember to be grateful for the job he does have, and loves, even if we might say it does not pay as well as would be nice at the end of the month.

In the midst of all of this wanting and stress I saw an invitation to be a part of the launch team for Kristen Welch’s book”Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World”. I signed up, not really expecting to be chosen and was elated when I was accepted.  I was also a little nervous.  I’ve never been a part of a launch team before.

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World book cover #raisinggratefulkids

Isn’t that such a cool cover?  I just love it!

Life, as it often has a habit of, got in the way. I had so many plans, for our house, our family time, this blog, and there was so much I wanted to do over the winter break between semesters.  Life happened but I started reading.

I found it hard to read about trying to teach my children to not feel entitled when I was myself feeling very entitled. But not in the traditional sense of money or things as is addressed in the beginning of the book.

For me I was feeling entitled that I should not having to be told I was going to have to go through surgery again not even 6 months from the last one.  I was angry at being told that from the doctor who performed it. I was feeling entitled that by living in the “good-old-U-S-of-A” the surgery should have been done correctly the first time.  My last hernia repair, a story for another time, held through almost three pregnancies before it had to be cut because someone “decided” to have her chord-prolapse complicating the delivery.  I was angry that the doctor said to my face that he had no long term hopes of it holding and the only thing he could do was refer me.  I continue to struggle with this anger at times even as I prepare for surgery later this week.

As I read (and read) I was also at times feeling entitled because thing were not going “as I planned.”  I asked the kids to do things that I was beginning to have trouble doing again and I wasn’t feeling like these things were being done quickly enough.  Reading the introduction to the book however told me that reading this book was going to be well worth it.  Kristen herself admitted …

…we make mistakes all the time.  I tend to be a control freak, and I talk before I listen.  I also have a temper and can be high strung (to name a few of my flaws). Terrell is more patient, but he’s also a “get over it” kind of parent, and he doesn’t always get our emotional daughters.

Oh goodness was she sure she wasn’t in my house??  With four girls, there are a LOT of emotions.  When pain from a recurrent hernia started increasing for me, it made it really hard to keep my temper.  It has also been really hard to remember to be grateful for the help that my girls can give me, even if it is not always in my timeframe.

I realized that I needed to take a step back from “I’m the mom, do what I say” attitude that I had and make sure I was connecting with my kids.  Were they busy doing something when I asked, so they honestly did not hear me?  What I took as them being selfish often turned out to be a reality of them being unaware I was talking to them because they were so engrossed in the activity they were doing… often reading a book.  Gee, I know nothing of what that is like and have never been on the other end of a conversation like that … pause … I hope you heard the sarcasm there.  Oh my goodness the flashbacks of my childhood.

{Think of a picture of a kid surrounded by books here} :)

As I read more in the book, I struggled again.

The line between what they needed and what I wanted for them had been blurred. - Kristen Welch #raisinggratefulkids

 

The first chapter of Wants vs Needs is something that might have applied to our family more 8 years ago, before job loss, 18 months of unemployment, and still struggling to make ends meet.  I found myself, especially as I started reading, leaning towards really not getting them a lot as there was not a ton they needed.  Everything that went on their wishlists we gave family all had a purpose.  Something that we could use to learn (we are homeschoolers after all) but almost always something they might not realize was teaching them during play.  That would the category most of their wishlists fell into (snap circuts anyone?).  There were a few other things added, but not much.  I’m already trying to pare down what they have and have it kept up, adding more was not really on my agenda.

But the question would get asked…

Is that all?... "Yes, that is all. We don't need more." - Kristen Welch #raisinggratefulkids

Then the spirit of Santa appeared and all of a sudden through Christmas gifts we went from two cell phones (hubby and I as we have no landline), two simple e-readers (hubby and I) and an iPad (mine and homeschooling use), to through that spirit, a tablet for each of the older three and another e-reader.  Oh boy….  We still are working on where to put everything, where it charges and is put away out of the baby’s reach and hopefully soon not on my desk :).  The tree honestly is just coming down tomorrow, mostly because I refuse to let it stay up any longer pine needles are going to be everywhere, so there are other things there that need to find a home.  Sigh.

This is where I related again well to Kristen…

Don’t think for a minute that intentional living equals holiness.  It really just means we are aiming for the stars but lucky if we hit a street lamp.

I’ve missed the street lamp plenty lately.

We raise grateful kids by modeling gratitude. - Kristen Welch #raisinggratefulkids

So instead of complaining of the spirit of Santa arriving at our home, with one more Christmas present session to go, I’m saying I’m grateful.  I’m am very grateful for the friends and family that know what we can use, listened well to suggestions, and provided things for our children to enjoy that we would not have been able to do ourselves.  I never dreamed of those opportunities, knowing it was a long time before they would be within our reach.  New opportunities will open up with these gifts.

I also missed the street lamp on my blogging.  Here I had an awesome opportunity being on the launch team and I haven’t even finished the book yet.  Yep, I said it.  I’m still reading.

So as I go to surgery this week, the book is coming with me.  My phone is going to be all setup for me to blog from so I can actually get my thoughts out without a child interrupting me if I feel so inclined.  Nurses and doctor’s I’m sure will take their place well, and I will be grateful for the care I have.

I haven’t gotten to the technology chapter.  I can’t tackle that before my surgery.  I know I’ll come home with the kids and the struggle to keep them off the tablets and away from the TV.  The struggle will be real.  They are staying with Grandpa and Grandma and there are different rules there and Daddy will try.  But its not home, and everything is out of normal.  Coming home, the spring semester starting up right away, a different grandma here to help.  We will find a new normal, while I get stronger.  Showing my children to be grateful we have the help because we definitely need it.  We will work on the entitlement of the electronics once we get home, I’m looking forward to reading the chapter to see Kristen’s perspective.

Because of being in the group I have had some foreshadowing of the book from where I’m at.  This quote is sticking with me for when I come home, and as I prepare to go in.

When our kids push against us, our first reaction is to push back. But many times when they are struggling, they don’t need more discipline – they need more love.

There will be physical “push” as I know the love language of my kids there will be lots of hugs and touch when I might not be up to it.  But I know the adjustment of coming home will also need love.  I’m thankful to Kristen for this book, the opportunity to begin to share with you.  There is more to come.  Will you join me?

Pre-order your copy of Kristen Welch’s book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World and read along with me.  It ships on January 26th, and given my surgery you’ve got time to catch up.

Blessings

Now come along in the blog hop and see what some of my new friends have thought of this book.

Raising Grateful Kids Blog Hop

Inspiring an Attitude of Gratitude – by Alison
Rasisng Grateful Kids – by Amanda
Why You Can’t Buy Gratitude At The Dollar Store – by Andrea
Missing – Gratefulness in our home – by Ange
Choosing Gratitude – by Angela
Gratefullness – by Chaley
5 Steps to Gratitude-Fille Family – by Christa
Practicing Grateful Parenting – by Dana
Sing a Song – by Hannah
Cultivating gratitude in our family – by Jamie
Gratefulness In Our Home – by Jana
Let It Begin With Me – by Jen
Choosing Gratefulness – by Jennifer
Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World – The Book – by Jeri
Eradicating Entitlement – What are you rooted in? – by Jessica
Gratefulness in our home – by Kate
The Problem With Entitlement is that it begins with us – by Katelyn
7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful – by Kathryn
Raising Grateful Kids – by Keri
How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude – by Kishona
Grateful – by Kristy
Entitlement: The Ugly Truth of a Beautiful Lie – by Leigha
The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Raise Grateful Kids – by Lindsey
Dear Son: How Do I Teach You To Be Grateful Without Guilt? – by Marie Osborne
Gratitude, A Practical Definition – by Mia
Cultivating Gratitude in Our Home – by Nancy
Learning Gratitude through Chronic Illness – by Rachel
**You are here Being Grateful – by Rebecca **
I’ve Found Something I Can’t Live Without – by Sarah
The Power of Naming our Gifts – by Sarah
Outfitted – by Sarah Jo
Growing Gratitude in our Family – by Sondra
Teaching Gratefulness – by Stephanie
How Grateful Looks From Here – by Alison
Fighting Entitlement in Children and All of us – by Leah
Entitlement Problem – by Karrie
Grateful Today – by Krystal