10 things for which parents can give thanks

If your family is like mine, you will probably go around the table this Thursday so everyone can discuss the things for which they are thankful. I thought I would toss out some suggestions for parents to provide a break in the monotony of the typical “friends, family and health” response:

1. Parent parking at the grocery store

Total lifesaver, right? If your grocer doesn’t have this, I insist you abandon your Thanksgiving meal, head down to the store, march right up to the manager and totally give him hell. It’s not like he has better things to do on Thanksgiving than to listen to your rant. If the store is closed, pitch a tent and wait for the 6 a.m. shift. People can’t ignore crazy. THAT’S how amazing parent parking spots are.

2. Parents who can relate

What would we do without the people in our lives who know what it’s like to have children who don’t sleep/don’t eat/don’t make it to the potty/don’t care about your plans? Let’s take it one step further: I am even thankful for the people who stop me in Target to say something like, “I totally remember the tantrum phase. Good luck, mom!” and then skip and sing as they wheel their cart away, leaving me in Aisle 14: Trucks, Trains and Toddler Fits. I am thankful that these folks remind me not to be an asshole.

3. Nap time

It’s the best time of day.

4. Doors

A closed door is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Close the door to the nursery as the baby sleeps. Close the door to the playroom as the 4-year-old plays by himself. Close the door to the bathroom so it’s just me for like, three entire minutes. Yes, doors, you are magical.

5. Pouches

Organic food in pouches? Easiest way ever to trick kids into eating healthy on the go. Bonus: Before kids are old enough to know how to use a pouch, they will totally squirt it all over themselves so you get to test just how good your laundry skills are. Mine are subpar. Smiley face!

6. The 20 minutes between when the kids fall asleep and when I do

Second only to naptime is that sweet spot right around 8 p.m. when the house is dark and quiet. Yes, we are too exhausted to be any kind of productive, but really, that’s a good thing because then I’m too lazy to get off the couch and eat the Milano cookies that have been taunting me from the pantry.

7. Milano cookies

Has absolutely nothing to do with parenting, but I think we can all agree that these deserve a spot on the list.

8. Reasons to get out of the house

Why yes, we should go to the store for an avocado and nothing else. You need me to pick up dry cleaning? Absolutely. There are days when I will look for any reason to get the kids out of the house.

9. Reasons not to leave the house

It’s just too rainy to take the kids outside. It’s getting too close to nap time. My son is just in a “mood” today. Thank you, my sweet children, for getting me out of so many things I did not want to do.

10. Hope

Be thankful for hope. So many times during the week, I remind myself that there is hope that things will not always be so hard. Bedtime will not always be so stressful and toilets will not always have the markings of a potty-training child. Yes, one day I will look back and miss those things, and I have hope that we will all survive until then.

Sarcasm aside, this is a wonderful season that gives us all a chance to think about the obvious and not-so-obvious things in our lives that make them as beautiful as they are. Happy Thanksgiving. I hope your day has lots of food and zero tantrums.

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