ahhh motherhood. a thankless job?
We, the royal-human-race we, talk a lot about gratitude.
Finding it, sharing it, showing it, making time every damn day to write it down so we don’t miss experiencing it.
I’m all about that.
As a parent I believe it’s pivotal to practice not preach the act of being thankful for what we have.
As a human I know gratitude is crucial for my health as its expression offers benefits from stress reduction to immunity boosting.
All that said, this Thanksgiving-week I’ve consciously chosen not to focus on the thanks.
I know what I’ve got. I’m grateful on the daily.
This is the week I also admit, as we’ve gone through the 360ish days since last turkey-time, there’s been an overarching thought residing in my head:
I’d love a thank you.
This notion isn’t always in the forefront of my mind, it’s often in my subconscious, yet each time I’m asked questions like: What do you want for Hanukkah? Your birthday is coming–what would you like? my response remains the same.
I’d love a thank you.
When I first shared this sentiment with family and friends, it felt exceedingly awkward.
It seemed as though it shouldn’t have been (thank yous are free! thank yous are fast! thank yous require no planning or shipping!) — it definitely was.
I asked. I waited. I repeatedly received lovely material expressions of appreciation.
They weren’t enough.
Regardless the magnitude or thought behind the tangible gift, my desire for a 2 word nicety remained.
My love language had metamorphosized from cucumbers to a tiny phrase and, apparently, it was incumbent upon me to better define what I longed for.
To point out when I felt the need for recognition and take responsibility for the fact I may not previously have been clear.
I spent time distilling down my desires for the people in my life.
I created a Thank You Laundry Tag of sorts.
- I want to be thanked for being present and prioritizing their needs.
- I want to be thanked for being flexible and resilient.
- I want to be thanked for valuing them and showing up consistently.
My own little thank you turkey.
Brainstorming this list, especially during the season focused thankfulness for/toward others, forced me from my comfort zone.
It felt extraordinary selfish and demanding–yet concurrently reminded how being appreciated motivates me.
And in life:
When I hear gratitude from others it improves our relationship (I learn I’m needed and wanted) and begets my behaving as I intuitively do *and* with a joyous heart.
Two words. Immeasurable power. Easy to explain. Difficult to ask for. Excruciatingly challenging (it seems. at times.) to proffer.
- During this season of thankfulness & tryptophan have you paused, focused on yourself, and considered what YOU want to be thanked for?
Bea saysNovember 21, 2016 at 4:57 am
I wonder of this is a woman thing?
I definitely could use thank you and do not imagine my husband cares.
Allie saysNovember 21, 2016 at 5:00 am
It’s so simple and so appreciated – YES! My husband is actually really great at stopping and thanking me for everything I do for our family. It’s usually after the car is packed for a long weekend or an elaborate dinner is made but, at least he appreciates it and SEES it and that is huge!!
I would like to THANK YOU for being unapologetically yourself in this space. I love it. I love you.
Susie @ SuzLyfe saysNovember 21, 2016 at 5:31 am
Alex is pretty good with thank yous. ANd though when he gives them to me, I kind of brush them off, if he doesn’t? There is trouble.
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home saysNovember 21, 2016 at 5:59 am
I’m always stunned when patients thank me for taking the time to see them. That’s what I’m there for, right? But with the entitlement attitude that permeates my world, that simple thank you is enough.
At home? My youngest says thank you all the time. My oldest and my husband? Not so much. You get what you get.
Coco saysNovember 21, 2016 at 6:06 am
I think this is why I really treasure the birthday cards my kids have picked out for me on their own. I want to thank you for being such a good friend.
cheryl saysNovember 21, 2016 at 7:29 am
I am thanked on a daily basis, from hubby (for finishing our workouts together, for the smoothie he consumes in his truck going to work), from co-workers and parents at my job, from my daughter at least on a weekly basis for giving her encouragement and the supports she needs to figure it all out….I am truly blessed!
messymimi saysNovember 21, 2016 at 7:39 am
My focus has always been on thanking others, it’s odd to think this way, and i have no clue where to start. In fact, my first thought for myself (not anyone else!) was that i shouldn’t seek to be thanked, i shouldn’t want the attention, i shouldn’t be doing things so as to get thanks, i’m not supposed to make it about me, ever. It’s hard to get out of that mindset.
Michelle saysNovember 21, 2016 at 8:29 am
I am lucky because my husband thanks me constantly for the things I do. I would like more thank yous from work, but that’s about it. 🙂
Marcia saysNovember 21, 2016 at 8:52 am
You’re right, it feels great to be appreciated. Maybe it’s wrong but I find myself doing less and less for those who do not express their gratitude. I feel like if it was not appreciated enough to say something, it wasn’t important. Therefore not worth my time.
Haralee saysNovember 21, 2016 at 8:57 am
I love how you differentiate between being thanked and being thankful . In business the emails or calls I get from customers thanking me are truly appreciated! Personally, I love when my family thanks me for something I am doing or did. 2 little words do have power!
Renee saysNovember 21, 2016 at 9:07 am
All we need once in awhile are 2 simple words and we don’t hear them quite as much as we should….Thank you!
Sharon Greenthal saysNovember 21, 2016 at 10:14 am
When my family was young there were very few thank yous. Now that they are all older (including my husband), gratitude is a part of our lives all the time. It’s hard for anyone to remember thank you when the world is chaotic, but eventually, they all will!
pia saysNovember 21, 2016 at 10:49 am
At this moment I just want comments on the first post I have had the nerve to write in a long long time as I live among people who—well we disagree on just about everything
b+(Retire in Style Blog) saysNovember 21, 2016 at 11:20 am
This one caught my attention…it is a call to be not only a person that deserves to be thanked but also the need to be very specific in our thank you.
Thank you for giving us a fresh idea to make Thanksgiving more meaningful. 🙂
Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner saysNovember 21, 2016 at 11:29 am
As you said, simple and easy to thank someone but means so much to the person who receives it. Important to remember this time of year
Beth Havey saysNovember 21, 2016 at 11:29 am
We all need the thank yous. My husband’s love and support needs no words. My daughter gave me one yesterday that I was not expecting. It truly filled me up. My grandchildren’s love fills me up–they don’t have to say thank you, but they do and my son is always there with the words. I do have a silent daughter, but when she finally calls or visits, I know the deep love is there. It’s just her way and I honor that.
firstname.lastname@example.org saysNovember 21, 2016 at 11:40 am
I love to give and do nice things for my family and friends. A little thank you is always nice! It makes we happy to do nice things when it’s appreciated.
Divya saysNovember 21, 2016 at 12:47 pm
My love language is physical touch. Not necessarily in an extremely intimate way. I just love hugs. And being physically close to people. I was surprised when that was what I had gotten when I took the 5 Love Languages quiz, but turns out that a hug means more to me than acts of service or words of affirmation.
My husband’s love language is quality time. I think, to him, it’s important that I don’t try to “parallel play” or multi-task and do things while we’re spending time together. It has been tremendously helpful to know what the other person prioritizes so that I can show my love in that way. Otherwise I’d be clueless walking around showing people I love them in a way that’s not appropriate for THEM!
Did you take the quiz? Did you get words of affirmation as your love language?
I want you to know that you ARE F*cking awesome. You provide daily motivation to multiple people on the daily. I see it because I secretly stalk you on FB to get my motivation fix for the day. WWCD is my motto pretty often.
Roxanne Jones saysNovember 21, 2016 at 1:32 pm
Wow. This really hits the proverbial nail on the head, Carla. We all just want to be seen and acknowledged, and a simple thank you can make that happen. THANK YOU for expressing this so honestly and authentically.
Jennifer Dunham saysNovember 21, 2016 at 7:58 pm
I love this! I think that self-appreciation is so important, and it doesn’t hurt to hear a “thank you” from others as well.
Cathy Lawdanski saysNovember 21, 2016 at 8:20 pm
I don’t know that I need a thank you as much as I need help. I guess I’d need to get better about asking. No one is reading my mind. But I totally get what you are saying. My kids (now adults living on their own) are really good about thanking me.
Deborah saysNovember 23, 2016 at 6:40 pm
I’m not too worried about the ‘thank yous’. For me it’s about being appreciated and I think sometimes that just comes out in the way people deal with you etc… I think I get frustrated when I’m taken for granted and that happens because I rarely say no – even when I want to.
Having said that – I’m better at the excuses than I used to be – though I’d prefer to just be able to be honest.
AdjustedReality saysDecember 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm
Zliten is amazing at the thank yous. He’ll thank me for things that I’m like… “um, why are you thanking for for doing the laundry WHILE you’re doing the dishes… we’re cleaning together”, but it’s still nice to hear.
THANK YOU for being awesome. 😉
Rodrigo Polesso saysDecember 5, 2016 at 5:18 pm
To tell you the truth I never thought about it, I really like to thank people when they help me.