I’m sure you can picture the scene because I’m sure you’ve been there.
You have wrangled a teething toddler who doesn’t understand all day pain. Not only that, you conquered piles of laundry, put the dishes in the dishwasher and turned it on. You have been spat upon, kicked, and hit during tantrums. There might be some food in your hair that was thrown your way during lunch. Hey, at least you’re wearing clean clothes (pajamas totally count)!
Then all of a sudden, everything changes. Your sweet child produces an angelic look, does back flips and squeals in delight because DADDY’S HOME!
Of course, not all days are as trying as that. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband unconditionally and he is actually the best. But, seriously. My sweet toddler yells “DADDY” 50 times a day and has yet to utter any form of the word Mom on a regular basis. I never see that excitement from my sweet boy, even if I’ve been gone for hours. I do love how much he loves his daddy, but sometimes I miss the appreciation.
Recently, in an effort to hear the “Thank you” that us moms just sometimes need, I began looking for the silent thank you.
Silent Thank You’s Matter
- When he eats his food, he is saying, “Thank you mom for making sure I stay well fed and nourished” and “Thank you for caring for me.”
- When he clings to me or runs to wrap around my legs, he is saying, “Thank you for being my safe place.” “Thank you that I can always run to you when I feel scared or unsure.”
- Sometimes he randomly stretches out his arms and says “up” to me, he is saying, “Thank you for just being there.”
- When he learns something new and has a joyous expression filling his face, he is saying, “Thank you for teaching me.”
- He is sick and just wants to be held, his actions say, “Thank you for being my comfort.”
- Those moments when he is scattering toys all over the house faster than I can put them away, he is saying, “Thank you for giving me a place to play and more toys than I need!”
- When he has a meltdown when I leave him, he is saying,“Thank you for being the one I can trust.”
- When he is unfolding the laundry that I are attempting to fold what I imagine him saying, “Thank you for teaching me about how to care for our family.”
- And, when he is scrambling up my legs while I cook dinner, he is saying ,“I want to be part of what you are doing!”
Look for the Silent Thank You
So, the next time you are pulling your hair out and about to lose your mind, just stop. Stop and notice the silent speech. Notice the words that they cannot speak yet. Notice what you are doing in that moment and how it is impacting and teaching your child. Consider what they are thankful for even if they don’t realize or have words to express their gratitude.