The Best Advice I Received in a Long Time

The standard answer by any mom to, “How are you?” is “Soooo busy!!” And, it is factual. We are all really busy running around keeping up with work and our kids’ schedules and our own social lives. Perhaps though, instead of complaining, we should be grateful we are able to be busy.

I was at elementary school pick up last week, waiting for the boys, chatting with a good friend. I started to whine about having to run to the high school to drop off something my daughter forgot for her soccer game. I was feeling quite sorry for myself … soooo damn busy!

My friend, let’s call her Ann, because that’s her name, passed on advice someone had just given her. Instead of being upset and overwhelmed by all we have to do, try to be grateful you can do it at all. She didn’t offer the advice in a patronizing or condescending way. She offered it as another mom in the trenches who was given a weapon that was working for her. I offer it to you in this same spirit.

I tried it for the past few days, and I swear it works. There are different, all valuable, ways to substitute gratitude for obligation. These are some that work for me.

Instead of complaining about going to the grocery store, think of the moms in Puerto Rico, and be grateful you can provide food and clean water for your family.

Instead of moaning about the upkeep of the house, think of the moms in California, and be grateful you have a home.

Instead of resenting having to run around for your kids, think of moms who are ill, and be grateful you can run at all.

Instead of … you get the idea. Even on our worst day, there is much to be grateful for. If we open our eyes, the world provides plenty of perspective. Find the gratitude and you will find the peace and happiness. You will also find you will get more done. Bitching is a royal waste of time.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.