As parents we often have a really good big-picture idea of all the things we want to accomplish or how we want our family to run. Our days — even weeks — can be really crazy. It’s easy to keep blinders on like horses in a horse race, focusing only on the finish line. We can’t seem to see anything below us or around us along the track.

We can get overwhelmed with the things we need to do, doing our best just to focus and carry on with a positive attitude. Though this perseverance is often necessary, we miss stuff. Really important stuff. It’s the little things hidden by our blinders that can bring us the most joy.

Writer Robert Brault penned, “enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

Enjoy the little things

I have a young family, but already I can see that it really is the little things that are the big things in life. But in the moment, enjoying the little things is much easier said than done. When you are knee-deep in laundry or concerned about life choices your teenagers are making, you’re just trying to forge ahead. Stopping to smell the roses rarely seems like an option. At least not an option if you want to make it to dinner time!

We are survivors doing the best we can. Rejoicing in the little things is not always an easy thing to do. But it can be. How do we make it easy? How do we rejoice in the little things when we are overwhelmed? How do we make the little things a big part of our big-picture goals and a big part of our day? We can start with little tasks.

Little tasks

I’m a believer in balancing life and family. I see value in life and home systems. Recently I made just a couple little changes in the morning that made a big difference in the day.

I’m not awesome at housework, I’ll admit it. We used to stack dishes in the sink until the end of the day. But recently I found taking a few minutes in the morning to unload the dishwasher before the day gets hectic frees up time for us at night when the routine is busy and stressful.

You may already be on top of dishes, but is there some other little task you could do to make your day easier? What time of day are you most stressed? When do you have the most extra time or energy? Is there something you could do during that extra time that would help alleviate stress during the busiest part of your day?

One of the moms I mentor has lots of little kids at home and found she spent most of her time looking for shoes, never getting out of the house on time. She decided to lock all shoes in a closet. When it was time to leave, they unlocked the closet. When they returned home, they placed the shoes back in the closet and locked it again. That one little task made a huge difference in her big-picture day, every day.

Little blessings

We can rejoice in the little moments in our life that bring us light and happiness and goodness. How can we rejoice in these little moments? We must first pay attention to the little mercies in our lives.

We can keep a gratitude journal and make an effort to remember and write down the little blessings we experience every day. When we have a grateful attitude, we attract more blessings. It’s all attached to our feelings. As you write down what you are grateful for, feel it in your heart. Keeping a journal, or even just a list, can really get us out of a funk and help us see the things that are really important.

Our children are also little blessings in our lives. They are the main reason the little things in life are really the big things. We can rejoice in our children, no matter their age. We can love them and nurture them.

If we take time to remove our blinders, even during the busiest of times, we can notice the little things that bring us the most joy and make them a big part of our day.

This article originally published on Motherhood Matters on
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