Real Life Mama: Finding the gratitude


By Sarah Shrader - Guest columnist



Focusing on the positive.

Focusing on the positive.


Courtesy of Sarah Shrader

Worried, scared, exhausted, overwhelmed, fearful, anxious, angry — all emotions that I have felt and shared throughout this dreadful year. And while all of those emotions have been pretty justifiable these past eight months, there is one feeling that I have neither spent enough time reflecting on or writing about: gratitude.

Life has been a roller coaster, but I’m still here! Some days, I may feel like I am holding on for dear life and others I throw my hands up and ride the ups and downs. For that, another day with air in my lungs and an opportunity to be better than I was the day before, I am so thankful.

While my perfect little angels still cannot keep a room clean for longer than 10 minutes and need reminded daily to rinse the toothpaste in the sink, pick up their plate after dinner and put their clothes in the laundry, I am still so very thankful for them. Their comfy cuddles, sweet smiles, ever-growing minds, forgiving hearts and unconditional love bring so much joy and meaning to my days.

Every once in a while, when I actually get off on time, we have no extracurricular activities and I get to spend the whole evening at home. I fall asleep on the couch. And I am so thankful – not only for the nap, but because my jackpot hubby picks up my slack in finishing homework, cooking dinner and even monitoring baths. Often times, he gets the least of me, but I sure feel like I get the best of him. Experiencing and clawing our way through our day to day lives is something I am so very thankful for.

While we haven’t been able to do nearly the amount of activities together this year, my parents, sisters and I have not missed a beat on our closeness. Whether it is a group chat, sidebar conversation, random GIF or emoji or listening to my mom sharpen up her piano playing over the phone, this girl could not be more thankful for the original five and the bond we share.

Masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing, teachers, coaches, sitters, neighbors — all the things put in place and all the people working to give our girls a sense of normalcy, those I appreciate so much. While I realize some of those may slow down again here soon, I am so thankful for the measures that have been taken to give us a break from the solidarity.

And, friends! From random reminiscing with some of the girls I went to high school with, to check ins from those close to me, to complete vent sessions and prayers with the besties, some days I am only putting one foot in front of the either because of them. I am so thankful for them.

“Thank you for our house, our cars, food on our table, clothes on our back and thank you for all of our toys,” a part of our nightly prayer that often is said out of memorization rather than gratitude (working on that) — but oh, especially in this year of the unknown, how thankful I am for these things.

Alarm clock ringing way too early to get us up for another day at our jobs, that I am thankful for. And all of those working diligently in the medical field, I see you, and I am so thankful for you.

This year has been trying, to say the least. It has been so easy to jump on the “poor me” train. Trust me, I have a reserved seat. And the irony of it is that although at times it seems like it has been the longest eight months with all the changes, fears and unknown, yet it has also flown by.

And, when I actually take the time to slow down and look around, there is so much to be thankful for. In the eye of a pandemic storm, really stopping and focusing on what I have been blessed with has made my heart feel all kinds of happy.

I don’t know what your Thanksgiving or holidays will look like. Heck, I still am not sure what mine entails either. But my prayer for this Thanksgiving, even with all the negative in this world, is that everyone takes some time to truly reflect on all the things to be grateful for.

It may not come easy at first, but it will come. Look around. Dive deep if you must, whisper it out loud, silently send gratitude prayers up, or exclaim it from the rooftops. Yes, this year has been trying, but I challenge you to reflect on any and all good you have come across.

Because, I promise, there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2020/11/web1_Shrader-Sarah-CMYK-2.jpgCourtesy of Sarah Shrader
Focusing on the positive.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2020/11/web1_mama-1.jpgFocusing on the positive. Courtesy of Sarah Shrader

By Sarah Shrader

Guest columnist

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.

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