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These Are the Things Every Exhausted Mom Is Really Thankful for This Year

Photograph by Twenty20

“Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.” – Pinterest (obviously)

'Tis the season to give thanks, right? Sometimes, this time of year, I like to make a list of all the things I’m grateful for just to remind myself how blessed I am. There are the usual suspects on the list: family, friends, home and health. But then there are the little-but-not-so-little things that only an exhausted mom could be grateful for.

Drive-Thru Anything

I distinctly remember the first time I went through a Starbucks drive-thru. I drove with a friend 35 minutes out of our way just to witness this magic. Fast-forward 15 years and I’m pretty much to the point where I pretty much refuse to go to any restaurant, grocery store, pharmacy or coffee shop if they don’t have a drive-thru. Nothing is worth the punishment of lugging multiple children into an establishment unless A) I have at least two other adults with me as support, B) they have free booze or C) it is Target.

Friends Who Never Call

Gotta love the best mama friends who know never to call you but communicate solely with exasperated texts, relatable pictures of their destroyed living rooms and appropriate memes. All of which I can respond to while doing the other million things on my to-do list.

My Minivan

I always made fun of people who got pregnant and then immediately traded in their perfectly good car for a minivan. I mean, is there a more unattractive vehicle? I think not! But then I became the hypocrite of hypocrites. I now drive that ugly piece of shit with pride and don’t care that it kills my “cool mom” vibe because:

A: I can walk from the front seat to the back end to retrieve my daughter’s binkie without ever exiting my vehicle.

B: I can collapse all seven seats and put an air mattress in there if I need to escape my family for the evening.

C: The doors open with the push of a freaking button, people!

YouTube Kids

Thanks to a combined effort of this channel and strategic amounts of Nick Jr. and Sprout, my children have given me countless hours of piece and quiet. (Plus, how else are they supposed to learn their colors, shapes, animals, numbers, letters and sounds?)

My Cordless Vacuum

How sad does one have to be to request a Black & Decker cordless vacuum for her birthday? But let me tell all of you haters out there who think that jewelry or a facial would be a better gift: THIS MACHINE CLEANS UP EVERYTHING. I’m not just talking a few under-table crumbs after dinner. I use that thing to clean off my counters, my dining room table, my curtains, couches and often my children when they’ve just finished a baked good.

The 'Fluff' Setting on My Dryer

I love throwing all the clothes that seem to endlessly multiply in the wash. For just a moment, everything is tidy and right in the world. Even transferring the clothes over to the dryer is relatively painless. The real issue comes when they are dry. I mean, what to do now?

I like to play a little game with myself called Pretend They’re Not Done. This game is easy to play and involves this internal dialogue: “Self, you have all those clothes sitting in the dryer to fold. They’ve been there long enough that they’re probably all wrinkled. You should probably just 'fluff' them to get those wrinkles out.” Then I proceed to repeat this a dozen times—or until people have taken necessary clothes out of dryer to wear and the dryer is therefore empty.

Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are like the one man band of momdom. I buy these bad boys by the literal truckload for thousands of purposes including, but not limited to: washing my hands after a diaper change, de-boogering my children, wiping dog poop off my shoe, detailing my car, giving myself a quick refresh when I forget deodorant, cleaning my baby’s binky, swiffering my floors, dusting my TV, cleaning the gunk out of my computer keyboard, de-germing my phone and removing my three-day-old makeup. Oh yeah—and wiping my baby’s butt.

Dry Shampoo

Do people really wash their hair with water anymore?

I’m grateful that, for now at least, they think I’m wonderful most of the time.

Chewable Vitamins

My kids legit think I give them special “morning candy” and love me for it!

Mid-Day Baths

Mid-day baths: saving every rainy-day mother since forever. Kids a little antsy from being inside and you don’t feel like doing a puzzle or playing yet another riveting game of Candy Land with them? Throw them in the bath with some bubbles and you've suddenly transformed yourself into “mother of the year.” Pour yourself a glass of wine, grab a book and monitor from a safe splash-free distance.


Sunglasses are the poor mom’s facelift. I could have stayed up for 48 hours straight, downed three bottles of wine and be wearing my workout clothes from three days ago, but throw on those sunglasses for school drop-off and I’m suddenly a movie star.

Breakfast for Dinner

On the nights I forgot to grocery shop or I have no energy to make a healthy balanced dinner, I can break out the Bisquick and any fruit I can find that isn’t moldy and call it breakfast for dinner and everyone loves me!

My Kids Still Believe In Santa

He’s making a list and checking it twice” is my only parenting strategy from October through the end of the year.

Mid-Rise Jeans

First of all, how did I ever in my life wear low-rise jeans? Coming from the perspective of never actually being thin, I’m baffled as to how I thought my love-handled, muffin-topped self looked awesome in these pants. Thankfully, I have discovered the magic of the mid-rise jean. Those bad boys hold all the undesirables in and create a smooth and sleek shape that I am eternally grateful for.

Other Moms Who Also Spend Park-Dates Checking Their Phones

Mom who teaches her kids to swing on their tummies so they don’t need to be pushed for all the live long day, I salute you. You are my people and I am thankful that you do not judge the fact that I take the 15 minutes at the park to scroll my Instagram feed and text above mom friends. After all, this is 95 percent of why we came to the park in the first place.

The Fact That My Kids Still Don’t KNOW I Have No Idea What I’m Doing

When will they discover that I’m making everything up as I go and constantly feel overwhelmed? I don’t know. How long will they believe me when I explain that the “rumble strips on the highway are for blind drivers” or that Caillou’s bedtime is at 7 p.m. so we can’t watch him after that? I don’t know. But I’m grateful that, for now at least, they think I’m wonderful most of the time.