Motherhood by the Numbers. What Makes Us Happy

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There’s a lot of talk about women defining ourselves and other women around us by the numbers: our income, age, dress size, or weight. Maybe the issue isn’t about summarizing our lives by the numbers but rather the numbers we’re using.Forget that you can’t do 100 sit-ups or that you’re not wearing those size 6 pre-pregnancy jeans; these numbers aren’t important. Instead look at the numbers that really matter:

20 minutes your husband watches the kids so you can enjoy an uninterrupted bath

19 chocolate chips you snuck when making a fresh batch of cookies this afternoon (I won’t tell)

18 flowers your youngest daughter weaved into a crown for you to wear

17 blocks you and your son used to make ‘the tallest tower in the world, ever’ before you knocked them down together

16 family vacation photos displayed on the mantel (and you’re even in one or two of them)

15 polka dots on your daughter’s umbrella that she loves to twirl while you walk in the rain

14 minutes of uncontrollable laughter from an impromptu tickle fight

13 meters you ran behind your child holding their bike seat when they learned how to ride a two-wheeler

12 drawings hanging on your refrigerator, all made with love

11 kisses your kids have given you today

10 minutes you spent doing absolutely nothing

9 Band-Aids you’ve applied to booboos this week

8 fishy crackers your daughter lines up across the table each day during morning snack and then proceeds to eat each one-by-one as she counts

7 times your husband has said he loves you this week

6 secrets your oldest daughter has confided to you

5 dozen cupcakes you have decorated together for the school bake sale (give or take a few samplers)

4 times your son shared the same knock knock joke with you (and you still laugh)

3 extra bedtime stories your kids cajole you into reading

2 new laugh lines you’ve added to your face and you’re all the more beautiful for them

1 extra long hug before your child drifts off to sleep, preparing for the adventure tomorrow brings

These are the numbers that make us whole and beautiful and strong. These are the numbers that count. What numbers are important to you?

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