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10 things I’m thankful for as a mom this year (the not-so-pc version)

Erin Zammett Ruddy

Thanksgiving is two days away. Let me first say that this is probably my favorite holiday—it’s all about eating and hanging with family and eating some more and there are no presents to stress or go broke over. Ideal! Let me also say that I am thankful for a lot this year. I have two healthy, happy children, a husband I adore, good friends and family around, my cancer is still in remission, etc., etc., etc. I could go on about the more obvious ways in which I’m grateful, but I’d rather talk about the stuff that wouldn’t make the annual “what are you thankful for?” dinner table discussion. The things that make my life as a parent better/easier/more enjoyable/less stressful and genuinely more fun. In no particular order, here they are:

  • My book club. I was at a friend’s party the night before Thanksgiving last year when two of the girls mentioned a book club they were starting. “I want in!” I declared. A year later we are still going strong and my bookclub friends are the bomb. Some of them I’ve known forever and am just getting reacquainted with, others I’ve met more recently but we’ve all grown really close through our monthly get-togethers. It’s nice to have time to go out with my husband and time to workout and alone time, but having good quality girl time is so so so important too. And I cherish it. Cheers, ladies!
  • Those all-stars-aligned nights (like last night) when I put my head on the pillow at 10:30 p.m. and don’t open my eyes until 7:30 a.m.. Alex doesn’t get up to pee, Nick doesn’t forget to silence his phone, there are no rain and wind storms threatening to blow down the house, I don’t have any disturbing dreams, birds don’t wake up Nora at 6:30, etc. I truly believe that getting a full eight (or, um, nine) hours of sleep is the key to a happy life. Of course this morning when Nick and I woke up at 7:30, we looked at each other and laughed—then went right into the kids’ rooms to make sure they were still breathing.
  • A glass of wine at the end of the day.
  • Nick Jr., when needed. Let me just say that Dora and Diego save more than obscure, squeaky tropical animals. They save my sanity some evenings when Alex is being, well, Alex and I need a break. We also now have How the Grinch Stole Christmas on our DVR, which makes for a nice reprieve—and I’d much rather get “Da-whoo do-ray” stuck in my head than “I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map…”


  • That my husband knows as much about my kids and their schedules/diet/sleep patterns/poop as I do. I went to Boston last weekend for a surprise 30th and left the house at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and didn’t return until Sunday late afternoon. I walked out the door without having to leave a single instruction and I love that. And when I got home Nora only had one scratch on her—AND the kitchen was clean.


  • A second glass of wine at the end of a particularly challenging day.


  • My kids’ babysitter, who is miraculously always available when I need her. Even tomorrow night so we can go to our friends' annual party—though we have to be home by 10 p.m. so she can go out with her friends. Compromise.


  • A treadmill in my house. I feel like I am in pretty decent shape right now—better than I’ve been in years, anyway—and I have managed to get that way by exercising in my own home while Nora either sleeps upstairs or plays in a corral next to me (or hangs with her sitter). I can answer an email if need be, talk on the phone, flip the laundry, catch up on Bravo, all while burning calories.


  • I pretty much never watch TV during normal TV-watching times and though I do have DVR, I have forgotten to program some of my favorite shows (Modern Family, The Event, Glee) so when I jump on the treadmill I bring my laptop with me and queue up whatever I’m in the mood for. Glee makes a great show to work out to, btw. (PS, I know I can simply program the DVR now but this way I only watch those shows while working out—good incentive.)


  • That I don’t have to do anything but show up to my aunt’s Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday. Alex and I are making this pecan cheesecake pie (it’s beyond easy and delish—and no, he won't get to touch or eat any because he's allergic to eggs and nuts, though only very mildly to pecans so we're OK) and some chocolate chip pumpkin cookies if I can get the recipe from my friend (Katie, are you reading?) but other than that we’re just going to spend the day hanging and playing and vegging out.  

OK, that’s all I’ve got for now. Not totally un-pc right? What’s on your list? What are you thankful for this year? Please share—and have a happy happy happy Thanksgiving!