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Do you ever wake up and dread your day?

A mom who’s a cook may not know how many more potatoes she can peel at work only to return home to cook for her family. A mom who’s a psychiatrist may not know how many more troubled teens she can counsel when she’s dealing with her own troubled teen. Even a happy mom may think to herself, “I don’t know how many more diapers and crib sheets I can change today!”

Drudgery can be an emotional, mental drain. But if we replace an attitude of drudgery with an attitude of gratitude, it will make a huge difference.

Lauren Spalding, my daughter, shares how it made a difference in her day and in her son’s day:

Being a mother is the most incredible blessing. I’m so thankful to be a mom, but that definitely isn’t always in the forefront of my mind. I have a beautiful, bouncy, busy, toddler who is as strong-willed as I am! People often ask me if I’m exhausted at the end of the day. Of course I am! Sometimes it’s easy to fall into a pit of exhaustion and have a negative attitude. “I really wish he’d sit and play quietly instead of constantly climbing on the table or couch or stairs and wanting to go outside in the hundred-degree heat. I wish he would nap longer, like Johnny.”

For instance, a few days ago my son woke from his nap much earlier than usual. I was working from home and had a lot to do. At first, my thoughts were, “You’ve got to be kidding me! How is he already up? What am I going to do for the rest of the day?” But I quickly decided to have a positive attitude instead of a negative one (although I admit I don’t always). Because of my attitude change, when I went to get him, I was excited to see my son. We had some of the most precious moments. I held him in my lap, facing me, and showed him how to smile on demand. He had such a cute expression in his eyes.

We tickled, gave hugs, loved on each other, and it was a truly memorable and sweet time. Had I not purposefully chosen to change my attitude, it would have been easy to just get him from his crib, get him a drink and snack and think, “Poor me.

Think what I would have missed!

I’m thankful to have a happy, healthy son. I’m thankful for the precious moments in life that might sometimes be taken for granted.

One Word That Can Change Your Mom Life

You may not be buying that one word can change your life.

But it can.

Jesus said the things that come out of our mouths come from the heart.

But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.

Matthew 15:18

Since what’s in our hearts spills out of our mouths, and our heartfelt thoughts and words materialize into actions, it’s worthwhile to consider what is in our hearts. Is it “I have to” or “I get to”?

Consider the impact it could have on our families if we removed from our hearts the land mine of drudgery—“I have to”— and replaced it with “I get to.” Try it. How would you fill in the blank? “I have to .” Now, change “have to” with “get to.”

“I get to.” By replacing “have” with “get,” you replace a negative attitude with a positive perspective. I speak from experience. Many times I’ve thought, “I have to . . . ” Then, God reminds me that it is a privilege to do what He has placed in my life.

Try it. I challenge you to switch from “have to” to “get to.”

When you make it a practice, you’ll discover you have more than a word switch. You’ll also see your attitude change from drudgery to hope-filled purpose.

One word can change mom life. Replace “have to” with “get to” and you will experience peace and thankfulness ruling your heart.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:15

Adapted excerpt from The Plan A Mom in a Plan B World: How to Raise Faithful Kids in a Flawed World. Published by Leafwood Publishers. Copyright by Debbie Taylor Williams. Used with permission.