I have a 3 year old and, let’s be real, they do a fair bit of whining. Most days it drives me a little crazy, I’ve lost my cool a few times and shouted ‘that’s enough now stop it’. I’m an only child, incessant noise can slowly get to me.

But the other day something changed. We were driving back from the petrol station and my son was whining because he couldn’t fit his ice cream into a pouch of the hanging organiser by his car chair. ‘My child is lucky he even HAS an ice cream and he’s still whining’ I thought, ‘this is ridiculous’! But then it occurred to me…my child is whining because we are blessed.

I’ve never lived in poverty but I spent the first 27 years of my life in a third world country. I grew up in privilege but was constantly surrounded by people who were unemployed and couldn’t afford to feed their families. Im not talking about people struggling and not being able to afford nice things, people literally have nothing and little hope of change. Social welfare is nonexistent. Basic necessities like running water and electricity are not a reality for everyone. Every second traffic light is littered with people begging at car windows.

I’ve spent time in children’s homes there and you can be damn sure when you give those kids an ice cream no one is whining. Oh no those kids are ecstatic. They are fighting their way to the front to get theirs in fear they won’t receive one and will be quietly eating it as fast as they can. They are grateful. You’ve made their week!

The thought hit me like a ton of bricks. I am lucky my child is whining. He is unhappy about something so minor because he has never gone without. Yes we do say ‘no’ to him, I don’t want to raise an entitled brat. We aren’t rich, but he has no idea what it is to not have enough. To go hungry. To suffer.

So today, and hopefully in future, I will try to remember that my child is whining because we are blessed. We are so lucky. Today I am grateful for whining.