The tiny joys of parenting small children
Parenting. It can be relentless, exhausting, monotonous and mind-numbing, can’t it? But it’s also amazing, awesome, joyful, surprising and rewarding.
Getting used to parenting can take a lot of adjustment though. When success previously meant winning new business, being promoted or finally finding that pair of sold-out shoes you saw in Elle magazine, it can be difficult to think you’ve done anything when your only activity has been to clean up dinner from the floor, again.
Although there are the big, significant milestones in motherhood – your baby crawling, standing, walking, talking – these are few and far between when stretched out along the day-to-day. Especially when some days feel like they last five years. And as parenting is about the journey not the destination, it does need a momentary gear shift.
Instead, I think it really it helps to celebrate the small things about parenting, and focus on the little victories throughout the day. So here are my tiny joys of parenting small children (what are yours?):
- Getting a good night of sleep after months of waking up at all hours, and a luxurious 7am lie-in at any time
- Finding a Peppa Pig episode you’ve not seen before a billion times
- Getting everyone dressed and leaving the house before lunchtime in the early months, and on any day when teething is involved
- Look! A new TOOTH!
- Your first ‘mama’, especially when written on the envelope of a Mother’s Day card
- The silence of a sucessfull nap time
- Making a cup of tea and drinking it when it’s still hot
- Finding time to paint your nails, and not smudge them two minutes later
- Finishing the book you bought nearly two years ago, to read in hospital. Optimistic, much?
- Buying mini sparkly hairclips, stripy tights, patterned babygros, super-stylish Swedish children’s clothes; they don’t need any of these things, but it’ll make you feel better
- Any occasion when you manage to go to the loo by yourself
- The bittersweet joy of putting away something they’ve outgrown
- When you pick them up from nursery (hands down the best moment of the day)
- Holding their tiny hand in yours as you walk down the street, singing Old MacDonald at the top of your voices, and not caring who sees
- A calm, tidy room once you’ve put all the toys away
- The warmth of your child when they fall asleep on you
- A giant glass of wine at the end of the longest day