reasons why it's fun to be a parent
When your baby is crying at three in the morning or
your toddler's just thrown his lunch all over your newly
mopped floor, it's easy to forget the good bits about
being a parent. To help you through the tough times,
here's our round up of the things that make parenting
1 Panicking because you've been given this newborn baby
to take home and you haven't
even got the manual - then realising
how much fun it is learning on the job.
2 Feeling a tiny fist curl around your finger when you
touch his palm.
3 Gazing into your baby's eyes and knowing he trusts
4 Breathing in the best smell in the world: sleepy baby!
5 Being amazed the first time you wrap him up in his
blanket, put him against your shoulder,
pat him gently and incredibly the
6 Being the most tired you've ever been in your whole
life - and the most happy.
7 Sitting up in bed feeding your baby in the middle
of the night, and knowing that
all over the world other mothers are
doing just the same.
8 Watching your partner show his son or daughter off
to all the visitors.
9 Finding out, at your antenatal class reunion, that
no one gets bored of your birth story,
no matter how many times you tell
10 Overhearing your partner at a party talking earnestly
about the best brand of nappy.
11 Watching your baby's sleeping face and wondering
what the future holds for him.
12 Discovering how lovely the dawn chorus can be!
13 Taking him out for the first time and discovering
that everyone wants to stop and talk.
14 Experiencing that amazing feeling of tenderness when
your baby falls asleep in your arms.
15 Buying that Scalextric set/Batman costume/Sylvanian
always wanted (even though your
baby is only one week old).
16 Discovering how infectious a baby's giggles can be.
17 Having someone to leave the family heirlooms to,
even if they're only some love letters
that baby's father once wrote
to you and your grandmother's china puppy dog.
18 Exchanging a smile with other pram-pushing mothers.
19 Dreaming up fantastic food combinations for your
baby: avocado and banana,
chicken and grapes or
sweet potato and broccoli.
20 Laughing when your baby starts waving at everyone
on the bus or in the supermarket.
21 Discovering all the little characteristics that make
your baby unique: fat toes,
sticky-out ears, hair
that sticks up no matter how much it's brushed.
22 Taking millions of photographs, which you keep meaning
to put into an album,
but never quite get round
23 Developing a new family language as your toddler
talks about scissoring the lawn or asks for a bikkit.
24 Having little pairs of pink wellies lined up in the
hall and/or Action Man underpants
scattered on the floor.
25 Knowing the right things to say and the best way
to help when your friends have a baby.
26 Watching Nana and Grandad spoil their little treasure
27 Joining in tactile toddler pleasures like squeezing
playdough in your hands,
scrunching through autumn leaves
or jumping in puddles.
28 Discovering that he's inherited your love of music
or his dad's interest in racing cars.
29 or, even better, discovering he has totally different
like dancing or painting - where
did that come from?
30 Waking up to a sloppy kiss from your toddler.
31 Rediscovering the simple pleasures in life: brightly
coloured flowers, the softness
of a cat's fur or the feel of
sand between your toes, with your little one.
32 Getting used to being known as Jack's mum or Emily's
33 Crying when you see a baby born on TV, understanding
how mothers feel
everywhere from Beijing
34 Discovering the pleasures of three in a bed - even
if you and your partner
only have a few inches
of space while your baby lies sideways across middle.
35 Enjoying the chance to be really silly again - walking
around quacking like a duck
or sitting at the table
wearing a bib and silly hat to encourage your baby to
36 Trying to answer those awkward questions: Do fish
sleep? Why is the sky blue?
How do cows have babies
if they can't get married?
37 Relishing the moment when he first says, "I love
38 Re-discovering how brilliant children's books are,
even if you do sometimes
have to "lose" the one
he's wanted every night for the last three weeks!
39 Having one big bubble bath together: and squabbling
over who gets the end with the taps.
40 Running up a quick cat costume out of a piece of
string, an egg-box and an eye-liner pencil for a party.
41 Multi-tasking: learning how to mix up a bowl of cake
mix with one hand while
you stick a plaster on a toddler's
knee with the other, breastfeed a baby and phone
your mum to ask her what she
wants for her birthday.
42 Discovering the world through your toddler's eyes:
seeing him gaze at a caterpillar
or stare transfixed into a rockpool.
Making a whole new circle of friends, who just happen
to be parents, too.
44 Seeing your values: trying to be straight, kind,
honest, hard-working and
treat others like you'd
like to be treated, rub off on him.
45 Enjoying making up with a hug and kiss once a tantrum
46 Going to a Disney film and no longer being the only
unaccompanied adult in the queue!
47 Finding out that bringing up children gives your
life a new sense of focus.
48 Crying when you drop him off at playgroup for the
first time, then bursting with pride
when you pick him up and realise
he hasn't missed you at all.
49 Keeping all his best artwork from playgroup and turning
your kitchen into your own Tate Modern.
50 Hearing your child say "mum" and wondering who that
is, then realising - it's YOU!