Most of my posts so far have talked about how hard having a baby has been. I mostly blame myself, my expectations were for some kind of Disney baby, despite witnessing friends and family having a baby. I was simply not mentally prepared for how it would change my life so permanently.
Today I am going to write about the top 5 unexpected joys that having a baby has brought.
* Watching her achieve – sitting, crawling, cruising, standing, walking, feeding herself. I really have been captivated and excited by my Boo’s achievements. There’s something so exhilarating in watching your beast try and succeed, especially when they then celebrate with you. I feel so exhilarated and joyful when I see her proud and excited face as she then practices her new skill over and over again. #proudparent
* Learning to communicate – when my Baby looks at her little farm animal finger puppets and says “kak kak kak” and “moooooo” my heart feels like it’s about to burst inside me. The day she learned to sign for ‘help’ instead of standing at my feet and screaming was joyous on so many levels (I do not miss the screaming, at all!). I take great joy in observing when she gets that ‘lightbulb moment’ of realisation that if she says a word or signs something with her hands that I will know (almost) exactly what she wants, and (almost) certainly will give it to her.
* Playtime – newborns can be exceptionally dull, but from the moment she could move we could play together in a new way as a family and I love it. Hide and seek, peekaboo and my all time favourite chase. There is NOTHING more fun as post bath naked chase (according to my child – I don’t tend to get naked and run around like a loon after my bath)
* The way she looks to me and at me for everything – confirmation, reassurance, sympathy, love. I am a mentor, a guide of how to respond, how she can know what is OK and what isn’t. It’s such a huge responsibility and yet as a parent it comes so naturally, to be that rock and safety net. There is something slightly affirming about being the person your child looks to.
* That she thinks I am hilarious – never in my life have I felt so self-confident in my ability to amuse someone else. Sure it doesn’t take much, a raspberry noise here, a silly song there, but I have found great pleasure in being able to provide the in-house entertainment. Her joy brings me joy, which goes on to give her more joy and the cycle continues (until I do something awful like tell her she can’t eat the weird squidgy thing the cat bought in on its furry butt – that’s a whole different cycle!).
Parenthood comes with many untold struggles. Not a day passes without difficult moments, but overwhelmingly it brings with it such joy. It’s not euphoric, and it isn’t always tangible, but it brings an inner contentedness (which sometimes translates to smugness, sorry), a daily happiness and fulfilment that I didn’t realise I needed until it was here.