I want to start this article with an apology.
An apology to all the non-parents who listen to us parents complain about parenting.
Yes, parenting life can be boring and yes, the sleep deprivation is a killer. Yes, the juggle is real and no, we don’t appreciate the judgement. But we need you to know that we love our little (and big) kids so damn much that our heads and our hearts hurt ALL THE TIME.
Watch: The mums of the Mamamia office share some of the weirdest things their kids have ever done. Post continues below.
Video via Mamamia.
After a chat with a non-parent who pointed out how often we write about the challenges of parenting coupled with a classic moment with my four-year-old that had me in hysterics, I put together a list of some of the unexpected positives that no one tells you about parenting
From re-watching childhood movies to being told you are the greatest pasta chef in the world, here are 18 of the best answers (including my own) from the Mamamia parenting community.
1. “I frickin’ love being a parent. I work in a career I love nine days a fortnight, which gives me the mental capacity to (mostly) be the mum I want to be outside of that. Yesterday my daughter and I were on the playground and she climbed up a ladder much taller than I thought she’d be able to. When she got to the top, I said, ‘You did it!’ Then she was a little scared to go down the slide alone, so she wanted me to join her. When I got to the top of the ladder, she said, ‘You did it!’ She was super excited for me. It was the cutest.” – Hannah.
2. “I love when my 11-year-old son rants at me about some new misogynistic rule or societal norm that he has become aware of. He gets so impassioned about the inequality of not only expecting and pressuring women to be the housekeeper (whether or not they’re working), but how some act like it lessens a man to do housekeeping or child rearing. The latest rant was about why some straight men get so threatened by the concept of their partner earning more than them. Honestly, it’s so beautiful to see the world through a child’s eyes at all ages. My son makes me think the future really will be more equal.” – Ela.
3. “The wet, sloppy kisses from my eight-month-old are the best and make me smile every time. Also, hearing her laugh is just infectious and has us all laughing too.” – Marla.
4. “I loved this comment from my 10-year-old girl about no boys applying for the school’s leadership team: ‘I’m just not sure how we could encourage boys to step up to this type of responsibility!’ It was music to my ears – she didn’t realise there is a power imbalance in society. (Well, not yet!)” – Jenny.
5. “When your kid tells their first joke and gets a laugh from both parents! My four-year-old recently started telling us a ‘story’ from kinder that ended with a punchline and the shock of her actually coming out with a joke caught us so off guard we were in hysterics and she was too! It was my best parenting moment so far and she was so proud of herself for making mummy and daddy laugh.” – Eliza.
6. “My son (11 months young) has developed his sense of humour. He’s figured out that if he wants to open the fridge he needs to pretend to be interested in the dishwasher before making a mad dash for the fridge while giggling so much he can barely stay upright. We’d forgotten how funny babies can be!” – Char.
7. “Watching your child develop into their own little person with this incredible personality and sense of humour. Plus, watching my two older kids (aged seven and five) doting on their one-year-old brother is beyond words.” – Tia.
8. “You cannot beat tickling toddlers and the laugh that comes out of them. I also love playing charades with my kids, aged four and six. They think they are so clever acting things out. It’s so funny.” – Liz.
Listen: Holly and Andrew chat about their golden rules for parenting on this episode of This Glorious Mess, Big Kids. Post continues below.
9. “I love that you get to have your own hype girl with you all the time! My two-year-old is constantly saying things like, ‘nice boobies mama’, ‘good job mum’, ‘good driving mum’, ‘you’re adorable mum’, ‘you’re so cute mum’, ‘I love you mama!’ and it makes me laugh every time!” – Rahni.
10. “I love that my 10-year-old daughter loves music just as much as me. I caught her writing her own song the other day on a piece of lined paper within a binder, just like I did when I was her age. She wants me to help her fine-tune the lyrics so she can record it.” – Rikki.
11.”You can be stupid and play games and it’s totally acceptable… it’s the perfect excuse to channel your own inner-child! I also love the precious moments. I’m trying to imprint them in my memory because I know my kids will grow out of this super affectionate stage, and I want to remember how it feels when that little hand squeezes your finger.” – Madeline.
12. “I love revisiting the fun things you stop doing as adults. Recently I went to Flip Out and had so much fun bouncing around on the trampolines. Becoming a parent forces you to be more outdoorsy… you really get to enjoy being outside. I know this will change but I love being… so adored? It’s such a nice feeling. I woke up to my son this morning saying, ‘Hello mama’, while stroking my face. SO CUTE.” – Nicolle.
13. “Buying a treat for your kids… and one for yourself too!” – Frankie.
14. “There are so many fun things as a parent. There is revisiting your childhood favourites and seeing them enjoy them too, we have been exploring old movies, and while it cut deep that she hated The Dark Crystal, she LOVED Beetlejuice, so that’s a win! I also love having a little buddy to do stuff with, even if it’s not always something you would choose for yourself. I love how your kid will unexpectedly tell you that you look nice or pretty or awesome. Yesterday, my kid told me I was super strong and could do anything I wanted to. Don’t check on me, I’m already dead!” – Claire.
15. “Aside from all the gorgeous unexpected hugs and cuddles and ‘love you mama’ moments, it’s the laughter that has been the most unexpected thing. Just the other morning we were rushing about trying to get ready when my four-year-old burst into our bedroom laughing hysterically with his big brother in tow because they had discovered a place in the US called Poopoo on my phone. I don’t know if it was his joy at the discovery, their cooperation on such a random Google search or their giggles but we all just cracked up laughing.” – Laura (me).
16. “I love going to children’s farms but always felt like I should have a child with me, hence my niece and nephews were always in luck. Now I have a toddler, a visit to a child’s farm can be done so authentically! Also, I love the way my daughter hugs me with all her might and takes delight when we all hug as a family.” – Helen.
17. “One of the best things is being told you’re the best in the world at various random activities. It makes me feel great even though I am not really Olympic level at jumping/running/cooking pasta.” – Rachel.
What are some unexpected things you love most about being a parent? Tell us in the comments below or join the chat over on our Mamamia parents Facebook page.
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