Recently, I read an article by a fellow mommy-blogger who pointed out that there are many articles written by parents about how hard parenting is. This blogger herself admits that she is someone who has complained in numerous posts about her life as a parent. Her main point is that we should all stop complaining about how hard parenting is. At first, I was taken aback by this post. I felt like she disputed the very subject of my blog. Do I really want only the hardships of parenting to be the subject of my blog though? Do I think that parenting is difficult? Yes, that's pretty obvious. Do I think that we should have a balance of the good and bad? Of course.
This also got me thinking about when my son is old enough to read. If he ever reads my posts (not that he may ever have any interest in it), what will he see? Will he see that his mom just complained about taking care of him for all those years? I hope not. I think that would break my heart. Yes, he will know that it’s hard - maybe not so explicitly, maybe not obviously, but at the age that kids develop some selfless feelings, most seem develop some amount of consideration for others. At any rate, I don’t want to misrepresent the view of parenthood that so many bloggers (I’m as guilty of this as the next person), the media in general, as well as maybe our own families have shown us. It actually can be joyful. It can rewarding, and it can be…..gasp...fun!!
After all, I originally purposed this blog as a place to be honest about life as a parent. I wouldn’t be doing this blog do justice, then, unless I actually talked about the things about parenthood that I enjoy:
- I love watching my son play and the fascination on his face when he picks up an object. He turns the simplest toy over and over carefully to inspect it. I delight in how fascinated he is by things that I pass over. He reminds me to do something that I’m not-so-good at, which is to smell the roses.
- His smile. Oh, that smile. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a smile that contains so much elation, joy, and love. I’ve heard someone say that girls love their mothers, but that little boys are in love with their mothers. I see that’s true of Joel and it melts my heart a little more everyday.
|Oh, that smile. :) |
- The way he kicks his feet when he gets excited. Joel is always moving his feet - there’s hardly a time when both of his socks or shoes are on at the same time. Or he will pull them off and eat his toes! The best.
- His antics. His most recent game that he made up is throwing toys down the stairs to our front entrance, which Daddy then proceeds to pick up when he gets in the door at night. Joel thinks it’s a fun game, Daddy thinks it’s...well, fun too. :)
- His hands. I love every part of my boy - especially the dimples on his hands. I love watching him touch and experience the world with them.
- How he says “Mom mom mom mom” over and over again. Sometimes it can be irritating after the hundredth time, but right now, I just love it.
- I love going places with him. He loves shopping, and all of the ladies at the store love him too. If I’m in a bad mood, I go out shopping with Joel. Probably not the best habit, but if I exhibit some self-control in not buying things, it can be a good way to bond.
- Bathtime with Joel (or with any kid, really) means that your clothes get washed while you kneel by the tub. Joel loves water and thinks it’s hilarious when you pour water on his head. In fact, we took him swimming recently and even though he was scared of the pool at first, he loved it after about ten minutes. He was motor-ing around in an inflatable turtle. It was probably the happiest that I’ve ever seen Joel or us as a family. We loved it.
- Watching him sleep. It sounds creepy, but if we’re honest, most of us as parents sneak a peek in at our innocent angels and stare at them while they’re sleeping. How can something that screams like a banshee become so peaceful after a long day? I don’t know how this phenomena occurs, but I’ll take it when it happens.
- How he snuggles with anything soft. Lately, he will just hug a blanket, pillow, or even our cat’s bed (gross!) with a smile and a sigh. Precious.
I couldn’t possibly capture all of the sweetness of being a parent in this post alone. These are things that I want to share with the world because they make it worth it. You know the pithy saying that “even though kids are hard, they’re worth it,” or something like that. It’s not just that I have to believe it, it’s that I actually do.
This is what I will try to keep in mind when the winter days are long, I’m at my wit’s end, and all I want to do is call up a girlfriend and commiserate over a glass of wine. When all I want to do is do anything but play with blocks for the millionth time. I need to remember that our kids are worth it. Every tantrum, every juice spill on the floor, and every booger you have to clean. I want my son to know that he's worth it. Completely.
What about you? What brings you joy about being a parent? What little blessings about them do you remind yourself of to keep you going on a hard day? I’d love to hear!