There are all the obvious reasons to enjoy your children and relish being a parent. The love, the feeling of solidity, the satisfaction of procreation (seemingly we feel empowered at our attempts to populate the planet. Deep). It isn’t an easy choice though. As someone with a tendency to worry, parenting two smallies set anxiety in me to overdrive and believe you me it is very difficult to enjoy daily life when over thinking is ruling your day.
I have battled this beast and for me we have a somewhat symbiotic relationship, something like a person you are forced to spend copious amounts of time with. Someone your personality collides with. Time passes and you find something to relate to it that other being- or at least you can try.
Now life is simpler. I am enjoying the small things properly- not just looking at them happen as if from space, or in a glass box separate from the event- I am living it.
That is the best gift.
What am I loving about parenting? Here are a few very selfish reasons to love being a Mam.
1. Willingly indulging your Peter Pan Syndrome. Are you a child of the eighties? I think there something about this decade. Something that is our legacy- the resistance to fully grow up.
What is considered ‘childlike’ or ‘infantile’ may be in fact what I love and continued to love as my birthdays accumulated and society expected me to give these joys up. I found friends like me (as we Peter Pan folks do) and suddenly it was fine to watch The Lion King on a night in with unrestricted access to sweeties. Grown ups have jobs. A certain amount of disposable income. We enjoyed it. However, it isn’t part of societal expectations to be a teacher (who secretly wears a Grumpy dwarf t-shirt under their vaguely professional attire, so you keep your true love to a hidden pair of Aristocats socks. How utterly amazing is it then, when you have two little girls and get to fully immerse in your childhood nostalgia again! It isn’t that I could not watch Cinderella– it is just so magically lovely to watch it with children. You see it through their eyes and suddenly you feel like a child again. Kids make you young. Planning an Elsa birthday cake. Chasing an imaginary white rabbit. Imagining being Rapunzel whilst painting a picture. Playing hide and seek- in the bath. No age defying cream can work this type of miracle on your body.
God I talk a lot.
2. Snuggles. This particular pleasure has been inspired by a conversation with another blogger, Angela, about the pleasure of your child just hugging you like you are all that will ever matter. Gigi hugged me for a full minute recently. She told me she always wanted to hug me. I know she won’t always want to – so this is more previous to me than any jewel.
3. Hero worship. ‘You do it pawfect Mum-Mum.’ My girls often tell me when I did something wrong- but they also think you are the most special, wonderful, all- knowing, all- inspiring person on the world. How often do you get to be a real life superhero? It is Mum-Mum and Dad-Dad who can solve every worry, every whimper, cater to every whim. They love us unconditionally. We love them unconditionally. Reciprocated love- another true rarity. Nana made pasta for the girls recently and mixed up the sauces. I came home to their little stories of how poor Nana did it wong. A quick re-do and they were happy again- then Betsy looked me in the eye and told me I did it ‘pawfect’. For a few years of these little lives, I am able to fly, see the future, be invisible and grant wishes. I may never save Gotham, but I am their real superhero.
4. Conversation topics. I truly do not care if my child stories and pictures might bore others- I will be sharing them. Be warned! If Gigi did something funny, you will hear. If Betsy looks adorable in a Tinkerbell dress, you will see it. Their existence is like a secret inside me that makes every part of the day a little better- knowing they are ours and they will be there when I go home.
5. Good Food choices. There is a never-ending supply of fruit and vegetables in our home. I want to be a good influence. I try not eat poorly in front of them too often. I cook everything. We eat out but try to make wise choices. Treats are hidden for night time. They make me be a better person just by their presence. I still eat badly quite often- just rarely with them.
6. Open your eyes to a whole other world You see your own parents in a different way- a nicer way hopefully. I relate to my mother on a new level now. This is a gift on its own.
7. Enjoying the small things. No hangover. A PC house. It is just a fact that I have drank way less alcohol since becoming a mam. I just prioritise the good night’s sleep far more. No hangovers as a result! I like the no swear zone thing too. Enid Blyton world.
8. Take pleasure in your night’s sleep. Hygge. Sleep is currency when you have a child. At least that is what a colleague told me – and they were right. I live in the constant terror of tiredness. Fatigue ruins everything. Your mood, your goodwill, your common sense, ability to be fun and diet. I now long to be in bed with the potential prospect of an actual full night’s sleep. A night away means new pyjamas. Bed socks. You know. Sexy stuff like fleece. I love it.
9. Never alone. I have to admit that I found parts of the early days very lonely. However they now talk to me. Laugh with me. Argue. Answer back. They want to be with me constantly. This won’t last. This is the good stuff.
10. You will never be lied to when it matters (even though you might be when it doesn’t). They tell bald truths. The dinner is yucky. The dress is tight. The song is not yours to sing. This brutal honesty is accompanied by transparent lies such as I didn’t do it. Nana did. Nana is ten kilometres away and your clothes are soaked but no. The child is adamant. It was Nana.
I could go on. I won’t. I just needed to say that I know I am lucky. I have daughters.