Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Fifty reasons why it's fun to be a parent

Hello, friends, all 55 of you (thanks to those who have joined this week) and all those others who drop in occasionally for a peek. It seems you also enjoy creating the simple things with your littlies, judging from your comments. They can really take us back to the basics and remind us what is really important in life. Just on that theme, I've adapted the following article I saw on BabyCentre ages ago. I really relate to its sentiments while living on PB. 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. Here are some reminders - enjoy!

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.

Mr PB and I arrived home, placed our sleeping first-born on the floor and then asked each other "What do we do next?" I'll never forget this moment!
Here is six day old Joshua, asleep in his wrap on his new bedroom floor
2. Feeling a tiny fist curl around your finger when you touch his palm.
3. Gazing into your baby's eyes and knowing she trusts you totally.

4. Breathing in the best smell in the world - sleepy baby!

5. Being amazed the first time you wrap her up in her blanket, put her against your shoulder, pat her gently and incredibly, the yelling stops!
Me settling newborn India
6. Being the most tired you've ever been in your whole life - and the happiest. Well, some of the time, anyway.

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.

My girlfriend and I used to send each other silent (one-handed) text messages at 3 am when we were breastfeeding our boys, just to feel connected with the outside world!
Just remember to keep it on silent!
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 it.

10. Overhearing your partner at a party talking earnestly about the best brand of nappy.
Huggies. Every time. No question.
11. Watching your baby's sleeping face and wondering what the future holds for her.

12. Discovering how lovely the dawn chorus can be! Well, occasionally, and not when you're waiting for daylight savings to start...

13. Taking him out for the first time and discovering that everyone wants to stop and talk.
Showing newborn Joshua off on Christmas Day
14. Experiencing that amazing feeling of tenderness when your baby falls asleep in your arms.

15. Buying that Playmobil/Batman costume/Lego set you always wanted (even though your baby is only one week old).

Cue Mr PB who bought a Playmobil pirate ship on eBay before Joshua was born (and then had to wait two years until he was old enough to use it!).
The original and the best - Playmobil
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 the 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.
And don't forget the good old food face!
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 and 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 to it.

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 gumboots lined up in the hall and/or Wiggles underpants scattered on the floor.
Dorothy is a PB friend
25. Knowing the right things to say and the best way to help when your friends have a baby.

26. Watching Nanna and Pa spoil their little treasure rotten.

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 she has totally different talents, like dancing or painting - where did that come from?
The pixies at work
30. Waking up to a sloppy kiss from your toddler.

31. Rediscovering the simple pleasures in life with your little one - brightly coloured flowers, the softness of a cat's fur or the feel of sand between your toes.

32. Getting used to being known as Jack's mum or Emily's dad.

33. Crying when you see a baby born on TV and understanding how mothers feel everywhere from Beijing to Bicheno.

34. Discovering the pleasures of three in a bed - even if you and your partner only have a few centimetres 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 eat.
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 you, Mummy".

38. Re-discovering how brilliant children's books are, even if you do sometimes have to 'lose' the one she's wanted every night for the last three weeks!
A PB favourite
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 Bandaid on a toddler's knee with the other, breastfeed a baby and phone your mum to ask her what she wants for her birthday.
Another PB friend
42. Discovering the world through your toddler's eyes, seeing him gaze at a caterpillar or stare transfixed into a rock pool.

43. 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 her.

45. Enjoying making up with a hug and kiss once a tantrum is over.

46. Going to a Disney film and no longer being the only unaccompanied adult in the queue.
We're looking forward to watching this one together
 47. Finding out that bringing up children gives your life a new sense of focus.

48. Crying when you drop her off at playgroup for the first time, then bursting with pride when you pick her up and realise she 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!

So, are you smiling now? I get the warm and fuzzies every time I read it. No doubt you have plenty more you can add - share them with us!


This post was rewound at Weekend Rewind at And then there were four on 15 July 2011.


  1. ooh, I love this post. I too remember bringing Henry (now 4) home, hubby and I putting him down in the lounge and thinking what now?! We weren't thinking that at 3am when he cranked up!! Reading this makes me smile, as hard as being a Mum can be at times, geez it is the best thing ever!

  2. Jane these made me smile. I love Playmobil too, although I was never lucky enough to have any as a kid. And I cry every time I see a baby born on TV. My favourite on your list though, are the first words that become part of the familiy's language - at the moment we have: "ming" (mandarin), "cheers" (drink), "Dee" (daddy), "foof" (dog) and lots of other gems. I write them down and feel a bit sad when they eventually fade into more conventional words...

    I would add to the list: Finding a new appreciation for my own mum.

  3. Oh, Melinda, I'm so pleased. Sometimes it's lovely to be reminded of the little pleasures of life on PB. And no, I don't think Joshie was peaceful for much longer after that photo was taken, either! He and Henry could have been in cahoots! But I'm so pleased we took that photo so that moment of bringing our first-born home is now really imprinted in my memory.

    Sarah, I didn't have Playmobil either. Somehow Mr PB's parents afforded it (with six kids - we're both mystified about that). He was so keen for the pixies to enjoy it as much as he did. We've also found his old stash so it's amusing to see 40 year old toys getting a workout again! And you're so right about those little words. Sam has 'doh' for bottle at the moment. I want to take some video to capture his speech at this age - it's so fleeting and ephemeral. I agree with your last one, absolutely. J x

  4. My Liam (3)loves 'Who Sank the Boat!". We both enjoy 'The Magic Hat' and 'Timer For Bed'(Mem Fox) and 'Dear Zoo' (by Rod Campbell?). I loved rediscovering kids books again too!
    X Briohny.

  5. Oh, Briohny, they're all classics on PB! Will do some more posts on books soon. J x

  6. Loving that pirate ship. My brother had a lot of playmobil as a boy, best toys EVER!

  7. Hi Emma I suspected you might, having those two little pirates! I agree - they're really the best, so well made and designed. J x

  8. Such a sentimental post. I got all goo-ey by the end. Thanks for the memories and for joining Weekend Rewind x

  9. Yes, sometimes it's good to be reminded, MM! J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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