I’m going to start this post with a mini rant. Since before I even became pregnant, I’ve been endlessly hearing how rubbish life is once you’re a parent. No more fun, endless mess to clear up and having to be responsible and serious at all times. Mostly this has come from people who don’t have kids. But I’ve also seen a number of parents in blogs and social media talking about all of the things they miss now that they’re parents.
So I thought I’d do the opposite. This is a blog post about how absolutely awesome it is to be a parent.
First of all, children know nothing. Now that sounded mean but it’s true. It means that they are amazed at everything new they learn. I remember the look of complete awe on Pip’s face when I explained to her that the sun isn’t moving up and down, it’s the Earth spinning. Watching someone discover every little thing about the world around them and be totally fascinated by it is just wonderful.
Secondly, being a parent gives you complete license to occasionally act like a child. Yes, obviously it’s important to make sure the child is safe, properly fed, healthy and you’re doing everything possible to give them the happiest life possible. Do you know what makes children really happy? Playing! I spend large amounts of my time building things out of LEGO, giving voice to inanimate objects and pretending that Pip is no longer Pip but is actually whichever character she’s decided to be on that given day.
That last point brings me to the next awesome thing about having a child. Their imagination is limitless. Pip makes up the best stories and characters. She’ll put on a costume and suddenly be someone completely different. She’ll make up a whole life for that character. They’ll go on adventures to places that she’s invented or from other stories or films that she knows. Doctor Who has come to rescue Rapunzel from Daleks before!
Children are completely honest. I do get a bit tired of people being polite and not saying what they really mean. I actually want to know if my new hair colour suits me or if the cake I made tasted disgusting. If you don’t tell me the truth, I can’t change these things. I will continue to obliviously have horrible hair and serve horrible cake. It’s great to have a child that will tell you the absolute truth. She has no concept of saying things to be polite or to spare someone’s feelings. Of course, one has to be careful because children also have no concept of what is socially acceptable. If I dressed up as a Disney Princess to pop to the supermarket, Pip would probably tell me that I look brilliant.
Children also have no shame. Pip will burst into song in any public place. Ok, so this usually earns her cheers and claps, rather than the laughter of mockery that I’d get for doing the same thing but still, it’s great that she can do that without feeling any embarrassment. She’ll also strike up a conversation with absolutely anyone. She says ‘Hello’ to everyone she passes (Oh, while I’m making that point, can I just say that if you ignore a five year old who has just cheerily said Good Morning to you, you are a complete misery and are making the world a more miserable place to be).
Having a child has reminded how happy little things can make someone. A single hug can change her mood from grumpy to elated. A hot chocolate completely makes up for getting soaked in the rain. An email from her Uncle will make her whole day better. It doesn’t matter to her what she’s doing as long as she’s doing it with people she loves.
Having a child, alongside being married, has been the best, most amazing and exciting experience of my life. We have fun every day. I love her so much and even when she’s at her naughtiest, I’ve never for a second thought that my life would be better without her. Yes, occasionally I think it might be nice to go out for an evening slightly more often but I wouldn’t trade being able to do that for being a parent. Plus, I know that one day, Pip will be grown up and I’ll be able to go out as often as I want and I’ll probably miss these days of her being small.
What are your favourite things about being a parent?