Perfect parenting moments...
Those times when you feel your purpose is crystal clear, when your heart almost bursts... Like you're the only person in the world for the job and you're succeeding at it... That you're needed, wanted, appreciated, loved.
They don't happen every day but when they do, it makes all the rest worthwhile. All the trials and tribulations of the occasionally monotonous day to day life, the frustration, anger, impatience and exasperation, all those sleepless nights over the years... They suddenly pale into insignificance when you are right there in the moment, as the only person your child needs.
It could be rolling around on the floor together laughing, singing a silly song, reading a story and actively engaging in a stimulating conversation, going for a walk in the rain, being there for cuddles when they are ill or in pain or simply watching them BE.
Our children can and should love many people - family, friends, teachers, neighbours. It is part of our job as parents to support and encourage these relationships, but sometimes only Mummy will do and that is quite a heartwarming, empowering feeling.
There are many mornings when I wake up with both girls cuddled in bed with me and I feel like crying happy tears. For that brief, precious period of time before we have to get up and start our day, I am occasionally so overcome with parenting joy that I could die happy there and then – obviously I don't really want to (and sadly it can pass very quickly) but that's how perfect the moment seems!
Some days, I have to remind myself to stop and just watch them... Sit quietly, breathe and take in the wonder of these children we've created. They are so full of life! Simply bursting with joyful energy, wide-eyed wonder and untarnished enthusiasm for the world. They truly are the best thing in my life.
Lucy woke up last night in tears suffering from growing pains in her knees. I had them for years as a child so could fully empathize with the agonizing pain. I gave her medicine, cuddled her on the sofa, read her a story and rubbed her knees... She said I had magic hands because I made her better! Who was I to argue that it was paracetamol not parental touch that did the trick? I was happy to have provided some maternal magic and quietly relished the compliment. Mummy is a superhero!
I had a similar surge of parenting pride when we went to visit Arabella's new school the other day. After leaving she said: "Mummy, do I really have to be happy on my first day?" I told her it was ok to feel however she wanted. She could be scared, sad, worried, nervous or excited if she felt like it... I would be there for her at the end of the day regardless of how it went.
I love love LOVE those precious, perfect parenting moments. They are a reminder of what motherhood is all about! There is so much negativity out there and so many articles circulate about the struggles, strains and downside of parenthood. But not enough gets said about the overwhelming joy and sense of purpose that also comes with the job! By searching for the small, special moments and recognising them when they come along, you become more aware and they happen more often... Try it, it's true!
Not only do these moments provide huge personal satisfaction, but they are also extremely beneficial to your children. They build up their self-esteem, increase their sense of being loved and add to the happy childhood memories they'll carry with them into adulthood... Everybody wins. As long as these moments outweigh any disastrous ones, I have faith that they'll grow up as happy, well-adjusted, well-rounded individuals. (And hopefully won't need therapy one day!)
I am so grateful for the joy of being a mother and for my beautiful family. Every single night Lucy holds on to me so tight, begging me to stay with her forever, smiling up at me with the biggest sunshine eyes and grin I can't resist - and I try not to cry as I remind myself these days are limited. Similarly, Arabella still bursts into fits of tears if one of us leaves the house without giving her "kiss-cuddles"... They are growing up so fast and soon the day will come when they're too cool for cuddles outside school, they prefer to read to themselves, turn out their own lights and just shout goodnight from the end of the hall...
Until then though, I will collect as many kisses and cuddles as I can, read stories till I'm hoarse, sing silly songs, run along the beach and spend as many hours as I can just watching them play and explore. It is these little things that make up a lifetime.
I wish all of you parents out there at least one perfect moment each day. Watch your kids, dance in the rain, read a whole pile of books at once, build a den, stay for that extra bedtime cuddle, kiss them endlessly... They will thank you for it with love!
Love Holly x
Question: What perfect parenting moments have you experienced lately? What are your favourite things about being a parent?