One of the surprising things about me is that I love being a mom. I thought I would be a bad one or a neglectful one, given the rocky start of new motherhood which was a shock to me. I didn’t anticipate the sleepless nights, the difficulty in breastfeeding, the deciphering of cries, the sheer not-knowing. But now it’s one of my favorite roles, something I’m truly savoring. I’m especially taking pleasure in the following:
- Rediscovering childhood favorites, such as re-reading Dr. Seuss books, playing in the sandbox, watching Cinderella, The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins over and over again, eating cotton candy, playing hopscotch.
- Art. You don’t need to buy art anymore. You can actually decorate your home with lovely, heartfelt abstract masterpieces more precious than any you would find in a museum.
- Big hugs and kisses.
- Tapping into my silly side. The sound of a baby’s or child’s laughter is on the top of most people’s joy lists so no wonder we do crazy things just to hear it, like making popping sounds with my mouth and creating funny dances to made-up songs.
- Watching the milestones happen—crawling, standing, walking, running, monkey-bar hanging, abstract drawing, stick figure illustration, reading, until it happens so quickly and piles up so fast you can’t keep track anymore.
- Receiving their simplest gifts—hand-picked flowers, drawings, hand-written notes—that make you happier than anything you’ve gotten in the past.
- Seeing yourself through the eyes of your child and how beautiful they think you are.
- Learning something new. Everything about being a mom is a step out of your comfort zone. You are required to breastfeed, change diapers when they are babies and teach, craft and even make costumes when they are preschoolers. You will find dormant skills and do things you never thought you could do.
- Your capacity for love, nurturing and never-ending patience.
- Compassion for other moms. When I was single, I remember how judgmental I would be about kids who would throw tantrums in malls or babies who cry in planes. But now I withhold that judgment because I know how tough it is and I’ve been there too.
What are your 10 favorite things about being a mom?