5 Unexpected Sources of Joy as a Parent

Becoming a parent, as we can all safely agree, is such a massive, life altering event, in too many ways to list.

I always knew that becoming a mum would have so many amazing aspects, but I didn’t anticipate them all. One thing that I’ve really noticed is how becoming a mum has brought out so many unexpected sources of joy in my life, and made me appreciate things that I’d always taken for granted. If you’re expecting your first, and perhaps feeling a little apprehensive about what is to come, I hope that this list sparks some positivity and optimism for you.

Seeing your child enjoying their food

I never anticipated just how much satisfaction and happiness I’d get from watching my son taking his feeds, drinking milk from my boobs (later bottles due to medical issues) and gazing up at me, enjoying his first solids, and now at the age of almost three, he’s a fantastic little grubber. Today at a family BBQ, he ate 3 sausages, half a burger, some bread, some salad sticks, 6 mini pizzas and 3 spicy lamb koftas. He runs around like a lunatic and is the most energetic child going, so he needs his fuel, and he bloomin’ well enjoys it, too!

Eating sausages with grandad.

Watching your child playing and enjoying the world around them

Observing your precious child deriving so much pleasure out of the world you’ve brought them into really is such a pleasure. It’s life affirming, in so many ways that I can’t even describe. I especially enjoy seeing Max drinking in all the nature around us; flowers, trees, leaves, wildlife, water, dirt… it’s magical. This is something you can introduce very early on, even newborns benefit from sensory stimulation and play time. Do it as much as possible, you’ll love it.

Captivated by the dandelions with daddy.

Watching your child learning something new… even if it’s naughty!

Yeah, ok, so Max has learned to loosen the baby gate to the kitchen so that he can get food, the cheeky monkey, but I’m also so chuffed by his cleverness. He’s also learned to flash his belly, and stashes crayons so that he can scribble on the walls when we turn our backs. He’s a cheeky monkey but we love his tenacity.

Oops… someone found the patio chalk!

Gazing at your child as they sleep peacefully

There are no words for the feeling in your heart when you watch your precious baby snoozing. It feels so good to see them so contented and enjoying restful sleep, it’s something you’ll know from day one, and it’ll never change, no matter how old your little one gets. Enjoy these moments, drink them in.

Seeing your child develop bonds with your family and friends

This is definitely one of my biggest sources of joy as a parent, one I never anticipated would be so precious. Watching Max developing attachments to my parents, to my husbands parents, to all of our extended family and friends… It’s just been marvellous, and we take so much comfort in knowing that Max has bonds with people who are so nurturing and consistent in being a presence in his life. It really does take a village!

Max with my dad.

Being told by others how amazing your child is

Finally, my biggest unexpected source of joy is hearing others praising my little boy for his behaviour, sociability, sense of humour, and overall contented demeanour. On one level, it’s satisfying for me and my husband as parents, because who doesn’t love being indirectly told they’ve done something right as parents…? On another more significant level, we find it incredibly joyful because fundamentally it means that he’s clearly thriving and happy, which is all that we want in the world. Our son is so, so happy and is flourishing.

Clearly Max is happy as Larry!

What unexpected sources of joy did you find as a parent? Tell us in the comments!

Love from Katie. Xx