Guest Blogger: The Joy of Being a Parent
Yesterday my daughter, now two years old, put her arm around me and said, “You know me.” Some of the surprises that come from her mouth are quite hilarious. “Yes, I do know you,” I said back to her. This is the biggest joy that I get from parenthood, the fact that you can never be prepared for what is going to happen next.
When I first found out that we were going to have a baby I was prepared. I read the books, had done my research and made sure we had all the items that we needed to have a happy baby. The one thing that I didn’t realize at that time was that you only need one thing to make a baby happy – and that one thing is you.
One aspect of parenthood that I find amazing is that my daughter loved the sound of my voice. Sure, my husband and family all joke that I am a horrible singer, but she never seemed to mind at all! Even when I forgot every nursery rhyme I had ever heard and was forced to sing her jingles from the commercials on television, she still looked at me and smiled.
Babies are curious. When my daughter reached the age that she could move around more and start to explore, it really gave me perspective as an adult on how much I take for granted. It was amazing to see the pure joy in her eyes when she started completing milestones, such as rolling over and crawling for the first time. We have two small dogs and you could tell that she was so excited to find out what these balls of fur that walk around the house feel like. It truly is the little things that matter the most.
About the time that I stopped wondering if I was doing everything the right way, I figured out that there really was no “right way.” In fact, the first year of parenthood is a huge experiment trying to figure out what advice that you have been given works, or doesn’t work for you and your family. The best piece of advice that I was given was to get down on the floor and play with your child. By engaging with my daughter on her level, I was able to bond with her and show her that I was interested in what she was learning. As I became more interested, she became more confident to try new things and she continues to amaze me daily at all of the things that she learns!