When journalist Rose Stokes, who is 20 weeks pregnant, had an encounter with a well meaning stranger that veered quickly into a horror story about how horrifying labour was going to be, she was understandably shaken. This stranger went on to tell Rose to ‘make the most of my life now because it would soon be over’. What had been a little luxury of a trip into a nail salon hard turned into an experience that had left her feeling super anxious about what was to come. After ‘a pretty strong intervention’ from her best friend and partner, she felt more positive, but questions around the perceptions we have around parenting and the conversations we have about it lingered.
So Rose took to Twitter to ask her 11.9k followers for their thoughts. She asked: “Without wanting to undermine the struggles of parenthood, which I know are huge, what big or small things do you love about having children?”And the replies that followed were full of magic. Hundreds of parents responded with their own insights into why being a person who raises tiny humans is a glorious thing. Full of stories, photos, massive moments, minuscule moments.
Inspired by Rose, we asked the parents of the HMHB community what big or small things they love about having children. And the answers were just as magic. And we want to share some of them here, because as Rose pointed out in a column for Metro: “We need to find a middle ground, where we can be honest about the kaleidoscope of experiences that raising humans entails — and that includes good as well as bad.”
Parenting isn’t an easy ride. It’s a rollercoaster and one that comes with many ups, downs, loop the loops, drops, thrills and adrenaline rushes. But just talking about the bad bits, the hard bits, eclipses the very real parenting joy that can creep up on you when you least expect it. We hope that by highlighting some of these brilliant bits, as inspired by Rose and all those people who responded to her tweet and our Instagram post, you might be able to find some joy in your parenting journey today, even if it’s feeling a little bit hard.