5 Things I Never Expected to Enjoy as a Parent

Wow – I did not see that coming.

Sure, I knew I’d enjoy the hugs and kisses, tickle “fights,” and seeing her reach each milestone. It’s the other stuff I wasn’t expecting.

  1. Picking up my daughter from daycare.

After a particularly grueling day at work, walking in the door at her school and seeing this little ball of curly hair run to me puts an instant smile on my face. Most days, the five minutes we spend in the car on our way home talking about her day tops whatever win I had at work.

  1. Playing pretend

I have always hated playing pretend. Like, hated it with every fiber of my being (if you’ve ever taken the Myers Briggs test, I’m an ESTJ). Growing up, while my sisters would play with their dolls, I would practice my handwriting (side note: I have awesome handwriting, so clearly I was onto something). I would only willingly play pretend “office” when I was given a toy typewriter for Christmas. Even then, I probably didn’t really think I was pretending. I most likely thought I was banging out my first novel. It wasn’t until it was my own daughter “feeding” me with the measuring cup and measuring spoon did I really embrace playing pretend.

  1. Being lazy

I have the somewhat unfortunate habit of measuring how good my weekend was by how productive I was able to be on my days off. Rest and relaxation have never really entered into the equation because I really enjoy zipping around, kicking butt and taking names. While I still enjoy being productive in the traditional sense, my definition of being productive has evolved. Now it isn’t always measured in tasks crossed off a list, but more in the quality time spent cuddling on the sofa, or sitting outside reading and exploring the yard. We go on family adventures each weekend that allow us to have new experiences together, and give me the opportunity to see things through her eyes.

  1. Eating dinner

To clarify, I’ve always loved eating dinner (hello, I could live off of bread, cheese, and pasta). However, before my daughter, it wasn’t always filled with songs and giggles like it is now. Not only have I been pretty lucky so far in that my daughter will try just about anything I offer to her, but we have some pretty epic family renditions of Itsy Bitsy Spider too.

  1. Folding laundry

Each weekend, when the clean clothes are dumped on our bed, and we are sorting through the pile of shirts and PJs, I love seeing just how much my daughter has grown. Some days it makes me sad, but other days I marvel at how tall she’s getting, and how quickly she is wearing through some of her clothes. T-shirts that are suddenly looking like belly-shirts mean she is getting tall like her daddy. Worn knees on her jeans mean she is outside playing, which I know she loves the most.

I could have easily kept this list going about what I enjoy, but I’m more interest in you. What do you enjoy most about being a parent, both expected and not?  (Fur babies count too!  I had two dogs for five years before my daughter was born.)

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