Parenting is hard, hard work. But sometimes, it can be a little too easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day mundanities and mini-struggles, and forget that this gig we’ve got as mums and dads is actually pretty cool – and FUN.
If a 3am wake-up or a battle over broccoli has got you straining to see the silver lining, drop the adult act for a moment or two and embrace your inner child…here are a few great reasons why we’ve got it good (even on a bad day):
1. Make a mess!
Puddles. Mud. Finger paints. Food fights. Sans kids, indulging in the messy pastimes of your childhood as a grownup would usually mean you’re a few crayons short of a box. That, or a homeless hippy. But with a brood in tow? Nobody will question your sanity – or living arrangements – when you’re making mud pies in the dirt. Or coated in Nutella. Or painted as Spider-Man way past his sell-by-date. So go on, get down and dirty.
2. Goodbye, chores!
Mums will forever lament the fact that children make it impossible to get anything done around the house — but actually? Kids grant you a Get Out of Jail Free card when it comes to having things looking less than pristine. The lil’ tykes rampaging through your domicile don’t care that your carpet is in fact a carpet of crumbs, or that you’re recreating the Tower of Babel in your kitchen sink; and any guests with offspring of their own will (usually) accept the state of your digs without judgement, too – so just relax and hand over the Hoover, already.
3. Pyjama parties!
Your own kids will be your most honest fashion critics; but they’ll never judge you for spending a day cuddling in PJs. Also; you hardly get a chance to get out of them anyway, right? You may as well just surrender to the flannel.
4. Disney on demand
Being a parent means giving up arthouse for animated tearjerkers, always replete with sparkly princesses, talking animals and schmaltzy schmaltz.
Don’t act like you’re sorry.
5. Sing like nobody (big) is watching!
Before they hit their tweens, children are an unbiased audience. And they won’t tell you your voice sucks – at least until they know better. So you can totally belt out your best Westlife ballad for them without fear of a Simon Cowell-esque smackdown.
Well, maybe not Westlife.
6. Avoid awkward adult conversation
Stuck in a boring/ uncomfortable convo? Make an emergency exit by pretending your child needs immediate assistance with…whatever misbehaviour/bioharzardous bodily fluid emission you can concoct quickly enough. FYI: Fake poop explosions work a charm.
Capitalise on your kid appendages by taking them to the park – and play silly buggers on the monkey bars, slide and other size-friendly apparatus until you can barely stand. Never again will a workout be this much fun.
Kids are the best cover for buying toys you secretly wanna play with. Nobody grows out of loving LEGO. Bought a bucketload for your little ones to enjoy, hey? Yeah, right. Similarly, everyone digs playing Barbies – especially dads who doth protest too much.
9. Picture books
We’re always taught that graduating from books with pictures to those packed densely with only unadorned text is an achievement – but building our children’s library with gorgeously illustrated stories reminds us just how enthralling – and moving – pictures can be. Words are overrated.
Children, for the most part, are uncomplicated beings. Hanging out with them not only gives us a reprieve from the ultimately meaningless stressors of life, but also a momentary return-pass to a time when things were simpler.
Not matter how much they may drive you crazy, kids keep you young.