On Parenting (and writing and, of course, the Small Things)

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For various reasons, I never wanted this to become a parenting blog and especially not a motherhood one. But it has slowly dawned on me, firstly that writing one or two posts on parenting doesn’t have to make the whole blog about parenting, and secondly that, as a parent, I really have very little else to write about.

And, thirdly, I have come to the realisation that it is not an option for me to stop writing, even for a short while. Writing is so much a part of who I am, what I do and how my heart and soul express themselves, it’s as essential to my life as friendship or food.

So, here I am, writing about parenting.

When I say that I have little else to write about, it’s not a plea for sympathy or a complaint, it’s just a truth about the season I’m in. Parenting is all consuming and sacrificial, but in the most beautiful and enriching ways.

Our world right now is small: small geographically, a small circle of people that we see, a boundaried routine, the same meals over and over, the same places we visit, the same kids TV programmes on repeat. It’s a season of smallness because it’s a season of closeness and that’s what makes it precious rather than just tedious.

It’s a season of small steps that are actually so, so big for small feet and hearts. It’s a season of cuddles and smiles, of silliness and play. It’s a season of growth and overcoming and hope. It’s a season when again the ‘Small Things’ just come into their own and fill my heart in big ways.

Watching my children form friendships is the most amazing thing. It’s just small moments, like a wave from my son’s friend as he arrived at school, a spontaneous hug between my daughter and her new friend and their uproarious laughter as we built and knocked over block towers.

There are other small yet amazing things too, like our daughter and her talking. Every day there are new words and strings of words and funny, quirky little ways of getting across what she wants. The first day she said ‘night night’ to me as I left the room was the sweetest moment.

I could go on and on writing about our children and the small, awesome things they do every day. Which is why losing my freedom and time (and sleep!) are sacrifices made for much greater gain, and so worth it.

Parenting means that I get to watch miracles every day. It forces me to notice all the small steps, small moments, small achievements and small blessings. It moves me to greater sacrifice, greater love, greater gratitude and greater joy. It gives me at once less to write about and more to write about.

What does your life look like right now? What do your ‘small things’ look like at the moment? What are your sacrifices and what are your gains?

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