The struggles of parenthood are real and they are valid—especially right now. And while it's important to shine a light on the tough stuff to show parents they're not alone, it's equally vital to talk about all the good parts for the very same reason. And a recent, viral Twitter thread has accomplished just that.
Rose Stokes, a journalist based in the UK, is a first-time expecting mom. And just like all of us the first time around, she's anxious about what lies ahead. Recently, she took to Twitter to crowdsource parents into sharing what they love about parenting—and the tweet quickly went viral.
Without wanting to undermine the struggles of parenthood, which I know are huge, I'm getting a bit anxious with lots of people telling me how hard and difficult being a mother will be. As an antidote: parents of Twitter, what big or small things do you love about having children?— Rose Stokes (@RoseStokes) January 7, 2022
"Without wanting to undermine the struggles of parenthood, which I know are huge, I'm getting a bit anxious with lots of people telling me how hard and difficult being a mother will be," she tweeted. "As an antidote: parents of Twitter, what big or small things do you love about having children?"
And oh, did parents deliver. In one of the most lovely Twitter threads this author has ever read, moms and dads showed up in droves to share all the heartfelt, funny, and tender reasons they love being a parent.
Just read some of these responses and try not to smile. Or cry. I dare you!
I think the reason it seems like parenthood is all bad is it’s easy to describe the bad parts and impossible to describe the good parts because they are so good they are other-worldly.— Lucy Huber (@clhubes) January 7, 2022
But for me it’s often the funny mundane moments that make me so glad I’m a parent. For instance my 19mo leaving my entire family, everyone trying to get him to say bye to them, he refuses to speak and then goes “bye Mac” (the dog). 😂😂— Lucy Huber (@clhubes) January 7, 2022
This is such a beautiful and apt explanation. The best way I can describe it is that being with my son opened up a new tier of joy for me. When it’s good, it’s better than anything else.— Arianna Rebolini (@AriannaRebolini) January 7, 2022
Perfectly worded. Tonight, we had a family bedtime story for some reason and we cried with laughter (I definitely pee'd a little) trying to all sing 'Into The Unknown' from frozen. Sounds silly trying to describe that feeling of love and joy but easy say sleep deprived!— Emma Steward (@EmmaSteward14) January 7, 2022
So many things. Waking up with their arms wrapped around me, constant cuddles. Saying “I love you” every time we leave a room. Hearing their worries and mad, made-up stories about imaginary fox families; silly kitchen discos every weekend, eating dinner together with “fake wine”— Victoria Richards (@nakedvix) January 7, 2022
It maybe the hardest job in the world but it’s also the best and most meaningful. What I can promise you is that it gets better and better. Mine are now 9,10 and 14 and I wish I could stop the clock right here. Not pure joy. But many moments of it.— Isabel Oakeshott (@IsabelOakeshott) January 7, 2022
It’s 2 lives. Before and after. But you get to fall in love again and discover intimacy you had never thought possible. You learn your capacity for love is limitless. For me, the best bits are moments no one else would understand or appreciate. When you and your kid just ‘know’.— KarenLisaLaing (@KarenLLaing) January 7, 2022
It’s not always easy but nothing worthwhile ever is. It’s stopping to look at bird nests in a tree & getting, ‘woah, it’s the greatest day ever’. Lots of days are the best ever. It’s the snuggles, the giggles, and the I love you’s. & stories like these from yr almost 4 yr old pic.twitter.com/09VjuxS3Mw— Katy Gartside (@KatyGartside) January 7, 2022
I love how curious they are. They ask questions that I’ve never thought to ask. They also help you to see the world without prejudice or fear….nothing like chasing your little down a hill yelling “be careful” 😅. The days are long but the years are short. Enjoy this time ❤️ pic.twitter.com/fQTJbe27TG— nam kiwanuka (@namshine) January 7, 2022
When my girl was 6 months old I made a recording of her laughter and kept it on my desktop. She's now a funny, smart 15yo who takes no shit and I love the teen years more than anything. But I still listen to that recording and get a surge of joy every time. It's crack, basically— Fiona Sturges (@FionaSturges) January 7, 2022
Honestly, the hard stuff melts away when you feel their hand curl around your finger. Parenting is like starting life over again: their joy becomes your joy, their curiosity reignites yours. Everything will be more intense: the hard stuff, sure - but the love, too. It’s the best. pic.twitter.com/YcKWTMhdwK— Oli Franklin-Wallis (@olifranklin) January 7, 2022
I remember when my son was tiny and we'd fallen asleep and I woke up and saw him nestled in my arms, thinking "this is one of the best moments of my entire life".— Helen Osborn 🦖 (@joeanddan) January 7, 2022
Don't sweat it. Human beings have been doing this successfully for millions of years. You'll be fine.
The thread clearly resonated with many parents, yours truly included. It's exactly the kind of thing we all need to read right now, not necessarily because we need a reminder of how much we love our kids. But because it feels so good to think of all the parenting moments that feel so good, right? And so many of these moments are universal—and all of these wonderful moments are the things we need to be sharing with expecting parents, too.
Rose tells Motherly she wasn't expecting such a huge response, but is very grateful for everyone's stories.
"I was quite overwhelmed to be honest!" she says. "I had been feeling quite anxious and the response was so incredible and positive. It really gave my mental health a boost and I subsequently sent it to every pregnant person/new mother or veteran mother I know."
When you have kids, times can be tough whether there's a global pandemic or not. And, like Rose said in her original tweet, all of those feelings are valid. But even if it's hard to put into words exactly what we love about our children and our roles as their parents, we have to try—for the Roses of the world, for our kids, and most importantly for ourselves.
"I am sure there will be hard times," she says. "But it's important to know that these can co-exist with a lot of beauty and joy."
When it comes to seeking out the beauty in motherhood, a positive mindset goes a long way. Here are a few of our favorite products for getting a little mental boost.