10 moments of parenting joy

Joyful parents and son

We all know that being a parent isn't an easy ride. Luckily, the moments of joy – from milestone firsts to a few minutes of silliness or sometimes just a LOOK from them – make it all worthwhile. Brighten up your day and have a weep read through these Mumsnetters' experiences of parenting magic.

1. The bonding moments

“When we walk together, my daughter is always elated when we are in step with one another. A little thing to me but big to her.”

“The pure physical pleasure he gets from being close to me. He lays his cheek on mine, gets very still and I can practically feel his heart slow as he properly relaxes because he knows he's with his mother.”

2. The simple moments

Mother and daughter reading

“For me, it's the simple things that count. Nothing beats cuddling up with a child and a book.”

3. The moments of imagination

“When my daughter looks up with her big eyes and says 'Adventure, Mummy?' Everything is an adventure when you're two.”

4. The musical moments

Family singing

“All of us singing to the radio in the car – because we know no one can hear us. We're quite loud – God forbid somebody should hear us!”

“Hearing my 18-month-old daughter singing in her cot when she wakes up in the morning.”

5. The individual moments

“When one of my children demonstrates kindness, compassion, altruism, a sense of social justice. It makes me feel all gooey inside, and I'm not the sentimental sort.”

“Emptying my daughter's coat pockets and finding wrappers, slides, gloves, lipgloss owl… It's like a tiny window into her life separate from mine.”

6. The funny moments

“I love when we have a silly few minutes together. When a song they like comes on the radio, my two rush in and dance around the kitchen and I can't resist joining in.”

7. The cosy moments

“Every night I make up a story about my daughter and her toy rabbit. It's very personal and special to her.”

“Watching her eyes close as she drifts off to an involuntary nap. The slow, heavy blinking, the way her eyes roll back – she looks blissed out.”

8. The appreciative moments

Child running at dad

“Picking him up from nursery – my son running into my arms when he sees me.”

9. The surprising moments

Weaning – I was so stressed at the thought of it, but it was brilliant! How often do you get to watch someone eat something for the first time?”

“Discovering that a timid, shy, hesitant kid (me) can create a gregarious, confident, outgoing one.”

10. The moments you suspect are little white lies

“When my son says I'd better hold his hand while we're walking so that he can be sure I'm safe…”