Prev None of 25 Next
The pull to have children is part biological and part lifestyle choice. Before I became a mom, I daydreamed about holidays spent together and trips to the ocean. I pictured adventures outdoors and visits to the aquarium. The joy I expected was in the big things. 

And, yes, all those big things are fun (and also more work than I realized), but the true beauty of motherhood lies in the smaller day-to-day moments. I didn't expect the seemingly simple parts to fill my cup with so much happiness, but they do.

Sometimes I think we worry sharing the joyful moments of motherhood will sound cliché or rub people without children the wrong way, but they're exactly what we should be celebrating. We want our kids to grow up knowing we loved being their parents, as opposed to just hearing the complaints.

As a child, I remember my parents making a real effort to never complain about parenthood in front of us. When others would lament the challenges, my parents would turn and tell us we were their greatest gifts. I want my kids to grow up feeling the same way.

I also hope to counterbalance all the things people say before you have kids. For some reason, the negative seems to make for more interesting conversation, but the good is also there and real and important.

Yes, raising little people is often hard, but it's also incredibly rewarding. Here are the hidden joys I didn't see coming.