What Makes a Mother's Heart Swell?


If you’ve been following my blog for some time now, you will know that when little T started school, we went through a tough time of bursting into tears, of her not wanting to go to school every single morning.  It was a difficult phase for all of us, especially my darling daughter.

It went on for about two weeks.  Then thankfully it stopped and she was fine.  She started her gymnastics class which she loved straight from the start and didn’t even cry on her first day.  Maybe because she knew that we were just in another room waiting for her, unlike school where she knew she was going to be left-alone.

Most of the kids in her school went to an after school-activity called “Star Makers”.  It’s a drama/sing and dance class which a mother from little T’s class runs in the village hall not far from little T’s class.  When she first heard about it, she adamantly declared “I’m not going to star-makers!”  which was okay with us.  I didn’t want her to have too many after-school activities anyway.

Then over the weeks, more of her shell has been shed and one day, on her own, she decided that she also wanted to go to Star Makers just like all her friends.

After her first session months ago, she came home skipping and said “I wish it were star-makers everyday!”

And last Monday, they had their first ever production of “Lion King”.  It was really a small show, just set in the village hall with all the parents watching.  Little T was just one of the animals, just like the rest of her friends.

Watching her perform left a little lump in my throat and a swelling in my heart.  She was absolutely loving every minute of it.  There was no fear in her eyes, there was joy in them as she danced and sang along with her friends.  My husband and I were beaming with pride, I’m sure all the parents present felt the same.

And I said to myself, this is what it’s all about.  This is what motherhood/parenthood is all about, the lump in my throat and swell in my heart – This is everything.  Moments like this one is what matters.  When she’s happy and confident in herself and basking in every single moment of it.

starmkers1_littlestepsYes, there are bad days.  Days when you wonder, plodding down the road to do the school-run, Is this it?  Is this what my life is all about now.  Is this really it?”  


 To that mother, who is asking the same questions above, my answer would be.  “Yes it is.  Yes this is it.  And it is everything and it may seem nothing to you at that moment, but you’ll find other moments, when you stop and think and say to yourself, proudly … Yes, this is it.  This is my life and I’m loving every single minute of it”.


See that little girl standing with her little animal headgear?  She used to hide behind my legs every time someone said hello to her.


She used to cover her eyes when someone would look at her and when someone asked her a question, you’d have to strain yours ears just to hear her very soft reply.  Today she says “Oh yes, please” if you offered her something she wanted.  If she wasn’t interested,  she’d confidently say, “No thank you”.

Starting school and all her other activities has made who she is today: A happy, smart and confident little girl who loves everything about her four-year-old life.  And this is what matters, this is why looking at those photos leaves a lump in my throat and a swelling in my heart.  This is what it is and what it should always be about.

When those days come rolling back in (and they will come back, they always do) and you start to doubt yourself all over again and wonder Is this it?  Is this really it?  These photos will speak back to me and reply, “Yes it is.  At the moment, yes, this is it… And aint it grand?”

Do you have those moments too?

Not My Year Off


  1. I put a video of Mr T on IG and his latest acting gig… and just the other day I stated “you know, I thought I was tired and worn out when he was little, I think it’s worse now!!” But, yes, it is all so very worth it… I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    And, Little T looks beautiful and so natural on stage! Congratulations to her!

  2. she’s amazing and she’s come so far! You must be filled with so much pride and love for her. She’s awesome!

    • She has definitely come so far. Of course, she still has her moments, but most days she’s definitely … like you said … awesome! 😉 Thank you.

  3. I have those moments every single week! I had a little girl (now 13!) who sounds very much like your Little T – she would hide behind my legs and was too scared to go to someone’s house for tea. She then discovered drama and singing, something she really enjoyed. It brought her to life! Such a proud moment when they find something that they are passionate about isn’t it? A truly heart-warming post. Well done on encouraging it. x x PS Thank you so much for your nomination in the BiBs, I really appreciate it. x

    • It certainly is something to be proud about and I do hope that T stays happy and a confident little girl 😉 … You’re most welcome. You deserve it!

  4. These are the very best moments. And yes, I still get them all the time. Jess is nearly 11 and every school moment, or when she tells me something with that enthusiasm girls have for revealing amazing moments, my heart swells and tears form at least once or twice a week. Glad you are loving these moments and you document them so beautifully. 🙂

    • Thank you! I have loads of those moments when I wonder “Is this really it?” I used to have a career, a life, that sort of thing. But the good thing about these moments (like all moments), they never last and are always, always pushed aside by like you said, our kids doing or saying something and our heart swells! So glad for those that push away the niggling negative moments/emotions aside 🙂

  5. sarahmo3w

    What a lovely post! I can completely relate to this – I have a little performer and every time I see her dance my heart swells with pride. My little girl wouldn’t speak to anyone or look anyone in the eye when she was tiny. Our two boys had never been shy, so we didn’t know what to make of her. (It turns out she just really needed glasses and she changed overnight when she could see.) Now she is the most confident girl in the world who likes nothing better than to dance and perform and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

    • I love reading about your daughter and her ballet Sarah. I can imagine too how proud you are of her, I would be too, just as I am with my little T 🙂

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  7. debsrandomwritings

    Hi Dean, I can so relate to that swelling of pride whilst watching your child stand up in front of an audience (no matter how big or small). My two are big, ugly teenagers now, but when they were small they seemed to be always doing something. Putting on small plays to mark special days is normal in Greek schools and I’ve yet to meet a shy Greek child!

    The first time I saw both of my children do something was in a Christmas play in their first year of school, nothing major, an angel wing flap across the ”stage” and a short line and that was it, but tears pricked my eyes and I couldn’t stop smiling.

    It is wonderful that Little T has grown out of her initial shyness and has become a more confident little girl. I’m sure her confidence will continue to grow.

    • I hope so too. She’s really gone a long way from being the shy little girl when school first started to the confident little one she is now 🙂

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