I experienced wide-eyed wonder in my late teens and early twenties while traveling to other countries, but I think the first time I experienced real joy was when my child was born.

This may seem cliché, but I hope the same for you if you’ve not yet had children. And if you’ve been lucky enough to experience joy before the birth of your child, then I would posit that you are indeed a lucky individual. And probably not nearly as jaded as me.

Having a daughter has been the most significant event in my life. I was warned I was going “to fall madly in love” and, subsequently, accused of being “over the moon.” I can’t stress enough the amount of happiness that becoming a parent has brought me.

Granted, it’s early, and it’s already been difficult, at times. I haven’t always gotten the sleep I needed, and being unable to console a weeping infant has not necessarily been fun, but the joy remains.

This is fairly significant, considering I may or may not have been someone who believed in joy previously. In fact, the idea that someone could experience this level of happiness seemed almost delusional.

I’ve experienced pleasure, and I have had fun engaging in certain activities, but this is very different. I now find contentment in simply knowing that my offspring is near. And what I feel that I need to achieve and what I want has been permanently altered. I still have desires and ambition, but the idea that they can give me what I already have is laughable.

I don’t know if it will always be this way, but the notion that it could be is comforting. Simply put, joy has opened a new world for me. And my life as a parent has only just begun.

Photo: Mohamed Nohassi