PARENTS

12 Things Parents Didn't Expect To Love About Raising Kids

06/22/2015 09:43 am ET | Updated Jun 22, 2015

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There are many parts of parenting that you expect to love -- the sweet faces looking up at you, the smiles and giggles, seeing your kids reach their goals. But did you ever think you'd be SO excited about poop, being up in the middle of the night, and the constant mess?

We asked the HuffPost Parents community what they didn't expect to enjoy about parenting. Here's what they had to say:

1. Getting up in the middle of the night. “No matter what age they are and no matter the reason, there is something about being with your child in the quiet, wee hours of the morning. It's time that the two of you have alone together, when you are completely focused on that one child. Even if it starts as a storm, you bring them calm. Being able to soothe your child is so satisfying.” -- Marie Fryer Zullo

2. Your kid's sense of humor. “My kids are hilarious. One time my toddler stripped down and covered herself in petroleum jelly. She ran from me, laughing. I couldn't even catch her because she was too slippery.” -- Jennifer Barnes

3. The noise. “I am surprised by how much I am unbothered by (and even enjoy) the sound of my daughter's toys. I've always found baby toy's noise so obnoxious, and I was worried I'd be one of those mums who takes the batteries out of the toys... But I kind of love the constant noise, because it's the sound of her happiness and enjoyment. And it's so much better than her being bored and miserable!” -- Sarah Courtney

4. The sense of purpose. “I didn't expect to feel so free. So many people say that once you have kids, your life is over. For me it was the opposite. I didn't live until my daughter was born. Now I have a purpose; a reason to get up everyday. I can be myself around her without judgement and that is such a wonderful feeling.” -- Brooke Dawson

5. Poop. “ I've never been so happy for another human to just poop!!” -- Samantha McCallum

6. The toddler years. “While the 'terrible twos' can indeed be terrible, they are also so rewarding! I love watching my son learn and grow! He has also become quite affectionate, giving me kisses and hugs without being prompted and it just makes me so unbelievably happy. Plus, he's developed quite the sense of humor.” -- Crystal Mutter

7. The teen years. “I worried about the teenage years. I wasn't expecting to love the teenage years as much as I love the infant years, but I do, I love my teenage sons so much. They are amazing individuals!” -- Cheryl Oles

8. Waking up early. “As much as I complain about getting up early, the best part of my day is going in to the babies' rooms in the morning and seeing how excited they are to see me!” -- Crystal Keller

9. The mess. “I was an only child, and I'm a control freak. My four kids have forced me to reevaluate what I place importance on and embrace those things that aren't perfect. I teach my kids every day to be better people, but they make ME better.” -- Ivy Griffith

10. Watching your kids sleep. "I feel so at peace seeing them so content/peaceful in their warm beds.” -- Alejandra Mata Garcia

11. Teaching them. “I have ZERO patience (shout out to all amazing teachers because it is HARD), but when they're learning colors or letters or shapes... their joy when it 'clicks' is worth every second!” -- Allison Davis

12. What they teach you. “Before I had my son, I thought I had life all figured out. No one could teach me anything because I was smart and already had a wide range of life experiences... I was SO wrong! I have learned more from him in 7 years than I did in the 22 years before he was in my life. I'm a better person, friend, partner, employee, and the list goes on. I didn't expect the personal growth that comes with parenting, and didn't expect to love it!” -- Amanda Harvey

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