As a parent, I sometimes have those days when I wonder, “Am I doing this wrong?!” Why do some parents seem to have their act together while I am sporting greasy hair because I didn’t have time to shower and the kitchen sink is still filled with last night’s dishes?
I get that funky ring of discontent around my collar while I sulk in my apparent failures. But then it occurred to me that I was looking at the flops of my parenthood all wrong! It turns out that there are all of these shiny little victories in my peripheral vision just waiting to be noticed because they are all small proofs that I am winning at parenting, baby.
And…chances are, you are nailing it too, if you can call any one of these 20 victories yours:
1. You ate the last of the chocolate when no one was looking so that your poor kids wouldn’t have to.
2. You stole the batteries out of that obnoxious talking bear so that it wouldn’t upset your kids with that annoying automated voice demanding that they “Clap because you’re happy and you know it!”
3. You left PBS on all afternoon. Because, Viewers Like You.
4. Unlimited texting, coffee, Facebook, and complaining to your spouse are cheap forms of therapy to keep you sane, happy, and fun during the day with the kids.
5. Sweat-Yoga-Mom Pants make you PRODUCTIVE. I’m not sure how, but damn if I don’t feel faster doing the dishes and vacuuming while wearing them.
6. Your kid surprised everyone by loudly announcing his fart in the middle of the grocery store. But then said, “Ess-k-ewws Me, Momma!” #winning
7. Your kid is still alive and kicking…and lodging fewer than 20 complaints…by bedtime.
8. You packed a lunch. It was none of this bento bullshit. It was a paper bag of what-to-expect-when-you-got-10-damn-minutes-left-before-it’s-time-to-go.
9. You brushed your hair. And got dressed. And ate food that wasn’t bright orange. All before 8:00 AM. Congratulations!
10. During a toddler meltdown (!!!MELTDOWN!!!) you held strong and refused to give in to demands for only chocolate pudding for dinner. Besides, that shit is for late night snacking aka cheap therapy.
11. You paid the bills on time, ordered those crazy looking rocket sneakers, and returned the library books before they were overdue.
12. While talking on the phone to your MIL, you ask your kid if he wants to say hi and he doesn’t roll his eyes or run into the next room hiding from the phone. #winning
13. You said yes when the kids begged to make a mud pit in the backyard. YOLO, right?
14. While your kid was arching his back, screaming, and kicking to NOT be put in his car seat, you remained calm and serene like Mother effing Teresa.
15. Meh, so your kid threw his dinner on the floor and the dog ate it and then your kid complained that he was hungry. You just roll with it.
16. Although you may not have time to join a gym, you DO have time to chase your kids, do the laundry, wash the dishes, vacuum 177 times, walk the dog, pick up the toys 43 times, yell, stomp, huff and puff, and threaten to give up under your breath 1,927 times all before dinner. That is called a calorie SHRED!
17. You sat through 8 minutes of your child explaining why dinosaurs are cool and therefore he must roar and use his claws (fork) to dig at his dinner (plate) at the table.
18. You always wanted this. Even though no one told you how crazy or hard or challenging or bite your tongue frustrating it would be. You always wanted this. So you are doing this. The best you can. That’s what counts.
19. You make up a zillion lies about what Big Kids do all the live long day to convince your kid to do basic shit like get dressed by himself, brush his teeth by himself, put his toys away by himself, and go to bed by himself. Ugh…
20. No mater what kind of ridiculous encounters your kids present you with each day you put them first, you figure it out, you find a way. Even if it isn’t perfect. #winning
Besides, we can all pat our selves on the back with the congratulatory relief that there isn’t any such thing as a Parent Of The Year Award. Now, pass me those chocolate pudding cups.
Related post: Shout Out to the World’s Okayest Moms