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There is a big difference between having a child and feeling like a parent. It takes a while to get into the swing of things. Once you feel like you are getting the hang of it, most parents put a lot of pressure on themselves to be “perfect” — to be the ones those parenting books speak so lovingly of. It’s sometimes tough to define what it means to be a “good” parent though, since it’s really all relative. While there are a million types of parents and parenting styles, here are a few ways to tell if you are, in fact, doing something right.

  1. You’ve abandoned a cart full of groceries to deal with a tantruming toddler.
  2. You’ve also walked past your child throwing a tantrum on the grocery store floor and continued your shopping.
  3. You’ve caught bodily excrement with your bare hands.
  4. You have picked up your frightened child at midnight from a sleepover … and been just as relieved as they were to be back home together.
  5. You’ve mastered the snot sucker like the boss you are.
  6. You’ve watched your child be left out and felt your heart break.
  7. You have played approximately 8,123 games of Hide and Seek and managed to act surprised to find them hiding under the kitchen table. (Every Single Time.)
  8. You cried when they laughed for the first time.
  9. You’ve taken them to a nice restaurant dressed as Batman on a day that was not Halloween.
  10. At some point you have flushed one or more goldfish down the toilet.
  11. You’ve stayed up most of the night attempting to decorate a cake that was supposed to look like Mickey Mouse (but instead resembled Mikhail Gorbachev).
  12. You’ve spent your fair share of time scrubbing tiny hands after they fed petting zoo animals.
  13. You’ve survived your child’s rendition of “Hot Cross Buns” on the recorder.
  14. You’ve come to understand sometimes children can survive on a diet of goldfish crackers and string cheese.
  15. You sound exactly like your parents.
  16. You still rock back and forth standing in line long after your child grew out of their Baby Bjorn.
  17. You’ve put Band-Aids on boo-boos invisible to the naked eye.
  18. You can guess your child’s temperature within .01 of a degree with just the back of your hand.
  19. You repeat yourself and then say with confidence, “I am NOT going to tell you again!”
  20. You spend an absurdly excessive amount of time discussing poop.
  21. You’ve come to realize playing “Would You Rather” can make a child forget about whatever they were asking you for.
  22. You can’t wait to leave them and you can’t wait to get back home to them.
  23. You can’t remember your life before they existed.

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