20 Signs That You're Better at This Parenting Thing Than You Think

Whoever came up with the Peace Corps' tagline — the toughest job you'll ever love — must not have been a parent. Because there's no denying the fact that parenthood is the hardest thing most of us will ever endure. The highs are certainly high, but the lows, oh, the lows are brutal. If you're not beating yourself up over something your kids said, you're worrying about everything from whether they're eating enough, to whether they have good friends, to whether or not they're truly happy.

I constantly say this parenting thing would be easy if only it came with a manual. But it's up to us to create the manual as we go through it. So yes, you'll make some mistakes along the way — every parent does — but that doesn't mean you weren't cut out for this job. In fact, I'm willing to bet you're better at this whole parenting thing than you give yourself credit for. Don't believe me? Check out this list.

  1. Your kids are clothed for school every day. They might be wearing their pajama pants and mismatched shoes, but they're clothed, and that's all that really matters.
  2. You know your kids' friends. You know which ones to call to play when your kids are in various moods. You know which ones you'd like them to steer clear of. You know which ones are in it for the long haul.
  3. You make time to do something you enjoy. Whether it's an exercise class you love, sitting on the phone with distant friends, or watching a Real Housewives marathon on Bravo, it's your time to plug into you.
  4. You recognize that "Supermom" over there is faking it. No mom is really that put together. It's just a show.
  5. You realize that you really have no idea what you are doing. None of us do, so we're all in the same boat. But kids are resilient, and they will survive as we learn on the job.
  6. You know that keeping up with the Joneses won't get you, or your kids, anywhere. Your kid doesn't need the latest Apple device, KDs, or Katy Perry tickets to have a wonderful childhood.
  7. You have mom friends. They may not be your best friends, but you can call them for a sanity check or to fill in for you in a pinch.
  8. You know that you are your child's parent, not their friend. And you know why that is an important designation.
  9. You set limits. But know when to stretch them if it means the whole family can enjoy the rewards.
  10. You question your decisions. You are constantly checking in your mom skills, wondering if there's a better, easier way, because you are still learning you're open to new ideas.
  11. You take pride in your children's successes. Yes, they're a struggle, but when your kids succeed, you are proud as a peacock and know that you helped your child get there.
  12. You know that some things are beyond your control. And no matter how hard you try, your child will have to fail in order to learn on his/her own.
  13. You go with your gut. Call it Mother's intuition or your gut, but you know you can trust it more than the latest parenting book to hit the best seller's list.
  14. Your kisses wipe away boo-boos better than any bandage you can buy at the store. At least until they're 6.
  15. You've learned how to silence your loudest critic. And more likely than not, that's you.
  16. You've learned that the hardest part of parenting is asking for help. And if you're willing to do it, everything is much, much easier.
  17. You've learned that listening is just as important — if not more important — than talking sometimes. Especially if you have a teenager.
  18. You've learned to hold your tongue. You don't need to have the last word every time.
  19. Though you make plans, you handle detours without missing a beat. Yes, you may panic internally when plans get changed (bye-bye, naptime!), but you've learned that parenthood is nothing if not unpredictable.
  20. Your children feel safe, loved, and protected when you're around. Because in the end, that's what they really want from you.