5 ways to tell youre winning at this parenting thing

Have you ever felt like you are losing at the parenting Olympics? Those moments when the dinner you have been cooking for circa two hours goes untouched amid a chorus of scrunched up noses and 'ewwwwwws'. Or that moment when you forgot it was dress-up day at crèche.

Sometimes it can feel like you are always on the back foot when it comes to raising your little family. But don't worry, mums – you've got this. That's why we prefer to look at all the great reasons to remember you are doing a great job.

1. The smiles


The first smiles come at about six weeks and they couldn't come at a better time. You are just about to fall down with exhaustion, you want to sleep for a week and then suddenly, that little gurgly smile lights up your life. And no, it isn't just wind!

2. The secret notes

I get them under my pillow, hidden in my handbag and even tapped onto my car in the mornings. Those little imaginations are filled with hearts and rainbows and when they decide to dedicate a letter to you, it is just the best.

3. The nighttime snuggles

You are tired and feel bad because you are skipping pages on the storybook but you need to prepare the lunches for the next day, answer a million emails, stack the dishwasher and iron the latest clean laundry but then those warm arms slide around your neck and you breathe in their impossibly delicious smell and you are in heaven. Everything can wait. You know that the memories of snuggles like this will keep you warm during their teenage years. You savour the moment and realise that if they love you this much, you MUST be doing something right. Right?

4. The copybook

One of my favourite things to do is to look at their copy-books on the last day of school when they send back the 'My News' sections. It is usually a hilarious mix of fibs (This week my mum went to the moon) or sweet snippets of life that are so important to them that they dedicate a whole page to the experience. Recently my hubby brought me home flowers (a rare occurrence) and my five-year-old's 'My News' section was a lovely picture of love hearts and me and his dad with flowers. Moments like that are just so special.

5. When they eat their veggies

Also a rare occurrence, but the odd time when they decide to munch on a carrot, especially in public, makes me feel like the best mother ever.

6. Out and about

My children can be a handful sometimes, but one thing they have always done is racing head to open the door for me and the buggy to fit through when out and about. Recently, they raced ahead and held the door open for a woman who was struggling with her own pram. 'What good children!' she exclaimed and I wanted to die with happiness. Maybe I am not failing as much as I thought?

7. After their bath

My favourite times of the week are when the children are fresh out of the bath, snuggled up in bed ready for stories, the house is tidy and their bellies are full of good food. It is the perfect (and rare) alignment of all the things that make me feel proud of the job I am doing, and makes me feel, even for a moment, that I am doing well with this whole parenting thing.


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