It happens to every first-time parent, no matter how much experience you've got taking care of kids before having a baby of your own. (Seriously, I don't have to pass a basic competency test first? Check in with a supervisor periodically or something?)
But eventually, you get over it. You become a seasoned parent. Somewhere along the line, you begin to own this parenting thing.
Not sure if you've reached that point? Here are some good signs that you've arrived.
- You've ever caught your child's vomit. And felt relieved that you did.
- You know how to condense a 20-minute picture book down to 5.
- You can identify every choking hazard in a room with a single glance on arrival.
- You rarely need more than one wipe at diaper change time.
- You can correctly diagnose childhood rashes and infections more often than not, without needing to visit the pediatrician.
- You've ever used the restroom while holding a small human on your lap.
- You can locate the right track on the Frozen CD, listen to your daughter tell you about dissecting an owl pellet at school, and distract the the cranky baby with a toy. While driving.
- You've perfected "the look" that will stop misbehaving children in their tracks from across a crowded room. (For at least 20 seconds, anyway.)
- You can do everything one-handed including cooking, typing, and unloading $150 worth of groceries from the trunk.
- You still don't know what you're doing as a parent, but that realization isn't as scary as it used to be. (Also, you've finally figured out that no one else has a clue, either.)
Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments how you know when you've arrived as a parent!