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23 Ways to Tell You're Winning at This Parenting Thing

Wouldn't it be nice if there were awards for parenting? Maybe you do some awesome parenting thing and some committee somewhere awards you a trophy or even a ribbon.

I mean, have you seen those awesome "adulting" ribbons on Etsy? They say things like "I Put on Pants Today" and "Adulting Honorable Mention." There should definitely be some for moms that said things like, "Best Use of Green Vegetables in a Casserole," "I Didn't Yell Today" and "Above Average LEGO Creation."

Sadly, as moms we know one thing: If we want a damn ribbon, we're going to have to get in the car, drive to Michaels, buy the silk and the fabric paint and make our own damn ribbon. And who has time for that?

So how do you know if you're winning at this parenting thing if no one jumps out of a cake to give you a ribbon? Sometimes it's a gut feeling; things work out the way you intended, or you've prepared for every contingency and are ready when the worst happens. Sometimes it's in the admiring glance of another parent or the "atta girl!" from a friend who saw you do it right. But sometimes, sometimes you just don't know, you know? That's what motherhood is. It's doing your best, hurdling the obstacles while not being able to see the finish line (because there isn't a finish line when it comes to being a mom—it's a lifelong pursuit) and just pushing through.

If you've ever found yourself in one of these situations, give yourself a pat on the back, because you're winning, Mom. You're winning.

RELATED: 17 Times Our Kids' Parenting Advice Left Us Speechless

1. You multi-task so well that people ask you how you do it.

2. Your bed is made, there is a meal in the Crock Pot, the last load of laundry is in the dryer and it's only 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

3. You remembered to bring a change of clothes for yourself as well as the kids when you went to the park.

4. Today, at least, you only ate food on your own plate and fed the kids' leftovers to the dog.

5. The birthday party invitation said it was OK to drop off—and not only did you drop your kid off, but you also took yourself to lunch.

6. You slept—comfortably and without the addition of a child—through the night. And so did your kid.

7. You are a whiz at arts and crafts and can come up with a fun weekend project at the first mention of a torrential rainstorm.

8. Your kid got sick, your spouse got sick, even the teacher at school got sick, but you took your Vitamin C, sprayed the house in disinfectant and managed, somehow, to avoid getting sick. (And you're knocking wood as you read this.)

9. You let the kids clear the table after dinner. You may have cringed when they were loading the dishwasher, but you let them do it on their own.

10. Instead of yelling at your kid mid-tantrum, you used your magical powers of diversion and distraction to make her laugh.

11. You did just enough housework to make your spouse notice and appreciate your efforts, but not so much that you didn't have time to watch an episode of "Downton Abbey."

12. That Pinterest recipe you made came out perfect.

13. You uploaded an original recipe to Pinterest and people are pinning it.

14. Your child came home with a homemade Valentine that read, "I love you, Mommy."

15. You are the recipient of spontaneous hugs and kisses even after you've been "mean Mommy" and turned off the TV.

16. A friend asked you for parenting advice, and you actually had something helpful to tell her.

17. Your kid's birthday is still a month away, but you already have the invitations, decorations and the must-have present he wants.

18. Someone tells you that you should start a mom blog because you are so good at being a mom.

19. You said "no" to working overtime so you could be at your kid's soccer game.

20. You said "no" to being room mother for the second year in a row. Let someone else have the opportunity to work on crafts, right?

21. You said "yes" to the girls' weekend because it's good for your spouse to have a few days alone with the kids. Everyone benefits when you take care of yourself.

22. You look at your children and think, "Hey, they're turning out to be pretty decent human beings!"

23. Sometimes you actually do feel like you have it all.

Photograph by: Kristina Wright

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