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20 Signs You're Out of the Parenting Trenches

The first years of parenting are like no other. They're full of diapers and sleep deprivation, first teeth and first words. Brimming with cuddles and exhaustion, this parenting era is labor-intensive.

But one day, you'll look up and realize things have shifted. Your kids still need you like crazy, you're still tired most of the time, but things have changed. Here are 20 signs you might've exited the trenches of early parenthood:

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1. The bum you wipe most often is your own.

2. You no longer have 911 cued up on your cell phone when your youngest scales the playground equipment.

3. Occasionally you'll catch glimpses of your son's future self in his narrowing face, blooming eyebrows and emerging cheekbones. This may or may not break your heart.

4. The word "teething" no longer causes you to shudder, and you no longer voluntarily stick your fingers into your children's Gogurt-holes to predict the next teething crisis.

5. Your floor is strewn with toys and crumbs, but you don't worry that your kids will chew or choke on them.

6. You have no idea how many months old your daughter is.

7. When holding a friend's newborn, you almost huff the baby smell right off of her head.

8. Family vacations no longer feel like an invention of Lucifer. Your kids actually haul their own suitcases through the airport—mostly.

9. You catch yourself uttering the words, "It goes by so fast."

10. Your kids' socks genuinely stink.

11. You make it through a meal at a restaurant without anyone sobbing, and your table neighbors don't give you the stink-eye.

12. Your son can read that text you're trying to send, and he knows it's about him. Oops.

13. The word "milestone" hasn't passed through your lips in ages. You assume that if something is amiss developmentally, a teacher will let you know.

14. You can't believe that when they were babies, you nudged at tiny gas bubbles in their bellies to make them fart.

15. You only check to make sure your kids are still breathing at night when they're really sick.

16. The baby Tylenol in your bathroom closet has expired, and the cap is crusted to the bottle.

17. When you squeeze your boobs to see if any milk comes out, you only get curds.

18. It feels inappropriate to photograph your kids in the bath. When you do, you keep it above the waist or use strategically placed bubble blockades.

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19. You lose sight of your child for a hot minute at the park without issuing an Amber Alert.

20. When you snuggle in with your son at night, you notice his lengthening body taking up more and more of his bed. You sniff his thick hair, which smells like dirt and sunshine, and you can't believe you've made it this far.

Image via Twenty20/nikmock

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