What success looks like as a parent
FROM learning the nightly dodge, duck and weave to avoid the flying pea at dinner time, or seeing your little cherub pick up an old lady's groceries on the sidewalk, there are various moments in a mother or father's life when you realise you haven't totally failed as a parent.
It's the little things that truly spell it out, and as everyone knows, it's the hardest job there is, so celebrating these small moments is vital to keeping your sanity (and giving yourself the good rap you deserve).
Here is a little taste what success looks like as a parent, through the ages of your Little Gem…
6 months: Little Gem sleeps more than 5 hours in one sitting.
12 months: Little Gem stops pulling off their nappy in the middle of the night and smearing the cot with nasty surprises.
4 years: Little Gem can get themselves a bowl of cereal, turn on cartoons and sit in their chair quietly on a Saturday morning without waking you up.
6 years: Little Gem upgrades from Velcro straps and ties own shoelaces for school then wears them around proudly like the badge of honour it is.
12 years: Young Gem comes home from school with the footy boots, training gear and hat they went with instead of the usual 'oh, but I didn't know I had to remember to bring my stuff home' spiel.
15 years: Your not-so-little Gem tells you they are going to a party (not sneaking out, there's your first win), only to come home an hour later because 'everyone was drinking alcohol and it was gross'. Embrace that moment, Mum and Dad. You've done good.
17 years: Big Gem isn't ducking behind every clothing rack to hide from their friends when you take them out shopping or to the movies because being seen in public with you, is totally, like, social suicide.
18 years: Your grown-up Gem returns home in one piece from their 18th birthday party. And every weekend for the next 6-24 months.
21 years: Grown-up Gem has upgraded from trashy nights on the town, to wine bars and dinners. Phew, thank goodness that earlier phase is over and the grey hairs can slow the heck down - am I right?!
23 years: Grown-up Gem is OUT OF THE HOUSE! Woohoo!
30 years: You're watching your Gem welcome their own little ones into the world, and they suddenly become extra thankful for all you did over the years. About bloody time.
40 years: Buying your Gem a Christmas present you actually see placed on the centre table, not chucked to the rear of the guest room wardrobe. Nailed it.
50 years: You're still invited to Gem's regular family dinner, even when you know they don't want to hear about your specialists, new blood pressure pills and various medical appointments you crammed in this week.
60 years: Your Gem continues to look after you, even when the roles are reversed and it's them wiping your bottom.
See, it's the little things…
Don't miss Australian Regional Media's latest series Hey Mumma, a hub designed for mums, by mums and about everything motherhood. Check out the videos and stories online from June 6, and in the paper on Saturdays.