Whether you're a first-time mom or been-there, done-that dad, you'll recognize these 15 universal truths that every parent experiences.
Every child is different, and every family is different. That being said, there are still plenty of parenting moments and milestones that nearly all of us can relate to. Here are our top 15.
1. Your love for your child will never feel so fierce as when you watch him or her sleep. Remarkably, this only intensifies with age.
2. You'll have an entirely different set of "vacation rules" that would NEVER fly at home. Doritos for dinner? Why not?!
3. You may one day offer your child cold hard cash for five minutes of silence. Alas, he'll probably never, ever collect.
4. Every age will be your new favorite. Except maybe 15.
5. Just when you think she can't possibly get any cuter, she does. How is that possible?!
6. You'll feel tiny tugs of envy when your child picks your spouse over you for anything. Likewise, you'll silently celebrate when you're the day's preferred parent.
7. The only time your older children will ever deign to want your attention is when you're on the phone. Or when they need money.
8. You'll have at least one babysitter you're positive is more qualified to watch your kids than you are. And you will hurt anyone who tries to steal her.
9. No matter how nice you are, you'll judge other parents. "Who lets their kid wear THAT/play THAT game/stay up THAT late/watch THAT show?" (Pro tip: Keep those comments to yourself.)
10. The first time another kid hurts yours—even his feelings—you will instantly understand the phrase "momma bear." (BTW, your husband MAY accuse you of overreacting.)
11. If your child falls asleep in the car, even if you're on a cross-country journey, it will be within minutes of turning onto your own street. When you get her inside, she'll be wide awake again.
12. The grocery store—with or without kids—will become your personal tenth ring of hell.
13. You will know where the bathroom is in every store, restaurant, bank, coffee shop, library, and parking garage in town. You might even carry a spare roll of TP in your car.
14. You'll lose it big time...after which it will occur to you that losing it is highly underrated. The silence! The compliance!
15. You'll say and do every last thing you said you wouldn't. Yes, even "Don't MAKE me turn this car around!"