When we attempt to measure our success as mothers, we often look to well-known baby milestones for guidance. However, those milestones shouldn’t be used to measure our worth. Sleeping through the night, crawling, and potty training, for example, don’t happen simultaneously for every baby; therefore, they aren’t a true measure of success or failure for parents. This is certainly not an accurate representation of how amazing moms are and the incredible things they do. Among all of the motherhood accomplishments, some do not get as widely recognized. Nevertheless, they are a big deal and are some of the great joys of having kids.
Check out this list of things that are still worthy of excitement as a mom!
My baby learned how to sleep longer than two-hour stretches.
We’re often asked about babies sleeping through the night. Spoiler — they don’t usually sleep through the night for a long time, and that’s okay. If they can give you a three-hour (or more) break, it’s awesome.
My washer doesn’t have damp clothes sitting in it.
It’s pretty easy for me to get clothes into the washer, but transitioning them to the dryer can be a bigger problem. Sometimes they sit a bit longer than they should. Remembering to move the clothes to the dryer is a motherhood accomplishment in and of itself. Now, if you can get the clothes put away and not leave them sitting in the dryer for days, that’s even more impressive.
I took a shower today.
In those early days especially, getting a shower in can seem like such a difficult task. When you have an infant on your hands, it isn’t easy to feel the security that your baby is okay, regardless of how safe and comfortable you make them before you hop in the shower. Some days, they’re so fussy that doing this is difficult. Other times, maybe you’re so busy, or your kids don’t feel well, and a shower just doesn’t happen. On difficult days, getting a shower in is a big motherhood accomplishment.
Not having snot, spit-up, or peanut butter on the shoulder of my shirt.
Honestly, these days for me, are few and far between. My 3-year-old favors a specific shoulder when I pick him up, and he’s usually either still messy with peanut butter or upset about something. I easily have either peanut butter or snot on my shoulder most days. And when you have a baby, spit-up always finds a way on your clothes.
My kids only interrupted me once while I was on a work call.
Being able to take a work call has been a significant development. My kids can entertain themselves long enough for me to make a phone call, thank goodness. While they still haven’t let me take them uninterrupted, the number of interruptions has substantially decreased. This is a definite cause for celebration.
My daughter can put in a movie by herself.
While putting a movie on isn’t the most draining task a mom can do, it’s a great feeling when your child gains that bit of independence and can turn on the TV all on their own. Not having to get up to do this is pretty great.
I drank all my coffee while it was still warm.
Getting the time to finish your coffee while you can still see a bit of steam floating out of your mug is an accomplishment (okay, so the steam part is an exaggeration, but you get the point). With all the tasks we have to complete as moms, it’s no wonder we’re usually used to drinking our coffee cold.
We left the house on time.
Being on time seems unattainable when you need to get the kids ready and out the door. It feels like they always need something at the most inconvenient times. Getting to appointments, birthday parties, and other timely events is a challenge, to say the least. When you arrive with a minute or two to spare, it’s one of the greatest feelings of your week.
I went somewhere alone.
Being able to go somewhere by yourself is so nice. There’s nothing quite like leaving the house alone, sliding behind the wheel of your car, and listening to whatever music you want. You don’t have to field questions about toys or deal with hangry children when wandering the aisles. You can look for what you need, browse, and shop in peace.
My kid can wipe her butt on her own.
Having to stop what you’re doing every time your potty-trained child needs you to help them wipe can get so irritating. Once they figure it out and get themselves (mostly) clean, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.
My child cleaned up for me when I spilled.
Getting kids to clean up their messes can be a big enough battle. I had a tough day when I spilled something recently. My 3-year-old recognized that I was struggling and helped me clean it up. It’s moments like these that make me feel accomplished and warm my mama’s heart.
My kids can play together (sometimes) without fighting.
Playing with kids can be a lot of fun, but there are some instances where you don’t want to and need an adult break. Having more than one kid is wonderful when they get old enough to play together without constant supervision. This milestone is one of my favorites.
I can give my kids something to work on that they’ll actually do . . . so I can work too.
When I need to work on some tasks during the day, giving my kids a laptop or tablet time helps a lot. The educational games they play while simultaneously hanging out with me give us some nice productivity time.
My kids don’t follow me to the bathroom every time anymore.
From the time they could walk, my kids would follow me into the bathroom. They hated being separated from me, and I didn’t mind so much because at least I knew where they were and what they were doing. Now, they’re old enough that they don’t need to follow me every second, and it’s a new level of freedom to pee in peace.
What’s one of the biggest motherhood accomplishments? Non-nursing bras.
If you are breastfeeding, wearing a nursing bra is your new normal. Underwires have been things of the past for a long time. So, when you switch back to those extra supportive cups after you’re done nursing for good, there’s nothing better. Let’s not forget the selection that opens up when you’re at the store in the bra section and can finally kiss those nursing bras and nursing tops goodbye. Yes, this is a motherhood accomplishment worth celebrating.
Not talking about baby poop all day.
When your kids are small, poop is a hot topic between you and your doctor. The color and consistency of baby poop are something that all moms keep an eye on. Once your kids are older, you stop worrying so much about poop, and it’s pretty great. But let’s be honest, your poop talk gets transferred to your kids, and the poop jokes seem to be an endless stream of humor for them (maybe this one is half of a win).
My kid can read me stories.
While reading to your kiddos builds great memories, it’s something extra special when your child begins to read their stories to you. Not only is it exciting to see their development, but it allows for a great bonding experience.
Being able to watch movies or shows that aren’t cartoons.
There are seriously only so many times that I can watch Daniel Tiger. Now that my kids are older, it’s so nice not to watch the same cartoons repeatedly. We can mix some live-action stuff and superhero movies, which is a relief for the brain.
Being okay with not getting out of the house all the time.
When my kids were really little, I was very concerned about getting out of the house. Now, I have adjusted and don’t have this fixation anymore. Whether the pandemic changed my mind or I just got used to being home, I’m not sure, but not getting out is okay some days.
Kids cleaning up without a fight.
The kids cleaning when you ask them to without a fight is a whole new level of parenting. Not having the fight or forcing them to clean is a nice change from when they were smaller.
Having a date night without it being derailed.
My husband and I do our best to have date nights, but there are many times when it gets derailed. My son had a fever last time, so we couldn’t go anywhere. Being able to go on a scheduled date night because the kids are healthy and in good moods is another great accomplishment.
While these motherhood accomplishments may not be in any progress chart, they are incredible nonetheless. A few other (more serious) motherhood accomplishments that also warm the heart are when:
- you stay calm and don’t lose your cool with your kids
- your child learns to share
- you catch your child being kind to others
- they use their manners and say “please” and “thank you” without being prompted
- they learn to be honest and tell the truth
- you see them persevere through challenges and not give up
- they stand up for the little guy or girl
- they play with and include the kid who feels left out
We often don’t give ourselves enough credit as mothers. So, taking the time to appreciate the little things and the big things will go a long way in helping us feel successful.