Who knew parenthood would involve so much cleaning?! I mean, I don’t think anyone ever truly understands how much work is involved in having children. Especially if you have any desire to “do it right”. But what does that even mean?

I think it means different things to different people and I don’t think there’s any one right way to raise your kids. Spoil them with love and attention, make sure they get an education and learn to read and write, have them be amazing athletes and end up on a sports scholarship. Well maybe not the last one.

As a parent, you’re in a position the create an awesome impact on someone else’s life. You have an opportunity every day to let someone a little smaller, a little less able, perhaps a little less confident than those around them know how much they’re loved. How important they are. How smart they are. How exceptional they really are.

There’s always something to do when you’re a parent. You never quite grasp how time consuming this amazing job will be until you try it yourself. It’s not a transient thing that may or may not be something you do next year. It’s all the time. And it’s amazing! – and exhausting….It sneaks up on you and one day you realize, I’m in a whole other demographic now.

Ten random ways to identify if you’ve crossed the bridge to Parenthood:

10. After leaving a party you realize you didn’t finish a single sentence when talking with anyone, or learn what any of your friends are up to currently.

9. The grocery store has become a dreaded weekly chore that involves taking choice things out of the cart as fast as the munchkins put them in, while still planning meals, looking at package ingredients, and procuring the week’s needed items. And at least once in your life, leaving the store with a cart 1/2 full left behind in an aisle because of an “incident”.

8. Play date is a word you’ve become very familiar with. It means either A) an excuse for you to see another adult and atempt to have an uninterrupted conversation or B) another kid coming to your house in an effort to entertain your own child so you can get something done.

7. Having a great babysitter is like being in an unhealthy relationship; you’re jealous of others who talk to them as ask for their number and you’ll call and text until they respond.

6. At least once, you’ve finally discovered “what the smell is coming from that room.” And most likely it was a rotting piece of half eaten fruit.

5. Pee, poop, vomit, dirty socks, old food in lunch boxes. These are all things belonging to others that you deal with on a regular basis, and you don’t even have a gag reflex… most of time.

4. Your car can’t stay clean for a solid week, no matter how short that ride is.

3. Sleep is that elusive thing you knew way back when, but you’ve had a nasty break-up and don’t think it will ever be the same again.

2. You constantly hear the word “mom” or “dad” and are expected to become a referee choosing in favor of the one who called you.

1. You clean constantly! You clean messes you didn’t make, you clean the kitchen at least 2x a day, you clean rooms and 10 minutes later they’re dirty. You have become┬áthe maid who is allowed to share the family meals.