When you found out you were pregnant, you decided that you would be the perfect mom. It took a while for you to realize that there’s no secret method to becoming the perfect mom but there’s plenty that you can do to be a great one. Despite your healthy adorable kids, you still doubt yourself and worry about whether you’re making the right choices but if you know where to look, there are clear signs that you’ve got this licked!

You know you’re winning at Motherhood when…

1. There’s ketchup on your clothes, your kids have stickers all over their faces and your kitchen looks like the aftermath of a hurricane and you still have the biggest smile on your face because… why sweat the small stuff!

2. You flop down tired on a park bench watching your toddler play when suddenly another child falls down and your son immediately rushes to see if he’s okay. Your near-comatose state disappears and you fist pump, not caring how crazy you look – just overwhelmed with love and pride for your child.

3. You wake up early to take your daughter for her first Karate class and she comes back grinning ear to ear, flings her arms around you and says. “You’re the best mommy ever”… Cue Freddy Mercury rage pose!

4. You bought your first parenting book (What to Expect When You’re Expecting) even before you got pregnant and you now own a veritable parenting library! You realized somewhere along the way that you can’t blindly follow any book but you read them all the same – just to increase your parenting knowledge so that you can figure out new ways to help your kids develop and grow.

5. You just sit down with your kids and fully engage with them– no multitasking and no phone; just your kids getting your undivided attention.

6. You take the time to cook your kid’s favourite foods and he sweetly thanks you for it with a sloppy kiss– totally worth the time you spent slaving over a hot stove.

7. You make time to read your toddler his favourite bedtime story even when you have a presentation to prepare… after all, it’s never too early to introduce your kids to books.

8. His teacher tells you, “he’s so mature” – sure, a part of you wishes he could stay your little boy forever but you’re also incredibly proud of your little man!

9. When you’re at the supermarket, trying to communicate with the checkout staff while keeping your kids in check and a random stranger says, “‘you’re doing a great job, they seem like good kids”. As parents, we rarely get props for the difficult job we do 24/7 so this simple validation goes a long way.

10. When you put a surprise treat in with your kid’s lunch and he remembers to thank you for it when he gets home – considering that his attention span is normally all of 5 seconds, this lets you know you’re doing one heck of a job!

11. It’s movie night – 2 of your kids loved the movie, the third one didn’t and gives his reasons. You realize your child is becoming independent, has his own opinions and is comfortable sharing his outlook.

12. Your kids never grumble about helping with household chores. Sure, they can’t really fold the clothes or change the sheets but they are happy to be your little helpers.

13. Their silly squabbles are enough to drive you crazy but your heart melts when they kiss and make up instantly. Forgiveness is an important quality and it’s healthy for kids to learn to let go of their grudges.

14. After a long and tiring day at work, you dread the chaos waiting for you on the other side of the door. Instead, your kids take one look at your weary face and give you plenty of hugs and kisses and even try to help by carrying your purse for you.

15. Your kid doesn’t hesitate to say sorry when he’s wrong. Despite the wisdom of Sir Elton John, your kids don’t believe that ‘sorry seems to be hardest word’!

16. You wear your mom jeans out of the house because it’s important that you’re actually out of the house so what you’re wearing isn’t really a factor.

17. You’ve probably eaten as much mashed food as your toddler to encourage him to eat his food.

18. When you say no to pizza and your kids don’t try to argue with you because they know they need to respect the boundaries you’ve set.

When people debate over which job is the toughest job in the world, you’ll hear everything from mountain guide and fireman to president and surgeon; but as any woman would tell you, the toughest job is being a mother. The sleepless nights with a colicky baby, the judgement from people around you, the guilt of not doing spending enough time with your child and the constant fear of making one fateful mistake and ruining your child’s life – that’s enough to drive anyone up the wall. Parent experts at Whattoexpect.com say that you shouldn’t be too harsh on yourself and accept that motherhood is about learning – for your child as well as you! Decide what you want to do, harness your inner strength and constantly remind yourself that you earned that ‘Best Mother in the World’ cup that sits on your desk.