Success is in the eye of the beholder, and as it applies to parents, each one has their own definition. One mom might say her kid getting into Harvard is a sign of ultimate success, while another might think she hit the jackpot if hers ever remembers to flush the toilet without being asked. However, the definition(s) ofhighly successful parents is one that is nearly universally shared, and also one that has much more to do with the parents and very little to do with their kids.
1. They excel at vomit catching.
It might seem impossible to hold a liquid with your hands — never mind catch it — but highly successful parents can not only anticipate their children’s throw-up, but ensure neither child nor parent needs to change clothes afterward, and that the carpet will not need to be cleaned, either (only the hands).
2. They never volunteer for class field trips.
The ability to catch the vomit of your child is one thing. Doing it for a child’s classmate while on the back of a moving school bus simply will not happen. Marinating in a child’s classmate’s projectile vomit for the rest of the trip, on the other hand, will.
3. They have finely tuned the art of selective hearing.
Highly successful relationships require each person to be in tune with the other. Highly successful parents, though, have the ability to tune out their children at key moments. These include: tantrums, repetitive and inane questions, requests for butt-wiping, Barney, Dora, and Caillou viewings, absurd mealtime demands, and the 11th nighttime plea for monster-in-the-closet abatement.
4. Their children are old enough for drop-off parties and play dates.
It may not seem like an accomplishment that a child has simply gotten old enough for their parent to not be present at each friendly gathering at a local park or birthday party. However, (A) keeping a child alive is no small feat [see: No. 7], and (B) keeping a child alive and tolerable enough for someone else to watch them — for free — requires nothing short of a highly successful parent.
5. They can parent without spilling wine.
It’s not easy to keep a glass of red wine intact while reading bedtime stories, brushing teeth, directing toy clean-up and tuning out [see: No. 3] an I’m-just-going-to-lip-sync-one-more-Taylor-Swift-song-before-bedtime performance. Yet a highly successful parent can do all of that with one hand, leaving the other hand blessedly free for the aforementioned red wine.
6. They get their kids out the door in the morning.
This doesn’t mean on time, without a meltdown, with lunch in hand or dressed in seasonally appropriate clothes. And yet just getting the kids out the door is still a sign of highly successful parent. It just is.
7. They’ve made it through their kids’ childhood.
This doesn’t mean the parents will come through with no grey hairs, or hair at all. Just making it all the way through without killing them (or being killed by them) and with a normal-functioning liver [see: No. 5] is a sign of high success.