10 subtle signs being a parent brings out the best in you

It’s no secret that parenting is hard – sleepless nights, teething, and very little time to yourself can often give the impression that parents are constantly tired and stressed out. 

And while that might be true at some stages of your child’s development, there are actually many ways in which having children can make you a better person.

But the signs aren’t always clear to see, and like most people, you’re probably harder on yourself than you need to be!

So, without further ado, here are 10 subtle signs being a parent brings out the best in you:

1) You’re more patient 

There’s no doubt you’ve experienced moments as a parent where all you wanted to do was scream or cry, or both at the same time. 

Your little one is pushing your buttons, there’s a mountain of washing in the sink, the dog just threw up, and your mother-in-law just announced she’d be coming to spend the weekend. 

If that isn’t a recipe to lose your shit, I don’t know what is!

But you don’t. 

You pull it together, take a deep breath, and tackle one thing at a time. 

You know you can’t take your frustration out on your children, so you learn to put your feelings aside to create a warm, safe environment for them. 

And even when they spill juice all over your newly cleaned floors just as your MIL rings the doorbell- you exercise patience. That’s a pretty good sign parenting brings out the best in you. 

2) You strive to be a good example 

Before having kids, you only needed to think about yourself. 

If someone cut you off in traffic, you had no problem flipping the middle finger or even cussing out of the window. 

But now you’ve got a little person watching your every move. 

They see you, and they copy you. 

So you take the high road. You’re kinder to people. You try to set a good example so your child grows up to do the right thing. 

It isn’t always easy (this is where the patience I mentioned above comes into play) but you do it anyway because you want your child to grow up and be proud to have you as a parent, not ashamed or embarrassed. 

3) You’ve got better time management 

Another sign that being a parent brings out the best in you is if you’re no longer rushing around, struggling to make appointments on time, or constantly falling behind. 

That’s because you’ve learned the art of time management

Just through little things such as bedtime routines or getting ready for nursery in the morning, you’ve had to change the way you do things. 

You’ve learned to juggle multiple things, all whilst dealing with a little one who needs your attention and time.

And this leads me to my next point: 

4) You’re more organized 

Oh yes – long gone are the days of winging it and hoping for the best!

You know that if you want something to go well, you need to be prepared. 

This reminds me of my cousin – she had twins, and one day she and her husband decided to take them to the beach. It ended in disaster with both kids screaming and both adults wanting to scream too. Why?

Because they didn’t plan for it. They didn’t take into account what the kids would need to stay comfortable and engaged, and they ended up going home early. 

But this taught them a valuable lesson, and now wherever they go, they’re always super prepared and organized. 

For background reference, she was probably the most chaotic person in my family growing up, so seeing such a positive change in her is a wonderful sign. 

5) You appreciate the small moments in life

It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of life. 

Until you have kids. Then, it becomes all about those small moments

The first time they clench your thumb with their little hand. The first time they have a laughing fit. Watching a movie together and cuddling them, smelling their hair, and watching their face light up with the images on the screen. 

You don’t care anymore about grand gestures or fancy, big events. 

Instead, you appreciate every little moment you get, because parenthood has taught you that life moves fast, and it’s worth slowing down to enjoy the simple stuff. 

6) You’ve noticed increased resilience

I know I just described a scene out of heaven in the point above, but let’s be real, kids can also be hard work. 

As you deal with the ups and downs of parenting, you’ll probably have noticed that your resilience levels have increased. 

Partly because you have no other choice – little people are depending on you – but also because you want to instill a resilient mindset in your kids. 

So, when life knocks you down, rather than wallow in bed for days eating ice cream, you pick yourself back up. 

And even more than that, you do it with a positive attitude. You show your children that life will always throw curveballs, but with the right mindset, you can tackle anything. 

7) Your relationships have strengthened 

They say it takes a village, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have people around you supporting you in parenthood. 

And if having kids brings out the best in you, you’ll notice that these relationships have strengthened as a result. 

You’ve had to become more vulnerable, and more accepting of help (mainly to keep your sanity) and this has instilled gratitude and trust in your connections with those around you.

Whether it’s a best friend, parent, or sibling, this new phase in your life has given you a fresh outlook on your relationships.

And if anything, it’s helped you understand others better

For example, now you might understand why your dad worked so much when you were younger, or why your mom was always worried about your schoolwork. 

You get it because you now have those same worries and concerns. 

8) You’re more empathetic 

Following on from the previous point, your empathy levels have increased, too. 

You no longer judge friends who cancel plans when tired, or family who struggle to get together because they’re busy trying to survive life. 

Of course, you’re also kind and empathetic to your children, but this understanding and support isn’t limited just to them. 

It comes through in all your interactions – a true sign that parenting brings out the best in you. 

9) You push yourself out of your comfort zone 

One thing I recall friends mentioning when they had kids was the need to get out of their comfort zone. 

Sometimes, it could be as simple as striking up conversations with other moms/dads at nursery so they could set up playdates for the kids. 

Other times, it meant following their dreams and overcoming their fears to provide a better life for their kids. 

So, if you find yourself pushing yourself, no matter how daunting or scary it is, it’s clear that parenting has made you a better person. 

10) You’re better at problem-solving 

And finally, what do you do when your little one has just vomited all over themselves, you’re on your way to a wedding, and you’re desperately trying to avoid getting sick on your fancy clothes?

You find a way to miraculously clean, comfort, and change all with one hand! 

In other words, you’ve embraced problem-solving. 

You no longer look to other adults to fix problems – now you’re the only adult in the room and you step up to the challenge, no matter how small or big it might be. 

All of these signs listed show that you’ve grown as a person

You’ve taken responsibility for yourself and your family, and you’re flourishing as a result. Well done, you!

P.S. – keep this list saved for when you’re having a down day, and use it to remind yourself that you’re doing an awesome job! 

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter: @KiranAthar1

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