1) You get crowded out of your king-sized bed by your three-year old, your six-year old, your dog and your husband so you sneak off to the empty queen-sized bed in your daughter’s room…only to wake up an hour later being crowded out by your three-year old, your six-year old and your dog while your husband sleeps alone in the king.

2) A child walks all the way upstairs, past several trash cans, a drooling dog, a toilet and two sinks to spit out a “yucky” food into your hand.

3) You’ve ever been interrupted so many times while showering that you shaved one leg twice and never shaved the other.

4) At least 23 strangers have seen you going to the bathroom because your child(ren) insist on opening the door in a public restroom despite your pleas and threats regarding the opening of the door “before Mommy is done peeing.”

5) You’ve ever let a child burn off steam in airport by running full-speed ahead of you, perhaps even out of sight for a moment, because you truly believe no one will kidnap a child before getting on a plane…because even bad guys want to have a peaceful flight.

6) Your visiting mother tells you to put on clean yoga pants and you reply indignantly “Mom, these are clean! Those are permanent stains not dirt!”

7) You feel like you are wasting time unless you are trying to do at least five things at once because that is the only way you will be able to sit down and catch up on your favorite show, read a book, flip through a magazine, meditate, put on make up or study for an exam when the baby is napping. But once the frantic-paced activity stops you are too tired to do anything but collapse in bed, the couch, an easy chair or the floor and fall-asleep.

8) You see any species of mother and baby animals snuggling, nursing or playing and you feel a fierce, instinctual, primal connection–except you feel a little jealous of the sow who is allowed to lay in the mud on her side and nurse happy, healthy piglets without worrying about how her hair looks or whether her mother-in-law will think the pen looks unkempt.

9) You can never shake the nagging feeling that you’re forgetting to do something.

10) You always quantify your goals in terms of “enough,”ย  (i.e. the house looks presentable enough, the kids are healthy enough, your toddler is dressed enough, the baby has eaten enough, your clothes are clean enough). This is because you haven’t actually achieved this goal in so long your are no longer certain what it actually looks likeย  and so you satisfy your self-doubt with the wonderful and all encompassing term that makes us all feel better. Enough said!

How do you know when you are a mother?