To the outside observer, it's obvious. You give birth, you're a mum. You contribute your sperm to that act, and it becomes a baby: you're a dad.
But to new mamas and papas, it can take a while for the feeling that you're a parent to sink in.
The times I feel all-growed-up, as the Rugrats used to say, is when my parents or in-laws defer to me over what tiny man should eat / drink / when he should snooze. And I think, whhaaaat, the adults are asking me what to do?!
Anyway, I crowdsourced a bunch of other parents and here they reveal, admit and share their own 'wow I'm a parent' moments. Phew, it's not just me!
"Two weeks after our daughter was born, the health visitor came round. She said, 'right mum, how is she doing?' There was a long silence while I waited for MY mum to answer ... and then realised she was talking to me!"
"When we left hospital with our first-born, my husband looked at me in the lift and said 'what are they doing letting us leave here with a baby?! We don't know what we're doing!'"
"The night my daughter was born, I picked her up, placed her on the bed and thought I could smell something. Being totally naive I thought, she can't have soiled her nappy she's only been born three hours. So I poked my finger inside the nappy, and lo and behold... She had. I thought - I'm gonna need some help now - and pulled the cord for a nurse.. Totally embarrassed now - what must that nurse have thought of me!"
"When I turned into my mum saying phrases such as 'There's no such thing as can't', 'I want never gets' and 'It'll end in tears'!" Steph
"Nearly ten months in, and I'm not convinced I still fully realise I'm a parent. It catches me unawares at random moments. The one thing I do though that I think gives me a definite parent badge is the nappy sniff test....don't know when I first did it but suddenly I noticed I do it!
"When calling and making an appointment for him, having to say "it's for my son.." Gets me every time."
"My friend pointed out my baby had the same babygrow as her son and I said 'oh yeah, I love those ones, they wash beautifully' The most mummyish words that had ever come out of my mouth!"
"I put my newborn in the car seat in the house, all ready for our first outing just the two of us. I remember being super-proud that I had managed to get out showered, hair washed and dried and make up done... All by 11am! Go me! As I reversed out the drive, I looked back and noticed something missing on the back seat... I had left my little one sitting in his car seat in the kitchen table... I had just walked out the house like I always used to! Bad mummy."
"I was at work and tried to find something in my coat pocket and instead pulled out a red bus! I remember commenting that it was such a 'mum thing' to do!" Leslie
"I was finishing off an essay when my daughter was two weeks old, and feeding my tiny two week old baby, and all I could think was "I'm still a student.. but oh my god, I'm a mum too!" and it was amazing and scary all at once." Maddy
"The day after giving birth to my daughter we went looking at new cars as my Fiesta needed upgrading to a 'family vehicle'. It all felt very real looking at bigger boots for pram space!" Emma
"My son was rushed into hospital when he was 4 weeks old and I was totally terrified. This little person needed me so much and I couldn't help him. That was the moment that I truly realised what being a parent was all about. Luckily it was just a nasty infection and he was OK to come home the next day." Mary
"When I stuck my daughters first piece of work on my kitchen cupboard!" Amy
"In Aldi last week, I was chatting away to my other half whilst queuing for the till, totally forgetting to parent. Our 11 month old then crawled up the conveyer belt! Oh yes we are parents now, must watch the baby!" Gemma
"When someone at a baby group referred to me as "Charlie's mummy" I was like - oh wow. That's really me!" Beth
"When he was just a couple of weeks old and needed a prescription for something. I went to the pharmacy and said "I've got a prescription for my son" - it was the first time I'd said "my son" to a stranger and suddenly I was like WOAH I'M A PARENT!" Chantal
"The first time I took my daughter shopping and she start crying. I look around to see why someone's else baby was crying but then realise it was mine. Oh yea, I am a mother now!" Christina