The Top 20 Parenting Moments That Make It All Worth It

They say being in the Marine Corps is the toughest job you'll ever love. Well, not to take anything away from those brave and fearless souls, but the same can be said for parenting. Struggles, pain, tears, and Herculean efforts aplenty go toward shaping and nurturing a babe into a well-adjusted, productive adult. What are the most heart-warming parenting moments? What makes being a mom or dad so great?

You love your children, but as you sit staring at your computer screen, bleary-eyed, smelling of sour milk and wearing a spit-up and booger corsage, the idea of positive parenting might seem far fetched. However, one shouldn't lose hope. There are a ton of reasons why parenting is the most awesome thing you'll ever do.

What are the best things about being a parent? Quickly, before the kid wakes up (again), vote up the best parenting moments to reveal which parenting milestones carry the largest payload of joy.

Photo: Motortion Films /

  • 1
    60 VOTES

    Seeing Their First Steps

    Walking? Pfft. No problem. Your kid's so exceptional, he's not only trekking around the living room, but you're just about ready to sign him up for the Boston Marathon! Okay, so maybe not quite yet... but you feel like you're that much closer to triumphantly crossing the finish line now that he's firmly grasped the notion of being bipedal. Huzzah!
    60 votes
  • 2
    62 VOTES


    Your baby's here! It may have come after 76 hours of grueling labor and the shattering of every myth you've ever had about the "beauty" of childbirth but, hey... it's over now, and aren't you such a trooper? Holding your new baby in your arms for the first time is such an overdose of happiness, you don't require any other drug. Well... almost.
    62 votes
  • 3
    50 VOTES

    First Words

    Whether it's "momma," "da-da," or "cheese sandwich," the heart soars to hear your child's voice put to use in proper vernacular. Just think, one day your little man's speech will become so fluent, he'll be droppin' f-bombs like a pro!
    50 votes
  • 4
    50 VOTES

    Choosing A Name

    As far as parenting goes, choosing the perfect baby name is the first frontier. Not only is a name the inaugural "welcome to the world" gift parents give to their child, but he'll hear his name more than any other utterance in his lifetime – more than half of which as it's being screamed in ire by Mom or Dad. In other words, pressure is on to make it a good one! Is it too common? Too weird? Should we use great uncle Seamus as a namesake? If you can navigate the turgid waters of this decision as a team, you're starting out with a win on your side. Plus, you've written the first chapter of your kid's life story. How satisfying!
    50 votes
  • 5
    33 VOTES

    High School Graduation

    Not even your kid is as happy as you are that high school is over, because the future begins TODAY! Your child's future is bright as she chooses a college and contemplates what to do with the rest of her life. Your future is bright as you choose paint colors for her soon-to-be-vacant room and contemplate replacing her bed with a pool table.
    33 votes
  • 6
    29 VOTES

    Their Wedding

    The father of the bride walks his daughter down the aisle. A groom escorts his mother to her seat of honor in the front pew. Daddy and daughter dance to Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable." Parents take center stage at their kid's wedding, and rarely is there a prouder moment. Except for maybe when there is a shotgun involved. Although, even then, it's usually still bad*ss.

    29 votes