51 Ways to Spot a Parent

For those without children there are many behaviours, quirks, and possessions held by those who are parents that seem a little alien. Being a parent changes a person. From being obsessed with poo to wearing oversized coats, here are 51 things that mark someone out as a parent.

Out & About

toddler and family

1. Popping to the shops by themselves feels like an extra special treat, rather than a chore.

2. When out alone, they take great joy in being able to take the stairs, instead of being forced to use the lift with all the other pushchair users.

3. Holidays are selected on the basis of proximity to play areas and theme parks. Center Parcs is the dream destination.

4. They get irrationally angry about non-parents parking in a parent and child bay.

5. They can tell you where every public toilet is in their local town.

6. They use bribery to get through every trip out of the house.

Popular Culture

Paw Patrol

Photo Credit: AS Photo Project / Bigstockphoto.com

7. They have no idea what is in the Top 40 singles chart, but they do know all the words to the Paw Patrol theme.

8. They know what a Ninky-Nonk is, they think carrot is a perfectly acceptable flavour of ice cream, and their favourite performer is a disco singing unicorn.

9. They have celebrity crushes, but they tend to be on presenters of CBeebies or on those who have read the CBeebies bedtime story.

10. They haven’t read any of this year’s book selection from Richard & Judy but they can recite The Gruffalo word for word.


Family portrait

11. Their clothes have at least one suspicious looking smear on them at all times.

12. Dads primarily dress in cargo shorts, sandals (socks are optional), and a chequered shirt from Fat Face.

13. Mums can be identified from their leggings, tunic top (hiding the Mum Tum), Ugg boots, and an oversized coat with loads of pockets and a big hood.

14. New clothes are purchased on the basis of practicality rather than attractiveness.

15. Their bags are filled with crayons, colouring sheets, and emergency snacks.

16. They are usually seen yawning.

Social Life

Family Eating Meal At Outdoor Restaurant Together

17. On the rare occasions they are released from their parenting duties and given a night out, they are home by 10pm.

18. They can spend hours discussing the merits of pouches versus jars.

19. They go to parties most weekends, but the parties are held during the day and involve either a soft play centre or a children’s entertainer with no booze.

20. They eat their evening meal at 5pm.

21. They consider sleeping until 7am to be a lie in.

22. They choose restaurants based on whether there is a children’s menu that includes some sort of orange food.

23. Their phone buzzes constantly, giving the appearance that they are very popular, but around 95% of the alerts come from the school parent WhatsApp group with messages concerning items of lost property and questions about homework.

24. They only see U rated films at the cinema.

25. They have no qualms discussing bodily functions over the dinner table or in public.

26. Conversations with friends take three times as long due to constant interruptions.

27. They spend a lot of free time in queues waiting to see people dressed as fictitious characters, even when their child is terrified of said character (i.e. Santa).


A picture of a housewife preparing soup in a pot in the kitchen

28. They are permanently exhausted but have lightning reflexes when it comes to catching a falling child.

29. They pride themselves on their ability to catch vomit.

30. They know every single method for removing stains and which method is best for each type of stain.

31. They excel in cooking really bland food.

32. Their ability to be passive-aggressive through someone else is astounding: “Yes, Daddy is snappy today, isn’t he? Poor Daddy only had six hours sleep, which Mummy was able to count because she was kept awake all night by his snoring.”

33. They can chop an onion into microscopic pieces in order to avoid them being detected and classed as “yucky bits” in the bland spaghetti bolognaise.


cute little baby boy drawing with crayon color on the wall. Works of child. Works of child. Caucasian brunette child 1 year old

34. The walls in their house are covered in scuff marks and occasional crayon drawings.

35. Their sofas are covered in crumbs and crusty marks.

36. Anything worth money in their house, for example, the TV or the posh vase they received as a wedding gift, is mounted or placed at least four foot from the floor.

37. They have an entire cupboard devoted to Tupperware.

38. They spend a lot of time screaming at someone not to lick their windows.

39. They have no matching glassware but they do have about 30 plastic beakers and a drawer full of Calpol syringes.

40. They’ve swapped their speedy hatchback for an eco people carrier.

41. The floor of their car resembles your local tip, filled with fruit bag wrappers, junk models, Kinder egg toys, and raisins.

42. Their washing machine is in action every day.

43. Losing a wallet is a minor inconvenience. Losing a particularly soft toy will involve fingertip searches, a Facebook campaign, and nightly tears.


Tired young mother working oh her laptop holding daughter and drinking coffee

44. They have a strange obsession with the poo of another human being.

45. They are on first name terms with the out of hours GP team.

46. They have a bag that lives in the car boot packed with changes of clothes for travel sickness.

47. They are terrified of rashes.

48. They are adamant that the two most painful experiences are childbirth and stepping on Lego.

49. They are completely unfazed when vomit, blood, snot, urine, or poop comes into contact with their hands.

50. They never need to exercise because they never, ever, get the chance to sit down for more than 3 minutes and 45 seconds.

51. Their diet largely consists of coffee and half-eaten packets of Pom-Bear crisps.