My daughter — my first baby — celebrated her tenth birthday this month. And though I'm usually not the type to get sentimental, this particular occasion has me reflecting on the various lessons I've learned during my first decade as a mom.

Fair warning, these are not exactly profound, life-altering truths, but with Mother's Day just around the corner, it seems like the appropriate time to share a few of the small things I know now that I wish I had known back then.

1. Life has a way of preventing you from being the mother you think you should be.

But it turns out that the mother you actually are is probably better anyway.

2. Super Wal-Mart is part of a vast conspiracy specifically designed to torture mothers of toddlers.

Okay, this one might not technically be true, but it feels true. When raising a toddler, it is always best to avoid super stores at all costs. Remember, Trader Joe's is your friend.

3. Happy hour is the most underrated hour of the day.

More importantly, it can be whichever hour — or whichever combination of hours — you need it to be.

4. Other mothers only look like they have it all together.

A lot goes down behind closed doors, and Facebook is NOT a valid representation of anybody's life.

5. We're all just making it up as we go along.

Nobody has this parenting thing all figured out, even the so-called experts. Just because someone has written a book doesn't necessarily mean their advice is worth taking.

6. Your children will teach you more than you will ever teach them.

Accept it. Embrace it. More than anything else, parenting is a learning opportunity. And a lesson in humility.

7. Normal is overrated.

It is also just a setting on a washing machine. Stop trying to fit your family into a mold that somebody else created.

8. Yes is almost always a better answer than no.

Always look for a reason to say yes. You will rarely regret that you did.

9. The people who criticize your parenting choices the loudest are the usually ones who feel the most insecure about theirs.

In most cases, they aren't really questioning YOUR parenting choices. They're questioning their own.

10. Doing your job correctly means that one day your children will no longer need you.

Our primary goal as parents is to raise adults who are fully capable of functioning without us. It's heartbreaking, but also oddly reassuring.

Because once we manage to raise adult children who no longer need us, but still want and appreciate our continued presence in their lives, that's when we will know that we have truly succeeded as parents.

What small (or big) truths have you learned in your years as a parent?