There’s no disputing the fact that motherhood changes you. In many ways, you become an enriched version of your childless self (well, except for your boobs, but that’s a whole different story). You develop a unique skill set that is pretty much the next best thing to possessing real-life superpowers. For example …
You can find everything. Always. Someone needs to know where his favorite Minecraft t-shirt is? You’ll be able to steer him in the right direction – even if it’s crumpled into a ball and stuffed into the crack between the wall and the bed. The tiny plastic figurine she got from Grandma three birthdays ago? You’ll be able to pinpoint its exact location, whether it be stuffed into a snow boot or gathering lint behind the dryer. There is no advanced GPS tracking device greater than a mom’s ability to zero in on whatever goes missing, no matter how random.
You can remember ALL the details. You may not be able to recall what you had for breakfast, but your head will be an accurate and constantly-updating database of facts about your kids. Their birth dates, weights, and times. Their list of allergies and past illnesses. You’ll remember who likes which foods and who doesn’t, which cup your kid prefers to drink from, and keep a running mental schedule of upcoming ball practices, gymnastics classes, and birthday parties. Sure, you’ll still write stuff down, but it’s mostly for backup – because your brain has become a powerful storehouse of important parenting info.
You can tell which cries to take seriously. When your first baby is a newborn, each wail is a stress-inducing guessing game. Is it hunger? Pain? WHY ARE YOU CRYING?! But as your child grows, so does your uncanny ability to distinguish among multitudes of sounds. You’ll be able to tell – from another room, even – if it’s an “I’m hurt” cry or a “my brother took my toy” cry or a “something is frustrating the crap out of me” cry, thus saving you the trouble of jumping up to investigate every little whimper.
You take multitasking to a whole new level. Pre-kids, you might see multitasking as, say, eating your lunch with one hand while scrolling through a fascinating article on your iPad with the other. But after children, you might find yourself simultaneously sitting on the toilet, nursing a baby who refuses to be put down, helping a toddler button a shirt that ABSOLUTELY MUST BE BUTTONED RIGHT THIS SECOND. You’ll be able to cook dinner – cleaning up after yourself as you go – while helping with homework and fielding moans of, “I’m staaaaarving!” In fact, you’ll spend so much of your time tending to multiple tasks at once, focusing on one thing at a time feels kind of odd.
You can be super-stealthy. As a mother, you take on important roles such as Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and dead-goldfish-disposer. You also have to surreptitiously remove broken toys and ensure that much-needed afternoon naps go undisturbed. Because of all this, you develop a ninja-like ability to creep through the house undetected, avoiding squeaky floorboards and capitalizing on the brief moments when your kids are occupied and you can slip safely past.
Your hearing is nothing short of amazing. It’s the reason you thought your mom really did have eyes in the back of her head, and now that power has been bestowed upon you. You can tell from a distance exactly who’s sneaking out of bed, or when snacks are being pilfered from the fridge, or when anything forbidden is being tinkered with. And as a bonus, there’s the flip side of the coin: you’re more able to tune out whining and other annoying noises than your non-parent friends are. (At least sometimes.)
When you think about it, it’s actually pretty fascinating how nature generously endows you with these skills that help simplify your parental life – and then gives you plenty of opportunities to hone them to perfection. They may not be attributes you’d put on a résumé, but trust me: they’re way more useful.