That was a bold declaration I made in my last post. You know, the one where I patted myself on the back and pronounced that I rock motherhood sometimes. It's true though, some days I do feel like I have a handle on things. I really, really do.
Then one of the kids will grow up a little more and change the rules a little bit and I'll look at him and think, Frick, this is uncharted territory. Now what?
It's like making it to the next level of a video game only to find that the magic torch and invisible cloak with which you'd defeated the wizard in the previous level are now worthless.
But I'm wiser for having children. Here are 5 ways how:
1. Reinforcing basic people skills ("Say you're sorry to Billy for taking his toy") has made me a better communicator.
Before having kids I would have sat back and enjoyed the fireworks of a good argument. Now, if someone is having a disagreement, I feel more confident helping them work it out. I've reasoned with this, after all:
2. Five years of explaining things to a child ("Trees produce oxygen, so we shouldn't cut them all down") has improved my professional career.
Before having kids I would have just written off a colleague as inept if she/he didn't understand a point I was making. Now, I know better how to put 1 + 2 together for him/her. Spelling things out makes everyone happy, especially bosses.
3. Trying to anticipate the irrational needs of a little person ("You wanted a blue one? But your favorite color is red!") has challenged me to prepare for anything and everything.
Before having kids I would have forgotten my own tampons. Now, instead of thinking in linear terms, the tentacles in my brain stretch to the far recesses. I pack supplies for everyone, even the cat. I trouble shoot for Scenario A, G, and Q. You'd be amazed at how often Q happens.
4. Being continuously interrupted in the bathroom (Knock! Bang! "Mom, I need you now!") has made me a whiz at finding "me time" anywhere.
Before having kids I would have gone in, done my business, and gotten out. Now I sneak upstairs, lock the door, sit on the bath mat and read a few chapters from my favorite book or Real Simple magazine. If anyone were to call me out, a simple toilet flush would silence them (yes, two can play at that game, Chuck).
5. Being under constant surveillance ("Mom, are you eating ice cream? Can I have some? Can I??") has made me adept at product placement.
Before having kids I would have shoved whatever I wanted into my mouth whenever I wanted to. Now, small beady eyes watch me like scavengers. I have to be better, faster, smarter. I'll put Oreos in the broccoli bag, chocolate bars in the soap dish. As long as you pass the first suspicious glance, you have a few minutes to actually taste the food on the way down. Although, it's amazing how much you can cram into your mouth while rummaging through the fridge for that darn apple juice.
Shoot, is it really 9:15? Arg. I just thought of another one: Being constantly robbed of my sleep ("Mom, I dropped my bear! I need to pee!) has made me a skittish sleeper. Dear God, they could be up at any hour for any issue.
Goodnight. Go to bed!
About me: I'm a 40-something mother to a pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our tween Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler Cam, and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). I'm a freelance graphic designer and writer.