For many of us, the work force has been a mad scramble to acquire skills, build a respectable resume and establish a comfortable lifestyle. That is, until we have kids. Then our abilities extend far beyond anything previously aspired.
We become experts in:
Acrobatics. So maybe we can’t do double backs or front handsprings, but we have been required to hold a squirming child while negotiating doorways, assembling midday snacks, managing the chaos that was once our clean home, gearing up for a car ride or, in my case, typing. Who knew so many things could be achieved single-handedly? Literally.
Environmental science. We analyze food labels, examining properties of even the most obscure ingredients. We question the safety of household products and investigate healthy habits for our families. In an effort to provide a better place for our children, we become champions of our planet.
Event planning. This includes offering chauffer services, catering, decorating and crisis management (in a pinch, nothing heals like a cartoon-themed Band-Aid or a chocolate chip granola bar).
Investigation. We’ve become adept at solving mysteries such as “The Case of the Missing Pacifier,” “What’s that Smell in the Living Room” or “Who’s Texting My Teenager After Midnight.”
Law enforcement. Since it’s not exactly ethical to cuff and jail your kid (though, admit it, there are times you’ve thought about it), parents have to be more creative than decorated officers when it comes to crime and punishment. We’ve learned to employ effective interrogation and negotiation tactics to thwart future infractions.
Musical theater. It’s no small feat to enthusiastically belt out Old McDonald or dramatically count piggies, especially after 40 consecutive renditions.
Technical support. It feels as if we deserve engineering credentials after painstakingly putting together baby furniture (see Figure 1.1: “Insert corkscrew in merlot”), installing car seats, readying the some-assembly-required (Hal) bicycle for a birthday surprise and mastering the folding stroller (my record was 4.3 seconds). That’s not to mention troubleshooting for electronic devices, extracting Legos from the Blu-Ray player or building that four-story princess palace claiming compatibility with children 5+.
Waste management. Sure, we’ve changed countless noxious diapers and removed spit-up and stubborn stains from nearly every surface in our homes. But we’ve also become dexterous at sleight-of-hand confiscations and the disposal of undesirable objects. We’ve learned how to distract our kids as we artfully remove fallen suckers or broken objects from their grips and chuck ’em in the nearest bin.
While being a parent is the greatest job in world (most days), it’s also the most demanding. And though our unsung talents may not qualify as resume material, it’s refreshing when they are occasionally recognized and appreciated.
Let’s face it, whether you’re single or married, have one child or a dozen (any more than three and we worship at the alter of your greatness), a community of supporters, or at least sympathizers, is essential. So welcome to our blog, a place for encouragement, for a
little guidance and, most of all, to celebrate all that it means to be a mom.
What skills have you gained with parenthood?