As a woman prepares for motherhood, the one thing she hears with as much consistency as her child fills his diaper 1.2 nanoseconds after a new one has been put on is “having a child will change your life.”
Truer words may never have been spoken.
But what’s difficult for new mothers to fully grasp is HOW it will change one’s life. I, for instance, had no idea that becoming a mother would mean developing superpowers that put even the toughest of superheros to shame.
1. Lightning-Quick Reflexes
I’ve never had the best hand-eye coordination. Oh, who am I kidding? I was the kid who couldn’t hit the ball even when it was at rest on a tee. Now, though? My hand-eye coordination rivals that of a hall-of-fame catcher. If we’re catching vomit, that is.
2. Steve Jobs-Like Ingenuity
Little Bit doesn’t want to play with the mountain of toys purchased by well-meaning friends and family? Have no fear! Mama is here with her arsenal of tupperware, scarves, and baskets! Like the old Let’s Make a Deal, pull anything out of your purse or kitchen cupboard and a mom can make an instant game of it.
This superpower is especially important for the times when a “quick trip to the store” turns into an endless wait on the checkout line. Bored, honey? Let’s see what we can do with this box of tampons Mama is about to purchase.
3. A Cyborg Arm
Moms can do anything and everything with only one hand. Use the bathroom, get dressed, and put on makeup while holding the baby? No problemo! Carry a kicking toddler, my purse, said toddler’s daycare bag, and both our lunch bags while staying on the phone with the pediatrician’s office and locking the door behind me? What is this, amateur hour? Give me a real challenge!
4. Mad Acting Skillz
Don’t think this is a superpower? Go grab a kid’s book and read it. Now read it again. And again. And again…
I used to think my rendition of Adelaide from Guys and Dolls was a real showstopper, but nothing shows more acting chops than making the 100th reading of Are You a Cow? entertaining. Are YOU a cow? Are you a COW? ARE you a cow? Are YOU a COW?
This also includes narrating life in songs (sung to the tune of Let’s Go Fly a Kite from Mary Poppins: Let’s go change your diaper into a cle-ean one. Let’s go change your diaper and wipe your bu-um so you can be-e-e so fresh and cle-e-ean. Oh, let’s go change your diaper!). But my husband would argue I did that before motherhood.
The supernatural ability to change another person’s mood is a blessing and a curse. Sure, I can sing my silly song to make my son happy while I’m changing his diaper, but I can also just as easily make him cry. You know, by putting socks on his feet. Or because when he asked for water I gave him water instead of milk.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say these superpowers make motherhood easier, but they do make it more interesting. Now someone hand me my cape — it’s time for my dramatic reading of Are You a Cow? Again.