I'm sure everyone has read some "Things No One Tells You About Motherhood" articles. The ones detailing copious amounts of bodily fluids, snot-crusted shoulders, leaky pancake boobs, sleepless nights and the sticky crud in every imaginable crevice of your life. But there are secret BENEFITS of motherhood that, unless you're a mom, you just don't know!
The moment I first found out I was pregnant, I suddenly felt welcomed into the "mom club." This was especially true with my first baby: veteran moms wanted to mentor me, and other pregnant moms wanted to be mat-leave best friends. ("Oh, it's perfect! We can, like, hang out everyday and drink coffee while our babies play!")
Suddenly, I was part of something widely relatable, and there were lots and lots of women welcoming me to their village, as I created mine. In addition to the universal mom's club, there are some major benefits to being a mom!
Here is a countdown of my top five.
5. Red carpet exit
An excuse to leave early. Sure, sometimes we feel bound (err... enslaved?) by naps, feeds and toddler mood swings. But we can also use these to our advantage! Tired, bored and not feeling Uncle Fred's story of how he singlehandedly saved his family from a school of jellyfish on their five-star vacation for the seventh time? "That is amazing, I would love to hear more, but Sweet Georgia has got to have a nap or we'll all be sorry, if you know what I mean!"
Add a knowing side-glance and grin at other knowing women in the mom club, and you're golden.
4. Food over fun, always
Further to No. 5, baby naps, feeds and mood swings allow you to project your own needs onto your offspring! Somehow our society has managed to devalue naps and snacks for adults. As a new mom, as any mom (or dad), you NEED naps and snacks! "We really must stop this marathon shopping session to get some food into this child before she turns into a bear!" It's not just me, right?
Also, let me just excuse us during this large, overwhelming family gathering: "I'm just going to lay little Parker here down for a quick rest, he's been a little antsy so I'll lay with him until he falls asleep..." (Cue snoring.)
3. Pancakes are a good group, and so is popcorn
Pancakes for supper makes you the best mom ever! Cookies for the school bake sale? Ice cream on a hot day? All the sweet indulgences now make you less a diet screw up, and more a domestic and parental goddess! I know we shouldn't, but why not? But also #brusselsproutsfordinner, because #balance.
2. Momma magician
Holidays through the eyes of kids is almost as exciting as being a kid yourself. You get to enjoy the simple things like Christmas lights, Santa and the anticipation of all that is possible, all over again. And this time, you get to orchestrate all the magic!
Being the magician means you get to celebrate two-fold: you get to participate in the wonder and excitement, but you also get pride in the accomplishment — and it's fun! It is hard to explain if you haven't experienced it. Elf on a Shelf may be an obnoxious tradition, but hearing the squeals of joy every morning as your kids search and find that miniature magical man is pretty frickin' cute. The same goes for birthdays, lost teeth and Easter treats!
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1. No, Goodwill cannot have my pants
Last, but certainly not least, my most hidden secret of motherhood — the most sacred of benefits. Once you have felt their secure embrace, holding you tight, pacifying the insecurities you know you've had your whole life — once you have experienced their comfort and stability, you know you'll fight tooth and nail to never let them go.
I am done having babies, but I have ZERO plans of letting all of these gems go any time soon! In the comfort of my home, glass of wine in hand, bra thrown haphazardly across the room at precisely 8:01 p.m. — these glorious pants are my welcome home, my warm hug at the end of a hard day, my #Igotyouguuurrrlllll friend who will never judge.
The secrets of motherhood do not end here. But in a sea of negativity and woes surrounding parenthood, we have got to remember the perks.
Naps. Snacks. And comfy pants. Life is good.
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