Sunday, February 26, 2012

Privileges of Motherhood

When I was pregnant, a friend told me that one of the hardest things about becoming a mom is that all of the negative things – the sleepless nights, the interrupted plans, the diapers – are completely apparent before the child's birth. But the bright side of parenting is a little less obvious. So to set the record straight, I jotted down a bunch of advantages of being a mom that I didn’t fully realize until I had kids.

For starters, now that I’m a mom, I’ve been able to participate in a lot of field research.

This has consisted of visiting no less than 17 cupcake stores in the greater DC metro area. For the children, I assure you.

I also have reason to discover who sells the best smoothie (Yola), which ice cream shops have gummi bears and colored sprinkles (Coldstone), and I’ve had hot cocoas with Helen throughout the metro area!

I know which playgrounds have merry-go-rounds and I’ve been able to see how fast I can get them going as I test them out for my kids. Safety first! I never would have believed how much fun a moonbounce could be.

I’ve also enjoyed a trip on a zipline, been down the giant slide at Cox Farms, and had myself buried in sand at the beach. Motherhood has given me the chance to relive all the best parts of my childhood!

I have rekindled my knitting hobby, with my daughter’s wardrobe needs providing a constant excuse for me.

The Kansas City Royals, my beloved hometown baseball team, now allows me to run the bases after games on Sundays, a privilege bestowed only on children – and their parents if the kids are small enough to need a guide!

When normally I would feel it a little indulgent, motherhood has given me a good reason to spend a whole day at the pool, at the zoo, or at the Air and SpaceMuseum.

I also get to channel my inner superhero, which is pretty incredible. Motherhood has bestowed upon me the power to heal wounds with a single kiss. I can lift humans from danger, and my body has actually grown a baby inside it. I’m still in awe of that.

Because my son prioritized cuteness over sleep as a baby, I learned just how little sleep it takes to survive, and how efficient I can be when I set my mind to it, squeezing every ounce out of every minute that I can.

I knew that I’d probably get to meet new people when I became a mom, but somehow, I was convinced by the media that those people were people who would judge me for my imperfections, make me feel insecure, and look down upon me. How surprised I am, then, that I’ve actually met some of the coolest people I’ve ever been in contact with. They lift me up when I’m down, they cheer me on, they tell me I have awesome kids. They also tell me that they struggled with their partner in those sleepless nights, and that they’ve felt suffocated by this new lifestyle as well. It’s gotten me through several messes. I respect this group of people a lot and owe them a debt of gratitude. More than they will probably ever know.

Motherhood means I get to go trick-or-treating, and I get first dibs on all the reject candy. No need to waste it!

I get to drive a minivan. OK - that's not actually a benefit of motherhood.

I’ve also been able to expand my cake decorating skills as my son requested a “rainbow train with 100 cars” for one birthday and my daughter requested “kitty cat cupcakes” for another. I think I loved those projects more than them.

Just like my belly was for nine months at a time, my heart has been tugged and stretched in ways I didn’t think possible. And I have survived it! I’m stronger for it, in fact. And I’m able to walk a little more openly with a little more air in my step as a result.

Having children has given me the opportunity to play with play-doh, string beads, and sew little felt creatures. I love this kind of stuff.

Motherhood has given me a reason to keep myself healthy.

But most of all, because I am a mom, I have the two most incredible people I’ve ever come in contact with genetically programmed to adore me. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

It's true - the sleepless nights are terrible, the interruptions can be difficult, and the diapers are just gross.

But take it from me, motherhood is a great gig.


- my audition piece for Listen to Your Mother, which is being directed and produced by local bloggers Stephanie Stearns Dulli and Kate Coveny Hood. I was super nervous today when I read, and they were super accommodating of these nerves. Whether I'm in it or not, it's going to be a great show.


  1. I love it!! And fingers crossed you make it in!

  2. Love the post
    let us know about the show - in French we say Bonne merde (sorry I will not translate)