5 Surprise Skills New Moms MasterDevan McGuinness
There is so much to learn when you become a mom. You have to figure out how to put the diapers on so it holds everything in. You have to learn how to manage your sanity on very little sleep, and you are responsible for the safety and happiness for this new human that relies on you for everything.
That’s a lot of learning to do, but the amazing thing about motherhood is you learn a lot too. You learn how much your heart can grow in one moment. You learn that holding your baby while he cries is the best thing you could be doing at that moment. You learn that while things are forever changed, you are so much better for it.
Some things we learn out of safety (like how to survive on no sleep), others out of necessity (like diapers) and other skills we learn to master out of circumstance, like these five:
1. How to live off just coffee
I didn’t start drinking coffee until a few weeks after my third child was born, thanks to sleep deprivation and an inability to “sleep when baby sleeps” — that’s because I have too much to do and well, baby never sleeps. Coffee is still one of my favorite friends. I stick to two cups a day, but there are times when that’s all I’ve eaten come dinner time (terrible, bad, I know). It’s a skill to be able to function super sleep-deprived with only two cups of coffee fueling all the things you have to do in a day. Sure, it’s not likely something you’ll put on your resume one day, but people always do seem impressed that you’re standing upright on that little amount of sleep.
2. Meal planning for cold dinners
It’s inevitable around here — I’ll change Silver’s diaper, feed him, cuddle him and put him down to sleep. He will finally fall asleep and sleep long enough for me to believe he’s totally out. So I cook dinner, taking peeks over to make sure he’s still asleep. The kids will sneeze, scream and Silver will sleep through it all. But when I finish cooking dinner, serve out the portions to the older three kids and my husband and finally set out my plate and sit down — Silver then wakes up and starts screaming. It happens all the time! I don’t remember the last time I was able to enjoy a hot meal that hasn’t been reheated in the microwave, which is never as good. I know this is a typical thing with other moms too. I’ve been resorting to make food that is cold or doesn’t need to be reheated — like salads, sandwiches and veggies and hummus. I’ve mastered the cold food-only meal planning — and who knows how handy that will be in the future.
3. Styling yoga pants
I’ll admit that I don’t have the best sense of style. I’ve never really experimented with different looks and can have some trouble with the “does this pattern go with this pattern” rules. At no time do I seem even more clueless than the postpartum phase, when I am in-between sizes and always want to choose comfort over style. For me, that means yoga pants because, well, I swear they’re the comfiest things on the whole planet. They’re hardly stylish though, but as a mother I have learned and mastered the skill of making yoga pants work in (almost) every and any occasion — and I’m not alone. With the right shirt, necklace, hair and makeup new moms know just the way to style their yoga pants — or at least rock the “I don’t care” attitude well enough to pull it off.
4. The 5-minute shower
Nothing can recharge your soul quite like a nice, long relaxing shower, am I right? The only problem is that as a new mom, “nice,” “long” and “relaxing” are really hard to find and especially so in a shower. So, instead we master the quick art of washing all the important parts in order to get it done in record time — usually under 5 minutes.
It doesn’t matter though because even 5 minutes alone is blissful enough that you walk out feeling totally FAB-U-LOUS!
5. Multitask all the things
What happens when your baby goes to the bathroom and has an explosion all over their sleeper at the same time your dog is chewing on your shoes and the boiling water on the stove is evaporating and spilling all over the oven? You learn quickly how to better multitask and how to triage the important things happening at once. It’s a skill that you can read about all you want, but until you’ve been in a steady stream of situations like that — you’ll never truly master it. This is one of the mother skills that you will actually find quite useful in all sorts of situations — and a job skill you can put on your resume.