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10 Secret Perks of Parenthood

funny mischievous baby boy peeking out from under bench. outdoors

Search Pinterest for “mom inspiration” and the first thing you’ll see is a whole bunch of quotes about why it’s wonderful to be a parent: You become more patient, less selfish, your heart grows by leaps and bounds, you strengthen your family bonds, blah, blah, blah.

Those are all well and good, but they don’t portray the whole story. There are a lot of other parenthood perks that never make their way into artfully framed wall art. Since Pinterest and its platitudes won’t provide this insight, I will. Here are ten bonus reasons why it really rules to hear yourself called Mom or Dad:

1. You get to embrace the cheese

You finally have license to go out and buy that tacky, but weirdly mesmerizing inflatable reindeer mélange with which to decorate your front yard this holiday season. Don’t overthink it. It’s just fun.

2. You realize how incompetent you really are — and that’s “okay”

As parents, we’re always being told to “forgive ourselves” and “do the best we can” and I find we really take that advice to heart. Six hours straight of Dora? Frozen pepperoni pretzel pockets for dinner again? A bath for the kids every two weeks? Sure. We’re doing the best we can.

3. You finally have a little person on whom to blame your farts

Pre-kids, you blamed the dog and no one ever bought it. At least now the presence of a Gogurt-chugging child raises reasonable doubt.

4. You get to finally catch up on years of cartoons

Tangled, Brave, Aladdin, The Rescuers Aristocats, Lady and the Tramp — they’re all waiting for you and THEY ARE AWESOME.

5. Your wardrobe is accidentally in fashion

Your daily uniform of Danskos, white gym socks and mom jeans are no longer considered schlubby, it’s considered “normcore” — suburban anti-fashion as fashion. All the Bushwick hipsters are doing it. (Normcore’s gotta apply to minivans too, right?)

6. You get to feel like you’re in charge

There’s nothing more gratifying to your ego than watching a 3-year-old run around the perimeter of the house four times just because you thought it sounded like a fun way to get some fresh air. It’s like you’re Kim Jong-un, ruler of all you survey. (This parenting benefit wears off at approximately age 3.75 so enjoy it.)

7. Small people make you laugh and wince simultaneously

Like the time my 4-year-old stood before me as I swept the floor, and said, “Mom, you look so cute. You look so cute when you do so many chores.”

8. Small talk is no longer a labor

Before kids, it was always a struggle maintain idle chitchat with casual acquaintances (weather, work, current events, or God forbid, their dog.) Now? Just mention sleep training or screen time to a fellow parent and neither of you will be able to shut up.

9. Conversely, you don’t have to socialize anymore. Ever.

Misanthropes should make a point of spawning humans because raising kids  means you never have to endure conventional society again if you so choose. Go on that weekend retreat? No. Attend a dinner party? Can’t. You got the kids.

10. You have a new appreciation for scissors.

The tool that cuts everything with a single hand — pancakes, paper, pizza, chicken, a wad of epoxy from your kids’ hair.  Why did you ever bother with knives?

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