By Kathy P. Behan
As we all know, there are many ups and downs of motherhood. Chances are, you can probably rattle off a lot of each in a flash. However, there are probably some unexpected benefits you may not have considered. Here’s a list of some of my favorites:
Auto-rock. What do you do while you’re standing in line with a small child in your arms? Bingo! The obligatory parental sway. I find that even if I’m alone, I catch myself rhythmically rocking back and forth. This swaying motion is not only soothing to small semi-savage beasts, but it’s good exercise as well.
Extrasensory hearing. Even in a large gathering, most mothers can not only hone in on their child’s crying, but they can also determine the exact nature of the wail. They can tell if the child is: (a) frustrated, (b) annoyed, (c) tired, or (d) has just been smashed by little, though highly-aggressive, cousin Max.
An acceptance, and even a welcoming of bodily functions. Soon after becoming a mother, my older sister found herself patting a business associate’s back and exclaiming, “Good for you!” after he inadvertently burped during a business lunch. Mothers are also highly skilled toilet-training cheerleaders. They enthusiastically encourage their children to “perform” on the potty.
Strong stomach. After changing a zillion diapers, wiping countless runny noses, and cleaning up after a host of stomach bugs, a mom gets tough. For instance, her appetite is barely diminished even after her youngster weaves through a crowd to find her and deposit a piece of regurgitated chicken into her hand.
“MD” – Mother’s Diagnosis. Moms have the uncanny knack of being able to tell if their children are sick just by looking at them. Even more remarkable, a mom can determine whether her offspring has a fever simply by looking into his/her eyes.
Perform multiple tasks simultaneously. This is where moms really shine. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I know any mothers who only tackle one job at a time. On any given day, the moms of America are able to cook dinner, set the table, answer the phone, referee arguments, review the following day’s schedule, make lunches, and clean up, all at once, without missing a beat.
Magical kisses. Mothers have the power to take the sting out of physical and psychological bruises with just a kiss. These aren’t ordinary kisses though. They contain a soothing combination of love, support, and understanding.
Awakens instantly. Unlike fathers, who tend to be incoherent for a full 15 minutes after being awakened from a sound sleep, and then stammer inanities like, “I’m up, I’m up.” Mothers are alert as soon as they’re roused. They can quickly ascertain who’s upset, what the problem is, and what to do about it, long before the average father has even figured out where he is.
Large love capacity. Contrary to mathematical principles, the more children you have, the more love there is to go around. A mom never runs out, she has plenty for everyone. Plus, each child is her favorite. She cares for them all equally, but differently. And the love she has for her children is unconditional and everlasting.
Kathy P. Behan, a mother of three, is a nationally published freelance writer specializing in health and family issues.