The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Mom Skills You Never Knew You Would Need

on August 22, 2012

I have often said my life would be easier if my children had come with a set of instructions.  Not that I have ever followed instructions in my life but it would be nice to know that there was something there in which to refer if I’d wanted.  I know the “holy” reply to my last statement is “There is an instruction book for parenting: The Bible” which is true and a really nice thing to say but not what I’m getting at.  No where in Scripture is there a warning that you are going to spend night after night after night walking around with a teething baby who will turn around in six short years and be proud as they pull those teeth out of their head.  Then you get to act happy for them AND pay  for the tooth when all you can think of are the hours they spent crying and throwing up on you to get the silly things to pop through their gums.  I’m talking about those kind of instructions.   Not the “How To Be The Best Parent In The World” books – I’m not interested in those. Those are written by people who are a little too perfect for me.  Besides my children never read those books so they never knew that if I used a particular parenting skill on them they were supposed to react in a specific way.  (wait – maybe they DID read those books just so they could do the opposite of what  the book said they should do.) I would just like some practical instructions on occasion.  A little good information to make life a little easier.

I will never forget starting out as a mother.  I listened intently as they taught me how to bathe our newborn son and how to wrap him snugly.  All those things a first time mother needs to know.  I figured between the things they showed me and the fact that I was a loving person who knew how to cook and clean and rock and cuddle I’d be fine as a mother.  I was delusional. I had no idea of the hidden skills I was going to need to learn.  Things like:

1. – The ability to fish a pony bead out of a three-year-old’s nose with a tweezers. Gross, but it happens.

2. – The skill to string pads into football pants when older brothers and dads are not available to do it.  This is after you’ve had the joy of washing those stinky things.

3. The organizational genius to pick up one kid from volleyball practice at the same time you are dropping off another one at football practice AND making dinner at the same time.  (If you’ve mastered this could you let me know?? I’m looking for help here….)

4. The ability to fix ANY toy that has broken by the time the broken-hearted child wakes up in the morning. (Thank you 24 hour stores….)

5. The skill to save the goldfish out of the sink drain without panicking OR letting your child know you just dropped their pet down there.

6. The ability not to panic or puke before saying, “I think that might need some stitches.”

7. The ability to keep a straight face as your adorable child does something totally naughty.  Hilariously funny….but naughty.

8. The restraint to resist the urge to say “Good then my job here is done!” as your dramatic child informs you that you have ruined their life.

9. The ability to see those imaginary friends and include them in your conversations while making sure they have a snack.

10. The patience to watch the same video over and over while holding a feverish child on your lap.

11. The creative ability to call food whatever sounds fun in order to get your kids to taste it.

12. The scrubbing power to remove crayon from any surface, nail polish from your kitchen table and permanent marker from clothing.

13. The ability to read the same bedtime story for the 1,425,322nd time (because it’s our favorite) and STILL make it sound exciting. (“Mom you aren’t doing the voices right!!”)

14. The skill to unclog a vacuum that has consumed one too many legos or Barbie shoes or necklaces or…..

15. The grace to act surprised by your Mother’s Day breakfast after your children have been busy in the kitchen for an hour. Noisy and busy.

16. The ability to keep a straight face as your teenager informs you they have life figured out.

17. The restraint to not sob until after you’ve left the dorm building on move-in day.

18. The humor to laugh at the same knock-knock joke you’ve heard a hundred times before.

19. The wisdom not to ask what happened to the lamp.

20. The diplomatic skill to keep all of them from killing each other while silently wondering if you shouldn’t just let them have at it.

Ok…those just came rolling off the top of my head.  I’m sure there many, many more Mom Skills which are required but forgotten after you check them off.  Feel free to share any that you’ve discovered along the way. I’d love to hear them.  Meanwhile, I found these helpful instructions on-line today.  Thought I’d share:


9 responses to “Mom Skills You Never Knew You Would Need

  1. This is exactly why I feel….Motherhood is an art form!!! LOL It seriously encompasses so many things!!! I still need to figure out #10, #14, and #18…you so have a leg up on me!! haha!! Love it!

    • wedelmom says:

      You are so right – it is an art form. Never quite completed but always unique! I can’t say I figured those out, I just survived long enough for our kids to outgrow those stages. 😉
      Ok – #18 – I used to follow MY mother around reading a joke book. I just figured it was justice….

  2. momshieb says:

    These are wonderful! Brought back so many memories! Especially reading that favorite book for the zillionth time, and watching that same video over and over while rocking your sick child……
    I miss that stuff……

  3. This is great! What a fun post…lets see, what can I add…Let’s see if altogether we can add another 20 in the comments. I’ll try to come up with 5.

    21. The discernment not get too personally caught up in your oldest child’s achievements and not to be too relaxed about the younger child.

    22. The stamina to listen to a child learn to play musical instrument.

    23. The will-power to just throw away the uneaten cookie off the child’s plate.

    24. The alertness to pleasantly converse with your college sons friends who drop in to say hello after midnight.

    25. The confidence not to second guess every parenting decision you make for the first three years.

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