Here are the 10 hidden rewards of being a mom.
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”. 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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
So what’s all the drama about parenting? These are awesome rewards. Numbers 3, 4, 5, and 9 are just too funny to be ignored. Having someone to blame for accidental farts, spending the whole day watching cartoons, not having to worry about dressing up, and having a perfect excuse not to show up for any social event are just about the best rewards of a job. Can’t get that from a corporate job, can you? But you’ll never know about these rewards until you actually become a parent.
Which parenting reward are you enjoying right now?