10 Unexpected Bonuses of Motherhood

Unexpected Bonuses of Motherhood

When my older son was five, we were getting ready to leave for a playdate and I was feeling a bit scrambled. I didn’t know our hosts very well and had taken some extra care to look presentable. As I opened the door, my son paused and asked: “Mom, is that a new shirt?”

“Why, yes it is,” I answered, feeling flattered that he noticed.

“Yeah, I can tell because it still has the sticker on it,” he said.

As I sheepishly peeled the six-inch size label off my torso, I thought to myself: it’s moments like these that it’s good to have kids.

Plenty of time is spent in the mom-universe commiserating about how difficult it is to be a parent these days—and it is, no question. Still, it’s important to remember the little moments that make the gig totally worthwhile. For example:

1. Taking Sole Credit for Growing Them Inside Your Body

I get so much mileage out of this one. If they ever push back or question my authority, I jump right to: “You know, I grew you inside my own body. You used to live in here (pointing to my now-permanently convex tummy area). No one else can say that.”

2. When They're Being Funny But Don’t Realize It 

When my older son was six, he had a collection of mini NFL football figures, and he carried them around with him day and night. One evening, he handed me the tiny statue of quarterback Tom Brady and announced: “Mom, I think tonight you should sleep with Tom Brady.” I managed to keep a straight face and reply, “Well, if that's what you really want, you know Mom would do anything for you.”

3. Using Those Dormant Home Ec Skills  

As a mom of two boys, I find myself cooking large quantities of food and mending an endless array of ripped-up pants. If only my junior high sewing teacher, Mrs. Pluchinske, could see me now.

4. Entertainment Nostalgia

It is so much fun to go down memory lane and re-visit TV shows and movies that have been re-booted for this generation. Bring on Star Wars, the Care Bears, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and all their 80s counterparts.

5. Guaranteed Humility

With my kids around, I’m certainly never going to become full of myself. One day, I had blow-dried and straightened my hair (a rare event) and my younger son commented, “Wow, Mom, your hair looks so different!” Before I could even respond, he added: “But, the lines on your forehead are still there, so I know it’s you.”

6. Recording Memories

I love taking pictures, so I cherish the role of designated photographer and videographer of my kids’ lives. Even though I’m the one who has taken and organized all the images, their baby and toddler photos still catch me off guard. It baffles me how they can be simultaneously unrecognizable and yet so “them.”

7. The Real-Deal Hugs

When they’re truly upset, hurt or miserable, it’s got to be Mom who comforts them. Sure, we have the exclusive privilege of cleaning up after their worst moments, but there’s nothing like holding them when you know they really need you.

8. Comfort foods

This is an instinctive Mom superpower. When my mom visits and realizes that I’m past myself, she always makes me a bacon-and-egg sandwich. When my family’s at a potluck event, I get a kick out of how my kids always eat whatever we brought – not because it’s better, just because it’s familiar.

9. Showing Off Obscure Skills

My older son has recently shown an interest in retro music, and he was flat-out impressed that I still knew all the lyrics to “Ice Ice Baby.” (Yes, every single word – and no, I don’t know why that’s the information my brain chose to retain for decades.)

10. When They Do Something Great

Inevitably, there will be moments where your kids truly amaze you. Don’t let those moments pass you by. Whether they’re playing a sport, doing a school performance or being kind to someone else, allow yourself to enjoy it. Instead of bragging that you created him, you’ll instead find yourself saying admiringly, “Yeah, I’m with him.”




Kristi York is a freelance writer, a former high school English teacher, and a mom of two sports-loving boys. More of her published work can be found on Twitter @KristiYork19.