Motherhood Made Me Better At…


computer-1185626_1280I think there’s this general perception that, like Pam said, “motherhood makes you so soft.”

And in some ways it’s true. I’m not a big movie-cryer, but any commercial involving a baby? Tears. Pictures of refugee children feel like a sucker punch. Misogynistic memes make me irate, and even as a teacher, I noticed just a different kind of lens when I was working with kids: all of a sudden, how much they liked their teacher meant how comfortable they were in school everyday, and that meant more to me once I could imagine if he or she were my child.

*Teachers without children also do this. It just didn’t happen for me until I had one. Because, frankly, I’m a little insensitive.*

But, yeah. Motherhood made me kinda soft.

Actually, though, I don’t think this problematic, at all. I think it’s certainly portrayed as problematic: I mean, how can a woman possibly concentrate at work if she’s just thinking about babies all the time? How can a woman possibly be as productive if she has to take off for prenatal or child doctor appointments? How can a woman possibly make RATIONAL DECISIONS WITH ALL THOSE BABY MAKING HORMONES CLOUDING HER BRAIN?

Of course she can, because those assertions are bananas. But, just to lay it out, I want to share with you the things I actually got better at since having a kids, especially as they pertain to work productivity and, well, being a better human being.

  1. Multitasking. You betcha. I can carry on a conversation over text, write an e-mail, file an insurance claim, and change a diaper almost simultaneously. I mean, not really: but I can do each of those things with amazing efficiency because…well, I have to.
  2. Punctuality. Yeah, no- not to everything. But over the past year or so, I’ve learned to either tell people an actual realistic time of when I can be somewhere and for how long, just not make plans in the first place, or start to the process of leaving at least 45 minutes earlier than I think I need to. I probably could have been doing these things for the last 15 or so years, but as it happens, it took being responsible for 3 tiny humans to get me to actually do it.
  3. Meeting deadlines at work and in school. Because I know I absolutely cannot get any work done during the day when I’m at home, I know when I need to work and how much I need to do when I have the chance to do it. I know to schedule those times in so I can get things done, and I know to drink that cup of coffee at 4 p.m. so I can stay up late enough to do them. I’m not saying it doesn’t get stressful, but I definitely got better at managing the little free time I have to get non-parenting things finished.

I write this because I know between my own experience, and that of my friends, balancing work and kids is a challenge and it does change you: but not for the worse. Valuing women in all of our spaces- the house, the office, the playground, the Senate, wherever- is important for all of us, and will only make a better a place for our sons and daughters. So keep up the good fight, lean in, and be aware of your worth, even if others aren’t. You got this.



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Nickie is currently an Urban Education Studies PhD student at IUPUI. As co-owner of Indianapolis Moms Blog, she is interested in not only supporting and encouraging fellow mothers, but supporting the small businesses of Indianapolis. She also works for a Civil Rights organization, working specifically with Civil Rights in public schools. She is Mom to Charlie (3), Ivy (2), and Emery (1), and married to her baby-raising partner, Clay. She loves to travel with her littles and husband, walk the Monon, City Market, hikes, dogs, and barbecues. You'll find her with coffee in hand, likely talking to anyone who will listen.