Isn’t it funny that for the life-long job of parenting, where you’re required to love and care for an actual tiny human beings every need, you don’t require any qualifications, at all… whatsoever.
You really just need the ability to reproduce. That’s about it.
For such in important job, you’d imagine there’d be more prep required. But there isn’t. We all just sort of wing it and hope for the best, but while you might go into the job effectively clueless, you will end up going on the biggest learning curve of your entire existence and come out of it with some amazing super skills you never knew you needed…
Granted, I’m only 22 months in here, but already I’ve become proficient in the following skills-
From learning to grab a snack from your bag on the passenger seat while stuck in horrendous traffic with a screaming toddler in the seat behind you. To unwrapping said treat with one hand and then passing it behind your back, in a move worthy of a place in the next Cirque du Soliel tour, your dexterity will skyrocket.
For example; you can expect to have to shimmy you and your kid and/or car seat in and out of tiny car parking spaces on a daily basis, thanks to arseholes taking up the P&C spaces. You’ll be adept at having your toddler in one arm and maybe a fully loaded tray of tea and cake or shopping in the other and you’ll feel as though you’ve solved a rubix cube as you learn to manoeuvre your buggy in and out of doors that just weren’t meant for prams. Yes that’s right… nimble ninja is your middle name now.
2. How to Survive on Less Sleep
For someone who could sleep for Ireland, it’s amazing how I’ve learned to get used to less sleep. Those early days of broken sleep are a killer though and I don’t think even a US Marine could handle it, but when you find more of a routine and your child does start sleeping, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will either!
Why? Well you’ll be up half the night doing tasks and chores you couldn’t do during the day. Your mind will be much harder to switch off thinking about all the things you have to do the next day and recounting all your ‘mum-fails’ during the day and even when you are asleep, you’ve always got one ear out just in case your child starts crying.
3. Master of Distraction
David Copperfield will have nothing on you, as you learn to master the art of distraction to avoid public meltdowns. Be it jingling keys, singing songs, bribing with sweeties or pulling a million and one funny faces, you will find yourself mastering any and all things to distract your baby or toddler from blowing their top when you’re out and about.
Seriously… I would dance the Macarena in the buff while standing on my head, if I thought it would stop an impending level 10 toddler tantrum in the supermarket.
4. Speed Eating/Drinking
You’ll learn how to drink a cup of steaming hot coffee that would strip the tonsils off you in 60 seconds or less because you know your toddler will try and wrestle it out of your hands and when you do put it down, you won’t come back to if for five hours and it will be stone cold.
Same goes for food or drinks of any kind… chewing won’t really be needed anymore, you’ll just shove what you can down the hatch in chunks… also as a by-product of this stock up on Gaviscon!
5. Expert Multi-Tasking
If you thought you were good at multi-tasking before, gals, prepare to take that skill into the stratosphere. No joke, you will find yourself doing at least ten to twenty things simultaneously on a daily basis.
You’ll also be doing all said tasks while facing vuvuzela levels of distraction, such as; being whined or screamed at, while a tiny human hangs out of you, to the sound of maybe the dog barking or the timer on your phone going off to tell you the dinner is burned.