There are many skills you acquire once you become a parent. Some of them are obvious and well-known to most people, like Moms ears that can hear the tiniest of whimpers in a deep sleep, or growing eyes in the back of their head, while Dads become very adept at sleeping through literally anything.
But the skills that I speak of are skills at which you never thought you’d become an expert, mostly because they are skills whose existence you were completely unaware of pre-kids. These are a hidden treasure trove of super-human abilities that you must hone, or this whole parenting thing will eat you alive.
#1. Hiding things in the trash. Seems simple, right? Only to those without children! But if you have kids, you must learn to properly hide things like:
- old broken toys,
- the packaging to those old broken toys that were played with more than the actual toy itself,
- and candy wrappers from candy that you ate and didn’t share with you kids,
If not, you are toast. Because they will find it, and there will be hell to pay.
#2. Unwrapping food and chewing really, REALLY quietly. Look, being a parent is all about selflessness. But sometimes, you just want a granola bar and you want to eat it in peace! Especially if it’s a good one that’s dipped in chocolate. (note: It is helpful to have mastered skill #1 before moving on to this skill)
#3. Acting/Pretending. Of all the parenting skills, this is probably the most important. It comes in handy when you:
- Need to pretend that you have no idea where something is that you DEFINITELY threw away weeks ago.
- Need to make it seem like you know what your kid is talking about, especially as it pertains to video games, or television shows, or a game they made up with their friends at school. Most of it will make no sense to you, but you must make it appear as though it does.
- Need to make it seem like you never said they could do something just to get them to stop asking, but now it’s been months since you said it, and you just figured they forgot.
#4. Being impervious to having your name called 47 times in a row, multiple times a day. Go ahead kid. Say “Mom” 100 more times. I don’t even hear it anymore.
#5. Saying “In a minute!” so convincingly that your kids believe you, even though you have no intention of doing whatever they’re asking you to do in anywhere close to a minute. On extremely rare occasions, they may even forget about it. But don’t hold your breath.
#6. Saying “Five more minutes!’ when getting ready to leave someplace like a park or a birthday party. Then you end up staying for another hour because your kids are playing and you are actually able to have a conversation with another adult, albeit one that is interrupted every 10 seconds with one of you having to correct your child. This one isn’t really so helpful to parents, but it is probably the reason that most kids have absolutely no concept of time.
Granted, some of these skills are more useful than others, and none of them are likely earn a spot on your resume, but in most cases, that doesn’t much matter.
But in the long run, they’ll certainly help you get through these cherished years with your little ones.