7 Rad Skills I’ve Learned from my Baby

Chelsea Day

After having a baby, all sorts of maternal and paternal instincts kick in. Moms and dads are driven to do amazing things to keep their children safe. Even more impressive is the outrageous set of powers that parents develop over time. Batman’s got nothing on our ninja skills. Superparents, unite!

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Speed-Eating

With mere seconds to squeeze lunch in between washing crib sheets and taking out the diapers, parents can suck down a plateful of food faster than you can say, “The baby’s crying again.” Forget those competitions with people eating hot dogs and pies. Hand us a big old pile of stale chicken nuggets, half-eaten macaroni and cold coffee.

Juggling

Ever tried to hold a baby while mixing formula and hosting a conference call? Welcome to the world of the working parent, where your new job title is “Acrobat.”

Ninja Showering

Many parents save time by taking their baby into the shower as opposed to drawing a bath. Multi-person cleanliness in half the time! It takes some serious coordination to wash that slippery squirmer.

Acting

Parenthood doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and most of us still have to interact with the rest of the world. Even after all-night feedings and colicky meltdowns, many parents manage to put on a smile and feign interest in all the details of work, the PTA and the latest neighborhood gossip. Oscar award goes to you, tired dad down the block!

Precarious Peeing

Going to the bathroom while wearing an Ergo really isn’t ideal, but this is the reality for many parents with attached babies. When you gotta go, you gotta go.

Omnipresence

We may not be equipped with eyes in the back of our heads, but we have a magical way of knowing what our kids are up to at any given moment. This comes in extra handy when those beaming babies turn into curious crawlers.

Time Management

We could all use more hours in the day, and new parents realize the value of time better than any powerful executive. Our time management skills are so effective, they’re almost akin to a superpower.

Parenting Skills you Really Need

All joking aside, new moms and dads are often worried that they won't have the executive power to manage everyday life AND a baby. Here are some of the most common parenting skills that you'll need:

  • Praising positive behavior. It takes some serious self-restraint sometimes to keep from lecturing and outright berating. Every parent knows that internal feeling when you can't help but wonder, "What the HECK was this child thinking?" However, we also know that those gut reactions can do lots of damage to their self-esteem, and biting your tongue before taking time to carefully walk through your child's behavior in a calm manner? That's a seriously admirable skillset.
  • Prioritizing numerous responsibilities. Between getting mealtime taken care of, covering regular work expectations, paying bills, keeping a (semi) clean household and maintaining relationships with other important humans? You've got superstar multitasking skills, and it shows.
  • Emotional intelligence. Babies aren't the only ones who have a bad day on occasion. It takes a lot of intuition and awareness to take care of yourself AND a growing family at the same time. You tend to their needs, your own needs, and the needs of friends and neighbors who expect you to be an active member of the community. They say it takes a village to raise a baby, and you exercise a critical parenting skill when you take an active part in that.
  • Hunting and gathering. Okay, so maybe you're not actively fighting for your food, but you are providing every single meal to the best of your ability for tiny humans who are wholly dependent on you. The fact that they can reliably look to you for their survival makes you an awesome parent who is building up confident kids. The simple lack of hunger - and knowing that they know where their next meal will come from - helps develop strong minds and bodies who can go into the world with a sense of security.
  • Delegating. This comes into play a bit more as your kids get older and you dish out responsibilities that teach them to carry their own weight. In the younger years, you're delegating your household between its occupants as well as assign tasks to any helpers you may have, and delegating things to the "no" pile by learning to setup boundaries that protect your time with your child. Go you!
  • Trust. The simple act of bringing a child into this world is an act of faith and trust, in many ways. For parents like me who are innate Type A control freaks, it can be extremely hard to let your body and your life be carried away with another human's needs. You either possess or are rapidly learning the delicate art of preparing for what you can, and trusting that the world will be there to help you through things you can't possibly anticipate.
  • Flexibility. Kids change every dang day, with hormonal whims, developmental fluctuations, the weather, whatever random objects may catch their eye... it's impossible to anticipate, and pretty dang hard to respond to their needs on a dime. But you do it! Parents foster an incredible amount of flexibility within their homes, changing plans as their family needs and dynamics shift on a daily basis.
  • Patience. Kids have so, so, so many questions - and you manage to take them all in stride! Patience is definitely one of the top parenting skills, requiring a presence of mind and calm that is only mastered after repeated midnight wakeups, blowouts, spitups and spilled milk.
  • Managing expectations. It can be really hard not to get down on yourself as a parent, especially in this day and age of Pinterest comparison and blog-worthy everything. Parents are in the unique position of having to charge forth, confident in the choices they make and the things they shirk, in spite of the expectations that others may place upon them.
  • Boundaries. Speaking of expectations, many parents also have the difficult task of ending generational traumas. When it comes to our own kids, we are responsible for putting a foot down and protecting them from others who may do them harm with narcissistic behavior and traumatic ways of communicating. That's a true rockstar power.

At the end of the day, being a parent is all about making conscious decisions and taking effective action. Those simple repeated choices develop an unparallelled skillset that serves your children better than any online class, booklet or streaming course ever could.

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Helping parents live simple and satisfying lives. Our homeschooling family loves to learn, and in our spare time (hah!) we RV travel and flip houses.

Boise, ID
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