News Flash! Mums are superheroes!

At last, scientific research has proved that baby-bearing makes us brainy. Tell us something we don’t know! So as we wash up endless dishes at the sink and wipe up after another messy meal, we know we can do complex equations in our head, and reel off the most amazing facts known to man. Ok, so we don’t necessarily want to, but at least we know we can because it’s official.

New research has revealed that once we get over the mind-numbing stupidity of baby-brain during pregnancy – this is in fact caused by our brains re-calculating to prepare us for the vast mental capacity needed for motherhood (see, I’m sounding brainier already!) – we come out the other side cleverer and better able to cope with multiple tasks (who needed research to tell us that?).

Apparently studies carried out on animals including primates (our closest cousins… see how much I know??), show mothers become braver, are up to five times faster at finding food and have better spatial awareness. Who needed a study to work that one out?? Have you ever seen a mum confront anyone who so much as looks at her child the wrong way? I felt murderous intent the first time another child at playschool was rude to my Daisy! And as for finding food five times faster?? Ever watched a mum with toddlers in tow do a food shop? Speedy supermarket shopping should become an Olympic sport. My last trip round every aisle in Superquinn took a breathtaking 16 minutes! Ok, so Poppy needed treatment for whiplash from me pushing the trolley round the baked beans too quick, but at least I got out before two temper tantrums exploded around the petit filous section. And as for increased spatial awareness? If speedy shopping is an Olympic sport, then negotiating a double buggy through the inconceivably small aisles of most highstreet shops deserves a Nobel prize in engineering.

Another part of the research found that women’s senses became more acute after childbirth, enabling them to recognise their own child’s odours and sounds. I knew this already. When both my girls where is still in nappies I found I had the strange ability to know which one had done the poo as soon as I walked in the room. Probably not a skill I was going to put on my CV, but still, it kept me entertained.

Finally, the study showed that women who give birth after 40 are four times more likely to live to 100. Four times! So finally I can sleep well knowing I might just be around long enough to keep Poppy out of trouble. Because although she’s only 17 months, I know, just like I know it’s raining today, that that child is going get into trouble all her life. How do I know? Just another one of those super-power skills we mothers have.

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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1 Response to News Flash! Mums are superheroes!

  1. cath c says:

    of course! of course! and i knew my baby’s cry before they brought her to my postpartum room. they thought they were doing me a favor and letting me rest, but how could i when i could hear her from down the hall! they were astounded when i sent daddy down to collect her and he told them we knew the crier was her. having had my current baby at the ripe old age of 42, i love that final info! esp since i promised my oldest when he was little, that i would never die. he’s skeptical about it at 13, but i keep telling him i keep my promises.


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