All mothers learn new skills when encountering parenthood for the first time. Some of these skills are learned the hard way, through trial and error, or through hours upon hours of research and preparation. Many skills can only be acquired through doing. And some are instinctive – learned without even realizing it.
One day as I simultaneously diced cheerios, caught a flying sweet-potato filled spoon, talked on the phone, and opened a package of fruit snacks with my teeth, I concluded that I have instinctively developed some mad mom-ninja skills. I have no formal ninja training, and yet the parallels between my multi-tasking self and a ninja master can’t be denied.
If you possess any of the following skills, you, too, might be a mom-ninja:
This skill doesn’t even appear to be one, until you suddenly need to master it. Almost the minute your baby is born, you conclude stealth is the most important skill on the planet.
No one would think to put it on a job application, especially not a pre-child woman. She wakes up singing Taylor Swift in the shower, pours a loud bowl of Cocoa Puffs, and happily crunches them while enjoying the morning news. Her untrained ear doesn't recognize the thunder-stomp of her footsteps, the disruptive swishing of her clothes when she walks.
The mother, on the other hand, can creep out of bed without rustling the covers of her co-sleeping infant. She can shower in a quiet trickle of water. She pours Raisin Bran into a bowl with a napkin inside to muffle the sound and eats it in the dark. She wouldn’t even think about turning on the TV.
She wears only cotton clothing because she knows which fabrics are loud AF. She is aware of every creaking floorboard in the house and peeks around corners unseen. She disconnects the doorbell and greets visitors outside the house, so the dog doesn’t bark.
My mom reflexes are so lightning fast I could probably swat a fly with my bare hands. I’m catching babies before they roll off changing tables, anticipating sneezes with tissue ready, saving toddlers before they fall backwards off the couch, and catch the flying sippy cup almost every time. I clean spills in less than ten seconds flat. I head off a tantrum before it starts. And you should see how quickly I toss groceries into the cart.
I’m like Catwoman with my ninja skills.
Tossing diapers into the diaper pail with perfect precision is my specialty. But I can also slice cheese sticks and strawberries exactly the way my toddler likes them. I can load up a school bag every day without missing a single sheet of homework. I’m capable of juggling laundry, house cleaning, and toy pickup in round-the-clock cycles. I even manage to put the right kid’s clothes in the right drawers most of the time.
I may not be as calm as the Master Sensei, but I’m getting there. When I walk into a bathroom with a shit-stained toilet that my child has attempted to clean up with the ‘good’ towels, I don’t even scream. I have been known to maintain calm for as many as four hours in a car with my kids fighting over the iPad in the back.
I’m pretty sure even the Ninja Turtles lose their shit once in a while, so if you moms stay calm at least most of the time, I’m pretty sure you’re still a mom-ninja.
I’ve never been in a fight before, but I can tell you I will whoop that ass if you ever mess with my kids. I’ll pull a hairbrush from my purse and whack you upside the head with it. Then, like Batman, I’ll make a corny joke about how your hair needed a brushing as you lay dazed on the pavement.
If you are a mama bear who would protect your kids from anything in the world, you might also be a mom-ninja.
We moms have all the tools to get it done, do we not? We carry our tools in diaper bags or oversized purses instead of tool belts. And we always have what we need when we need it.
Instead of pulling out Chinese throwing stars, we know just which ‘paci’ to use at the right moment. We always carry a lollipop (just in case) and never leave home without Mr. Fuzzywiggles.
Our purses are known for being bottomless pits because you never know when you might need: a Band-Aid, tissue, squeaky toy, sandwich, bottle of water, change of clothes – strike that – two changes of clothes, and of course that iPhone because Peppa Pig on repeat solves all the worlds problems.
Our tools and our understanding of when to utilize them make us all mom-ninjas.
Yup, I’ve got this ninja thing down. I can put a mask on no matter what the situation. Happy face mask? Check. Concern and/or sympathy mask? Check. Eager to help in the classroom mask? Check.
These masks all hide the exhausted, glazed-eye, or lack-of-any-emotion-what-so-ever expression that also comes along with being a mom-ninja.