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It’s no secret that parenthood is no walk in the park. Take a moment to reflect on the challenges you’ve faced and overcome, and the skills you’ve learnt in the process – motherhood has certainly made you smarter.

1. Before motherhood, you used to need two free hands just to make yourself a cup of tea but now, while balancing a child on your hip, you can cook a three-course dinner, update the shopping list, sort the washing and do your online banking without so much as lifting a finger from your child’s waist.

2. You’ve become an expert interpreter. Okay, it is mostly only your child’s babbling you can decipher, but still that’s got to count for something, right? “Like, um, burny…” he says hopefully. “You want a ginger biscuit? Here you go.”

3. Your eyesight has improved. You can now read a number of hotly requested toddler titles without your reading glasses. In fact, there are a couple of stories you can recite in the dead of the night if need be.

4. You’ve become a contortionist. Your pre-pregnancy body wasn’t as good at sitting cross-legged on the floor or scaling a jungle gym. Now you can even be seen dashing up the stairs of the very high slide at your neighbourhood park, and you’re pretty sure your hips didn’t use to fit into it pre-baby.

5. When your child says “Hello Mamma”, in a particular way, you know he really means “I love you Mamma”, and you’ve learnt to treasure these precious “nothings”.

6. You’re now a bona fide baby and child product (and toy) expert. In fact, you’re not sure why you aren’t on a retainer from that toy store down the road, for all the help you’ve offered dazed parents standing overwhelmed in front of the shelves.

7. You can work magic. Bird calls can be translated into Human. Dummies can disappear and then reappear through car windows, delighting a sparkly eyed toddler, who now thinks his mom can whistle a dummy back into the car. (Let’s hope he doesn’t try throwing it out himself and then expect me to get it back!)

8. You’re near phobia free. Not wanting to transfer your fears to the next generation, you’ve developed a new interest in frogs, spiders and slugs. The old you would have squealed and yelled to your partner to come and dispose of the offending critter; now you’re off to fetch the bug jar and the magnifying glass.

9. You’ve become a health activist – though whether this is a good thing is debatable. The sight of someone smoking with a Baby on Board sticker on their window, even in a car devoid of passengers, sends your blood pressure sky high.

10. Your repertoire of animal sounds rivals Dr Doolittle’s. Fish make a noise? Sure do. Camels, worms and snails, too. Singing “Old MacDonald” just got a whole lot more interesting.

11. You’re now a bargain-hunter extraordinaire. Anybody need to buy a double bunk or a child’s first bike? You’ve done the research and know who sells what where. In fact, there are a couple of second-hand goods websites you check regularly – you might just know somebody who is keen to pick up a stroller or a train set for a steal.

12. Your cooking has improved remarkably. Where you rarely received compliments on the meals you managed to throw together during the week, your son has more than once now exclaimed: “Well done Mommy,” on munching through his dinner.

READ MORE: Debunking Parenting Myths

Elaine Eksteen