1. People no longer expect you to wear makeup, style your hair, bathe regularly, or wear real pants. Ditto for cleaning your house. (Unfortunately there's an expiration date on this.)
2. Taking a baby with you to the grocery store makes you look less insane when you talk to yourself.
3. You now have an excuse for everything:
- "I'd love to stay but it's somebody's naptime." (You don't need to mention it's yours.)
- "Uh-oh, I hear the baby crying so I'll have to call you back later."
- "Sorry I'm late, the baby pooped and/or spit up all over me right as I was leaving!" (Actually, this one is probably true.)
4. People will give you as wide a berth as possible when you take public transit. No one wants to sit next to a crying baby at 30,000 feet. (Possibly you don't, either, but that's not a choice.)
5. Connect with your Ninja side. You can stealthily sneak in or out of a sleeping baby's room as if your life depended on it. You also gain the ability to do amazing things like catch vomit one-handed from across the room without letting go of your basket full of laundry.
7. Heightened sense of hearing. You can discern the sound of quarters being dropped into the toilet from the other side of the house, or wake up from a dead sleep because you hear little footsteps where they shouldn't be.
8. Perfect your poker face. "Ice cream trucks play songs to let people know when the ice cream is all gone." "Where did the last four cookies go? You know, I really have no idea." These lies are a normal part of your life now. Embrace them.
Being a parent is great for all the reasons you imagine, and then some. Just think, for the next several years you won't ever have to worry about finding a place to sit — when you enter a crowded room with a baby or two, people will literally leap over each other to give you their seat. Which is good, because for the next several years you'll always be late for everything.
See more unexpected perks at Things I Didn't Expect to Love about Motherhood.