So yeah, it turns out that moms’ brains are more developed than those of non-moms. We know, we know, those are fighting words, but who are we to question science?
Dr. Adam Franssen, an assistant professor of biology at Longwood University in Virginia, along with other scientists at the University of Richmond, did a study with rats (ok, yeah, rats, but rats are very maternal we’ll have you know) and they found that moms are better at planning, problem-solving and coping with stress.
Say that to the moms who use their phones as the remote, totally blank mid-conversation, forgot why they went upstairs and put mis-matched shoes on their kid. But, hey, we’ll take what we can get.
According to Franssen “The brains of moms are rewiring during pregnancy. As neurons get bigger and make more connections, some connections get briefly disconnected [or] rewired to the wrong place, leading moms to seem forgetful or scatterbrained at times.”
“I think that the [reason] why moms are smarter can be answered through evolution and ancestry,” Franssen adds. “Our great-great-great grandmothers must have successfully used their brainpower to plan for future needs, gather food, and protect their babies. Their ability to successfully care for their children has been passed down from generation to generation.”
Moms may have more connections, but fat lot of good that does us when we’re knee deep in dirty diapers, or getting smooshed peas thrown at us. We’d take those slightly less-connected but fully focused child-free brains most days of the week.
But we have to admit, there are a few things that make us think this mom brain science might be spot on:
Like Mom’s ability to listen to, understand and reply to three different conversations at exactly the same time, right down to a perfectly timed “yeah,” “uh-huh” and “that’s great,” answering three kids at once. True fact.
Functioning on little sleep and still managing to look after the kids, get groceries, take the dog for a walk, cook, do the laundry, pick up after the kids, clean up after everyone, get things ready for the next day — and then do it all over again tomorrow.
Giving just the right look at just the right time that instantly gets misbehaving kids to shape up and shut up. (Apparently dog owners can do this too, but that’s another study.)
Ditto our change of tone. We can go from “everything is awesome” to “I mean business” in a flash. And they know it — and react accordingly.
We could teach an acting class on how to feign excitement about a toddler’s work of art or her favourite movies that involve singing chipmunks or blue creatures three apples high. We guess you could call that lying, if you must.
We know exactly what will occupy a child for hours (bubbles, bubble wrap, bubblegum, a bubble bath, really, anything with bubbles) and what sucks and will be tossed aside in a matter of minutes (everything else).
Moms know glitter was created by the devil, and we have the wherewithal to never buy a shirt, pair of jeans, greeting card, doll, gift wrap with the damn stuff on it.
That innate ability to sleep with our eyes open, seemingly never missing a 90-minute gymnastics class, school play or recital.
This one my not be science, but it sure is magic: Those kisses that make ouchies all better. Other peoples kisses are OK but there’s something about a mom’s that can’t be beat.