9 Underappreciated Mom Talents

POPSUGAR Photography | Sheila Gim
POPSUGAR Photography | Sheila Gim

I've held a few thankless jobs in my life, but none so grossly underappreciated as motherhood. Don't get me wrong — I'm not expecting a parade and a tiara — but it would be nice if, for once, someone recognized the mom talents that everyone seems to take for granted. When you think about it, those motherly superpowers are nothing short of amazing, working behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. I mean, what would our families do if Mom couldn't . . .


Moms can locate the most random items in the most obscure places: the Xbox remote wedged under the couch, the action figure in the bottom of the clothes hamper, the fairy costume where the wing part is in the toy box and the dress part is crumpled into the drawer. We know where to find that shirt you haven't worn in eight months, those shoes we put away that will probably fit you now, and the fudgesicles that are buried underneath the bags of frozen chicken breasts in the freezer.

Remember Dates

Moms have an incredible mental calendar. We keep track of doctor's appointments and soccer games and school programs and birthday parties. We know the birth dates of our entire families. We can tell you when it's Teacher Appreciation Week . . . and we never forget Father's Day. (Ahem.)

Remember Numbers

Our amazing memories aren't limited to dates alone; our brains are databases of other numerical information, too. Moms know their kids' birth times and weights (and current weight, and current height), and the phone number of the pediatrician, and the hours of stores and pharmacies, and a whole bunch of other things. We may not recall our kids' names sometimes ("You! Whoever you are! Come here!"), but we can come up with their correct shoe and clothing sizes at a moment's notice.

Remember Food Preferences

This kid eats pancakes with butter only; that one prefers them slightly undercooked with no butter, just syrup; the other one wants both butter and syrup, but will only eat a certain brand of pancake mix because the others "taste like chemicals." Remembering all the individual likes and dislikes is definitely a challenge, but moms do it flawlessly.


Mothers take multitasking to a whole new level. For being mere mortals with a limited number of hands, we're downright impressive when it comes to doing a bazillion things simultaneously. Who else could cook a meal with a baby on one hip while talking a girlfriend through a life crisis over the phone — and still make sure the kids aren't burning the house down?

Be Prepared on the Go

If you are ever in a jam and find yourself in need of the most random item — a safety pin, a packet of crackers, a bandage, a glue stick, stain remover, a variable-speed buzz saw — find the nearest mom and ask her for help. Chances are we've got what you need either in our purses or our cars, which are both like mobile convenience stores.

Remove Any Stain Imaginable

We've gotten chocolate pudding out of t-shirts, poop out of carpets, and Kool-Aid-tinted barf off of couches. Whether it's grass or grease, mud or marker, moms know how to remove a stain from anything from burlap to velvet.

Make Meals Out of Nothing

Sometimes, when we haven't been to the store in a while, our dinner choices seem limited — but never underestimate the ability of a mom to whip up a feast from a near-empty fridge. All that's in the house is a pound of hamburger and an old banana and a stale loaf of bread and some oregano? No problem.

Know When Something Is Wrong

Our maternal radars are quick to pick up on anything amiss. We can spot an impending illness from the slightest change in our kids' behavior and recognize the difference between genuine sickness and math-test-induced faking in the time it takes to say, "I don't feel good." When our kids get home from school, we can tell what kind of day they've had just by the way they close the door. And whenever something is wrong, no one fixes it like Mom.

Our contributions may not be celebrated (or even noticed all that much), but believe me when I say that they're important — no, crucial — to the well-being of our families. If it weren't for those everyday talents, things would be in chaos.

We're total rock stars. Even if nobody recognizes it but us.