Thursday, June 9, 2011

How Math Team helped prepare me for Motherhood

I carefully lined up my pencil, first back-up pencil, second back-up pencil, giant eraser, and calculator on the desk.  I rearranged them, fiddled with the eraser, and then nervously repositioned them again.  Sweat began to form on my brow; I felt myself getting anxious.
Me in High School, circa Y2K

No, I wasn't waiting to take college entrance exams or anticipating an awful Physics final...I was waiting for one of my high school Math team competitions to begin. I actually volunteered for this. The moderator said "GO!" and my heartbeat accelerated as I turned over the tiny sheet of paper on my desk. There were 6 advanced algebra problems and I had 5 minutes to complete them.

Four and a half minutes later, after some frantic scribbling and graph doodling on my calculator, I finished the problem set and took a deep breath.  Done.  My score was added to the scores of each person on my team.  Fortunately, I did not fail miserably and our team came in 2nd place!

So how on Earth does this relate to being a Mom?  Math team taught me:
  1. It wasn't just about me anymore.  If I had blown off preparation for the Math Team meets and performed poorly, my team would likely have lost.  When Carina came screaming into this world, I felt the same sort of responsibility.  This tiny little person relies on me for everything.  I can't spend my time doing whatever I please anymore; I need to read to her, talk to her, play with her, and come quickly when she cries so she will be a happy baby and develop into a well-adjusted and bright little girl.  If I fail to do any of the above, she will suffer - now, or in the future.
  2. To finish 6 problems in 5 minutes, you had to think quickly.  There was not enough time to pause, hesitate, or second guess yourself.  Thinking quickly has definitely come in handy a number of times in my brief career as a Mommy.  While napping on me once or twice, Carina has spit up the entire contents of her stomach on my chest.  No time to sit back and curse my good fortune as the chunks ran down my bra...I had to come up with a plan of attack before the couch was destroyed.  You can't hesitate when poop starts pouring out of diaper leg holes.  It will cover her outfit as well as yours, and probably the carpet if you don't act fast enough.
  3. I always brought three pencils to the meets; just in case the first one got dull and the second one broke.  When purchasing baby gear, I erred on the side of having too many rather than too few.  So we have at least three changing pad covers, boppy slipcovers, My Brest Friend covers, sheets, sheet savers, and pack and play sheets.  Can't run the risk of having Carina spit up on one and then pee on the other before I have time to get laundry done.  I am so thankful I have three of everything!

Did you learn any helpful tips or strategies for motherhood in an unlikely place?

P.S. Could I ask my awesome readers a favor?  Top Baby Blogs just reset and I could really use some votes to get back in the game!  All you have to do is click here to vote --> Vote For Us @ TopBabyBlogs.Com - A Top Baby Blog List By


8 words of geekdom:

Kristin said...

"You can't hesitate when poop starts pouring out of diaper leg holes." Double.dead.

But oh so true. Girl. You know I am applying my geeky skills to motherhood too. Why just last night, I broke out an old textbook to read about transferrin and lactoferrin!!

Erika said...

Visiting from the Alexa hop! I'm a new follower & would love if you could visit/follow me too! Thanks! Have a great day!

Musings From a SAHM

Krista said...

i learned a lot of my mommy tricks from mommying my dogs

Chef in Training said...

Hey! Stopping by from the blog hop! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would follow me back! thanks!

Jen + Jeff said...

I am a teacher and this job should have prepared me to "go with the flow" when it comes to parenting our daughter. NO SUCH LUCK! I am constantly looking for schedules and routines instead. I will say I am one organized momma though!

Nancy said...

I agree with you on #2. You definitely have to think quickly when it comes to the spits up, comforting your LO's crying or the poopy diapers.

basebell6 said...

this made me laugh so hard! i was on the math team too (but ours was in middle school instead of high school) and i still have my t-shirts from each year!!

Laura said...

Aaah! I can totally relate. Well, not to the math part, but to the whole pencil and back up pencil and back-up-back-up pencil. I do that with EVERYTHING! Before my daughter was born I was freaking out about not having enough sheets and mattress pads, because what if she peed/pooed through one in the middle of the night, and I didn't have back ups, and then I'd have to run the washer and dryer in the middle of the night... It's very rare that I use any of my back-ups for anything, but when I do, I feel really smug about being well-prepared. My husband always says I have contingency plans for my contingency plans. He is 100% correct.

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