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Does being a mom make you smarter?

Don't let motherhood be your excuse

Contrary to the studies that we've all heard about time and time again — that being a mother makes us lose our precious brain cells — we've found moms who think that motherhood actually helps them boost their brains!

Multi-tasking mom

Figuring it out as we go

Mom to four (and one of our previously featured "Having it all" moms), Jennifer Quesada shares that while her definition of "smart" has certainly changed now that she is a mother, the most unnerving part is that it's also quite elusive. "I used to eat whatever I wanted when I was hungry. But when my kids are hungry, I have to ask a thousand questions first before I give them food. Does it have GMOs in it? Was it farmed sustainably? Ethically? What was it packaged in? Meanwhile, my kids are standing and staring expectantly and I just give up and hand them an apple and go cry in the corner. Smarter? You be the judge."

Taking smart to the next level

"I feel smart most days," says Sheena Kalso, mom to two and business owner. She continues with this confession, which many moms are sure to relate to, "Sometimes I almost feel too smart. I'm the only one who knows where everything goes in our house. So really, I can't blame anyone for leaving piles of stuff everywhere — toothpaste, clean laundry, shoes — because I'm a household genius whose knowledge can't be accessed by baby, toddler or husbandkind."

Motherhood getting us out of our knowledge box

Chelsea Bell, mom to two girls, shares her thoughts on what it means to be a smart mom.

"When tested, moms adapt to become experts in every/any subject imaginable if it will help us protect our baby or give them an advantage, even if it's outside of our normal range of something we have passion for. As it stands now, I can fix any kind of broken DVD player, discuss private versus public schools with ease, coach a shy child on how to walk into a room full of people and tell you if a rash is bad news. Boom. Just like that. Smart."

Living smarter

"In all honesty, being a mom has made me live smarter," says Robyn Campbell, a new mom. "I appreciate those little observations that I see through Oliver's eyes that I'd really only glanced over before — spending time outside, playing on the floor and taking long walks (without an iPod) literally brings a new perspective on life. Okay, so I'm not as caught up on my current events like I used to be — I have an average of 45 seconds before Oliver grabs a newspaper from my hands and starts shredding it — but my creativity and problem-solving skills are being honed by the minute. So yes, in life's own little ways, I truly believe that being a mom makes me smarter."

Being thrown in the deep end

Mom to a toddler and one of our featured moms in the "Families around the world" series, Jewell Willet was literally thrown into the deep end of motherhood while living in Japan. "Becoming a mom while living in a foreign country forced me to figure out questions and concerns by doing my own research, and without a big support system, we had to do a lot of things on our own." Jewell and her family recently moved back to the U.S. where she works for a non-profit organization that helps military children in need. "Now that we have this crazy toddler, I'm having to think outside of the box on a whole different level. I'm constantly finding out new ways to entertain her, feed her, potty train her and fit all of her necessities into my purse. And, the fact is that there are times when all of those things are happening at once!"

Seeing through the fog

"I don't think I'm smarter," says new mom, Erin Batten, who helps us keep things in perspective. "In fact, the lack of sleep has me questioning myself constantly. Did I do that? Did I say that? Am I really that forgetful? Will I ever get out of this fog? But that being said, I do feel more aware. Having to pay attention to every little thing, as a mom, makes me feel very present... despite the fogginess!"

Tell us

Do you think that being a mom has made you smarter.... or not so much?

More on motherhood

The truth about the first few weeks of motherhood
January Jones talks slapping kids and motherhood
Motherhood: A gift which comes with unexpected challenges

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