You know those super fun moments when your children are screaming at each other while you’re trying to drive or make dinner or, you know, go to the bathroom solo for two minutes? Well, in those moments of pure mayhem and absolute chaos have you ever tried… telling your kids some random facts about moms? Ha, I'm kidding. That absolutely won’t work; facts aren’t Daniel Tiger or Baby Shark after all, but they can still be fun as long as they’re not of the alternative variety (cue strong eye roll).
So maybe your kids won't care, but at the very least, other moms will get a kick out of these 11 facts about motherhood that span from the downright adorable to the potentially relatable. Who knows, maybe the next time you’re at a party you’ll get to wow the room with how much random knowledge you have about moms. Or maybe, just maybe one day, you'll hear the clear and steady sound of Alex Trebek saying, the category is motherhood and it'll finally be my (I mean... your) chance to shine. Hey, I can dream, and you can too, once you brush up on these 12 surprising facts.
1. The oldest women to give birth is reported to be 74 years old.
This is not a drill. Mangayamma Yaramati, age 74, (reported as 73 in some outlets) gave birth to twins in India earlier this month. She always wanted children, and through IVF, her doctors were able to fertilize a donor egg with her husband's sperm. She says it's "the happiest time of my life," according to reporting done by the BBC.
2. Mister Rogers' mother knit the sweaters he wore on his show.
At first I heard this fact, and thought... there's no way, who has the time? But then I saw that Fred Rogers himself said in an interview with Racked, "[my mother] would give us each a hand-knit sweater every Christmas. Until she died those zipper sweaters that I wore on the Neighborhood were all made by my mother.” It's so sweet that I feel I need to learn to knit right now.
3. Roxie Roker, actress and mother of Lenny Kravitz, was half of the first interracial couple on television.
Roxie Roker, mother of Lenny Kravitz (and therefore grandmother of the stunning Zoë Kravitz) made history as half of the first interracial couple ever to be seen on prime time television. The show was The Jeffersons which premiered in 1975. Another random fact about Roxie Roker: her cousin is famed weatherman, Al Roker.
4. Giraffe mothers often return to their place of birth to have their own babies.
Giraffes give birth in places known as "calving grounds." Mothers will often return to these lands each time they give birth. Even more amazingly often they give birth in "the same place they were born because a herd will continue the tradition of using the area for several generations," according to Animal Planet.
5. San Francisco has the oldest first-time mothers in the United States.
The age of first time mothers has been rising steadily in the United States for years. 2018 reporting from the New York Times shows that San Francisco has the oldest average age of mother's giving birth for the first time at 31.9 years old. Manhattan follows closely with the average age of first birth clocking in at 31.1
6. The word for "mom" is similar in most languages.
Languages vary widely, of course, but the word "mom" is very similar across the world. In German it's "mutter", in Welsh it's "mam" and in Chinese it's pronounced "mama". Some think this is because letter M is a "closed lip" sound (unlike letter D, for example) so it may be easier for babies to say.
7. In an unshocking turn of events, moms report that they aren't going out much.
In a survey of 6,457 millennial mothers, "4-in-10 (43 percent) report not going out with friends in the past month (non-working moms are even more likely to say this (52 percent compared to 40 percent among working moms)" according to Motherly's 2019 State of Motherhood. This seems to speak to exhaustion, a never-ending to-do list, and the rising cost of childcare. Moms night out soon though, right?
8. When they leave to hunt, meerkat mothers utilize meerkat "babysitters."
I'm so happy about this. Meerkats travel in "mobs" which are matriarchal families, according to National Geographic. There's typically one "queen" who reproduces, but when she needs to hunt, the other meerkats will step in to watch and tend to the young. I'm not crying, you're crying.
9. The record for shortest interval between separate births (non-multiples) is shared by two mothers.
Get these mothers a drink, or nine uninterrupted hours of sleep, because they both had babies just 26 weeks apart. You may be wondering... how is this even possible, and I'm right there with you doing mental somersaults trying to compute. Both mothers must have gotten pregnant just days after giving birth for the first time, and both second babies were premature. Holy moly.
10. Full-time working mothers spend more than double the time on housework than full-time working fathers
A study done most recently in 2013 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that full-time working mothers spent just under two hours a day on household chores while full-time working fathers spent just under an hour and 20 minutes. A second 2015 study done by Working Mother and reported on by CNBC showed that "79 percent of working mothers today say they are responsible for doing the laundry."
11. The mom with the most followers on Instagram is Kim K.
I mean, who's surprised? As of April 2019, Cristiano Ronaldo had the most followers on the 'gram, but Kim Kardashian clocked in at number five, according to Seventeen, while sister (and fellow mom) Kylie came in at number six, followed by Beyonce at seven. I'll throw a like at the sweet pics of their kids any day.