You can read all the baby books and do all the research and ask all the seasoned moms all the questions, but it will be your past experiences (in my opinion) that end up adequately preparing you for motherhood. Like, for example, being on the debate team. Think about those endless hours spent preparing a flawless argument; those nights spent studying reactions and nonverbal communication. It all comes in handy now. Simply put, being on the debate team makes you a great mom for many reasons.
For me, debate team was something I enjoyed and participated in because it just came naturally. I learned a lot during my time on the debate team, most of which I can easily claim has helped me both in the academic world, and in the professional world. After becoming a mom, however, I quickly learned that the skills I learned and developed while on the debate team prepared me to do arguably the most important job of my life: be the best mom I could possibly be, whether that meant dealing with my child in a calm and understanding manner, or dealing with others around me that set a positive example for my daughter.
When you're doing something early on in life, you don't necessarily think about the impact it can have on you later on. However, I think at one point or another, we all look back and think, "Yeah, that one thing completely prepared me for this totally pivotal, exhausting, overwhelming other thing." For me, that point is now, so here are just a few ways that being on a debate team has made me a pretty great mom.
You Know How To Prepare A Solid Argument
You don't even know what an argument that isn't solid sounds like or looks like. It just comes naturally to you by now (and probably before you even joined the debate team) so this is second nature to you, my friend.
You're Always On Your Toes
It doesn't matter if your kid tries to throw a curve ball your way; you're already prepared for anything they or anyone else could say or do because you've thought of all scenarios (arguments) and reactions (counter-arguments). On the off-change you're not prepared for any and all situations, you know very well how to pretend like you knew it was coming.
You Know How To Stay Calm
Taking a second to collect and calm yourself is the name of your debate game, and probably why you were able to stay composed during a few too many heated debates. You guys, this is parenthood in a nutshell, so if you've been on a debate team, you're set.
You're Great At Persuading People Of Almost Anything...
Let's face it, you could have a degree in just persuasion. You could convince Einstein that pizza grows on trees or that candy comes from butterflies, so convincing your kid to eat their peas and carrots is child's play.
...And Keep A Straight Face Doing It
No, you will not start smiling when you try to convince your kid that broccoli is the best thing to ever happen to human kind. You got this, mama.
You Know How To Use Facial Expressions To Your Advantage...
You have learned about the power of facial expressions to supplement and support your position and what you are saying. Conversations aren't just verbal, so you have that, "Time to listen and pay attention to me, kid" look down like a boss.
...As Well As Physical Movements...
You have also mastered how to use physical movements, like hand gestures, to get your point across. Talk about a time saver.
...And Can Tell When Someone Is Starting To Flail
This will probably come in handy when someone (sadly, inevitably) questions your parenting decisions. If you've decided engaging in a conversation with them is worth your time, you'll quickly realize when their "points" are, you know, pointless.
You're Already Used To Late Nights And Super Early Mornings
As a former debate team member pulling all nighters and as a mother with a child pulling all nighters, I don't think I know what the word "sleep" even means.
You Don't Let The Opinions Of Others Make You Waver...
When someone speaks up and out against you and your parenting, you don't even bat an eye. OK, OK, maybe you bat an eye, but you don't second guess what you're doing. You know you're doing the best you can and your opinion is the only one you really need to worry about.
...And You Don't Give In Easily
When the day comes and your kid obsessively nags you and asks you questions and pushes all of your buttons, you'll stand your ground like the debate queen you are.
You Remember Everything
You remember where your kid left their favorite toy, exactly what they said two months ago at that one restaurant, and every other tiny detail that might slip by other people. You remember it all.
You Have A Sixth Sense About Can Tell When Someone Is Lying
No explanation necessary.