Not that Her Majesty posts an ad in Craigslist when she requires new members of her Secret Service, but if she did, here are all the reasons why mums should be the first to apply.
Move over James Bond, the ladies are in the house.
Okay, so it wouldn’t so it wouldn’t be a spy movie without the obligatory moment when, under the veil of darkness, the hero of the tale dresses head to toe in black to infiltrate enemy ground undisturbed. You may even have doubted the veracity of such a scenario; that’s unless you are responsible for a tiny human.
Picture the scene: it’s 5.30am. It’s still pitch dark outside, and it feels like the six-month-old purring like a kitten in the crib next to you has only just fallen asleep. You, on the other hand, have to leave for work in the next 90 minutes. That means clothes must be selected and adorned, make up must be applied, and packed lunches and changing bags must be made and fully stocked before you drop the tiny human off at the child minder.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to do all of the above without waking the baby.
The solution—become an expert at dressing silently in the dark!
Yes people, it’s true. There’s a whole breed of us out there walking around offices and Asda alike who didn’t as much as glance in a mirror for fear some ancient rule of science would be broken and even a chink of light would pierce the eyelids of a nearby mini beast.
Full disclosure… this isn’t always successful.
For every ‘nailed it’ moment there’s another five that end in near calamity. My personal favourite is thinking for a whole day that I had conjunctivitis when in actual fact, the mascara I carefully applied by the light of an electric toothbrush charger was lip gloss.
And don’t even get me started on the time I slept in and had to feel my way around the bedroom, in the dark, until I found yesterday’s trousers. Well done mamma! Not so deserving of a well done was yesterday’s knickers falling out the trouser leg onto the boardroom floor leaving me to pretend I always carry a black lacy handkerchief to meetings!
2—Living on the Breadline
If Bear Grylls is to be believed, then the key to surviving even the toughest of missions is learning to live on rations. I defy you to find a people group better at this than mums.
In any given day I will microwave the same cup of tea at least three times, and my packed lunch resembles the leftovers from the Morrison’s salad bar. In other words, whatever the kids don’t want, I get.
It’s the same reason I have forgotten what the middle bit of toast tastes like having only eaten the crusts for the best part of a decade. Actually, that’s a lie. I have had toast. But only if I burned it and the tiny food critics I live with refuse to eat it.
Similarly: the bruised bits on bananas, the weird powdery cereal lingering at the bottom of the box, flat pop, butter following whatever savage left crumbs and jam in there, yogurt deemed ‘too watery,’ and questionable milk are all a mum’s best friend. Send us to the moon, take away our electricity, leave us in the depths of a jungle, I’ve no doubt we’ll make it. If for no other reason than it gives us license to lord our mad survival skills over those beneath us.
3—Masters of Disguise
Donning a fake moustache, carrying a doctored passport, hiding beneath a very convincing wig. Every great spy story we know and love includes our chief protagonist taking on an alternative identity.
There can be no group of people more equipped for this particular spy qualification than mothers, no?
Granted, it wasn’t always our choice, but look completely different we most certainly do.
Pre-baby hair: thick and tameable, cut and dyed every eight weeks. Post baby hair: thinning, frizzy and only cut if it accidentally gets caught in a zip or has chewing gum stuck to it.
Pre-baby wardrobe: skinny jeans and a classic tee. Post baby wardrobe: tummy skin rolled up to fit into unquestionably unflattering jeans and a top covered in tea.
Pre-baby make-up: a little bit of concealer, lip gloss and mascara. Post baby make-up: ha! The only thing I make up these days is excuses why I quite frankly can’t be bothered to wear mascara when it will only end up running down my face later. (NB: this could be for a multitude of reasons including weeping at a John Lewis advert, weeping at Long Lost Family, sweating for no good reason or accidentally being sprayed by a small child mid nappy change.)
Pre-baby personality: could hold my own in any political debate, loved to read, would find the time for mindfulness when stress piled up. Post baby personality: couldn’t even tell you who’s PM, and last thing I read was the label on my shampoo bottle. By the way, I once found my purse in the freezer folks. The only thing my mind is full of, is nonsense.
4—Handle the Tech
Okay, cards on the table, the older I get the more resistant I am to fancy technology but no self respecting spy would be caught dead without the latest gadgetry. As mothers, we may not have access to pens that double as microphones or cars with ejector seats, but we do possess a very unique set of skills when it comes to ‘must have’ devices.
Let’s start with 21st century prams that cost more than my first car, and require a PHD in mechanical engineering just to fold down.
Or what about baby monitors?
Or baby food purée thingies?
Or most difficult of all… dressing a wriggling little chubster in a onesie! Why are there so many unnecessary poppers anyway?
Top tip, never attempt to fasten the buttons on a baby-grow in a hurry if you want to feel good about yourself as a parent. It will end in tears. And a child contorted like a misshapen croissant.
5—(Little White) Liars
Espionage, or so I’m led to believe, is the art of acquiring knowledge from one party by pretending to be something you’re not. Lying by profession, in other words. There will be dozens of moral high ground responses masquerading as good reasons for this, but little white liars mothers most definitely are.
Need I say more?
Okay then, how about carrots make you see in the dark, watching too much telly will give you square eyes, and crusts will make your hair curly! Wait, is that just my mum?
How about, "No, of course you don’t look silly Darling… everyone needs a shoe horn to squeeze themselves into the uniform they inherited from an entirely different shaped sibling!"
Know the truth and it shall set you free Mothers!
So there you have it, if you’re contemplating a career change post-baby years look no further girls.
The name’s Bond. Jane Bond.