Mothers: Smarter, Calmer, Braver

When the grape juice spills on the carpet, and the baby is crying, and you haven’t slept well for a week it may seem like motherhood leads to stress.

It turns out, though, that when confronted with the same stressful circumstances, female mammals with offspring are far calmer than their peers who have not had children according to a study in the October 2003 issue of Physiology and Behavior.

They also respond to the adversity with more intelligence and with more of a take-charge attitude. They will courageously and fiercely defend their children if the situation requires it.

Mothers are more able to get a job done, and to do it efficiently. But their calm, in circumstances that would be intolerable to others, is perhaps most striking.

This ability lasts even after the babies are grown. Motherhood changes a woman forever.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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