Locked in my office, pumping out breastmilk for the third time one day, I grabbed my phone to do my daily check in and texted my mother-in-law who was on baby duty that day.
After asking the general, “How’s it going?” my next question was one I had become all too familiar with.
If she answered yes, I was all like, “Yay! Poops!”
Then when I see my son, in a squeaky voice, I’m all like, “Did you go poopies today?! I heard you went poopies today!”
I get so excited for poop.
When did I all of a sudden get so excited for poop?
The answer? When I became a mom. When I became a mom, I learned that I get excited for poop.
This had me thinking. What other random things have I come to realize that as a new mom have become the new normal? After all, life has changed drastically, and there are plenty of things I’m learning along the way that I didn’t necessarily read in any parenting books. Things like,
- A hot shower is the equivalent to flowers and rainbows and everything good in the world.
You know the cliché advice to “nap when they nap?” Firstly, that’s easier said than done, so stop telling new moms that. It just doesn’t happen. In the beginning it was either, do I nap or do I eat? Do I nap or do I shower? Do I nap or do I pump? Do I nap or do I stare blankly at the TV, irrationally and emotionally questioning all of my life’s decision up to that point. I have to eat, and I have to shower, and I have to pump. No, I didn’t have to stare blankly at the TV, but sometimes you just can’t even do anything. Not to mention my son’s naps last all of 30 minutes. So naps? Just no. But showers? Oh my. Whenever I had a moment to myself, I took a shower. It’s the one time you are alone, uninterrupted (hopefully), and CLEAN. It did wonders for me mentally and even physically after childbirth. And I capitalize clean because more often than not, it’ll be the first one you’re taking in a few days.
- You become a human burp cloth.
This is part of the reason why showering feels so good. No matter how many burp cloths you have on you, your baby will find a way to spit up on you. My son’s spit up has the ability to redirect itself mid-air and find its way on to my clothing, and so I’ve given up on changing my clothes throughout the week. My son may only remember me as always looking homeless, but at least he’ll learn a technique on how to save time on laundry.
- Whoever said, “Don’t cry over spilt milk,” is the WORST.
Because spilling breastmilk is the WORST. You work so hard for it and when you spill an entire feeding’s worth, you cry and question life as you know it.
And while I don’t have any experience with formula, I’m guessing you’ll cry if you spill that too because, hormones. Plus, when is that ever cheap?
- Speaking of crying, you will. A lot.
At some very irrational things.
One night my husband and I were watching TV when a life insurance commercial chronicled through the life of a baby boy, from infancy to graduation. I sadly gazed over at my husband when he asked me what was wrong. My eyes welled up and I began to cry as I responded in a pathetic voice, “He grew up.”
I cried because the boy grew up.
- Hearing “it’ll get better” when it’s not yet getting better, will make you want to punch people.
But don’t. Because it does actually get better. It’s just that when you’re in the thick of it, sleep deprived, and emotionally unstable, hearing it will get better when you feel there’s no end in it getting better, is a very annoying thing to hear.
If it doesn’t get better, you can come personally punch me.
- You will have a superpower called multi-tasking.
Your whole life will now become multi-tasked. Who knew I could cook, empty the dishwasher, vacuum, eat or, yes, even go to the bathroom with my son on my hip?
And who knew I could do so much with my feet?
Rest assured, you will also discover the art of distraction. I have listened to Taylor Swift’s, Shake it Off hundreds of times now. The reason? It distracts my son. Want to use the bathroom all on your own? I don’t blame you. Two words. Taylor. Swift.
- You will probably crawl before they do.
In and out of their room, that is. You will do anything to keep them from seeing you as they lie in their crib, so like a ninja in the night, you’ll crawl in and crawl out, leaving them only to question where this phantom arm is coming from that reaches through the crib railing to stick a pacifier in their mouth.
- Once you hear your baby laugh, you will literally do anything to make it happen again.
Like Ross on FRIENDS, you may find yourself singing Baby Got Back to your child if that’s what will make them laugh. I have become the most obnoxious person I know when I’m around my son, because all I want him to do is laugh. Fart noises. Singing about how much I like to eat apples and bananas. Telling him I’m going to “get him” a million times. Making noises that only a baby would understand. Dancing like a buffoon. Fake sneezing over and over again. You do it all just to see even a smile. Is it worth it? Yes? Do you look crazy? Yes.
- You will have all the feels.
I love my son. I love him so much it HURTS. Remember when I said you will cry a lot? This is why. It’s like a section of your heart you never knew you had has suddenly burst open. So, yes, when I cry because the boy in the commercial grew up, it’s because the old saying is true: “The days are long, but the years are short.”
So we wonder why, Moms, even in the midst of the newborn stage when we can’t even comprehend doing this all over again, we eventually give that look to our husband’s… a look of excitement, a little panic and a lot of crazy. A look that can only conclude one thing:
We’re going to do this again.
And maybe even another time after that.
Because the days are long, but the years are short.
Yes, my son is only six months old, but before I last blinked, he was only six pounds. Time is not our friend, Moms.
So cherish each moment.
Cherish all the feels.
Cherish even the poops.