I don’t think you’re officially a new mommy if you haven’t been “dumped” on at some point. Let’s face it—the only difference between a new frazzled and overtired mom who has a hard time leaving the house before lunchtime and a mom with multiple kids who “seems” to have everything together, is experience.
We parents have to stick together and help each other out. That’s why I have compiled my top 10 list of dirty truths for new and expectant parents. For those of you who are knee-deep in parenting, enjoy the read and knowing that you’re not alone.
1. Projectile Poop
No matter how soiled your baby becomes, always keep the bottom covered, even while cleaning. From a happy and peaceful baby to a Niagara Falls of sprayed liquid feces, no parent wants to have a face- or wardrobe-full of unexpected milky-poo. Been there, done that more times than I’d like to admit.
Babies are adorable, especially when they’re full and content. Bouncing them high in the air is almost irresistible, especially for friends/family excitedly waiting for you to pass the happy baby. Unless you want a mouthful or eyeful of baby vomit, make sure to wait until your sweet baby digests.
This scenario is so nasty and so common that you’ll be laughing at the stupidity of the choice in bouncing high after a full tummy. Even if you have a SuperBaby that rarely spits up, make sure to use those little burp cloths over your shoulder after a feed. More often than you realize, you are likely wearing a stream of “cottage cheese” down the back of your shirt or hair.
3. Pee in the Face
Dear Moms of baby boys, you will likely get sprayed during a diaper change a few too many times. Word to the wise: cover the hose before you set it free after opening a diaper.
4. First Bath
Baths, especially the first one, can be particularly unnerving. Regardless of what country you live in and what method you choose for bathing, the best tip I can offer for avoiding a screaming and uncomfortable baby is room temperature. Whether you have a radiator in your bathroom or can comfortably pre-heat the room with steam, the key to a happy baby is keeping the room temperature warm and even covering the baby’s body with a warm, damp towel during bath time.
5. Rubber Nips
Breastfeeding hurts in the beginning, no doubt. Whichever way you choose to feed your baby, by formula, breastmilk, or a combo of both, bravo—no judgement whatsoever. However, those of you who choose to breastfeed, just remember that both baby AND mommy are learning. The beginning hurts and you will likely bleed and scab a bit. You may tear up and cry, and then wonder if it’s possible to go on. Just remember, 3 weeks. My sister once advised me to hold out 3 weeks and it held true with all of my 4 munchkins. The first 3 weeks are not pleasant, but then when the scabs heal and baby and mommy figure it all out, it’s like your boobs turn into magical rubber baby bottles and all is well again.
6. Opposite Day
For some reason, Muphy’s Law (also known as “Opposite Day” in my house) loves to pay moms a visit when crunched for time, during family vacations, and with visiting family/friends. If you’re in a rush, expect a last minute explosive poop to throw you off track. When you finally get dressed in a cool outfit, your baby may just think it needs some spit-up on it to make it awesome. If your family is visiting and your kids are ready to show their best manners, no worries, this simple formula will almost always kick in.
Late nights + early mornings + nonstop activity = over-zealous, over-emotional children + frequent couple bickering + overtired mommy
After a barrage of judgement and wallowing, the only thing to do is let it all go and turn around the vibe with a strong and fun finish.
7. Mission of Intuition
Parenting life nearly always comes with a bag of unwanted opinions and how-to’s. Even if you’re a new mom up against the opinion of a parent with numerous kids, take all suggestions with the confidence that you are NOT a bad parent if you choose not to follow or agree. All kids ARE different and not robots, you know your child best, so whether you’re in the delivery room or elbow-deep in motherhood, remember to trust your instinct!
8. New Chompers
New teeth are no fun for fussy and pained babies, much less the parents who are up all night crying along. Top teeth, canines, and molars are the most painful. Teething seems like an endless journey of runny noses, runny poop, drooling mouths, bibs, and lots of tears, but hang in there… this too shall pass. If you’re still breastfeeding, make sure to let your baby know not to bite by pulling away and saying “no” before continuing to feed. Being bit is no laughing matter.
9. Feeding Frenzy
No matter if you have a baby, toddler, or teenager, new foods usually come with some resistance—the texture, the color, the smell, the taste—new is not always received well. Just like a baby trying a new food, repetition is key. Hang in there and remember that it may take a dozen tries before your kid accepts and loves the new food, especially if he/she sees the parent love it too. Also, please don’t compare your baby’s eating habits, weight, or table manners to others. All babies are different and so are their growth patterns, behaviors, and food preferences.
10. Speak Up
Even if your love for your baby is endless, your energy can’t run on empty. Refuel your mind and heart with sleep, even if you need to ask for help. The “sleep when the baby sleeps” theory doesn’t work when you have a pile of laundry and dishes waiting, haven’t showered in a week, or slept a solid 3 hours in a row. Ask for help. Also, once you become a parent, make sure to speak up when something doesn’t seem right or you don’t agree. Now as a parent, it’s time to stop mousing around and step up your game.
The mother-load is all about a flurry of oops and ah-ha moments in learning how to manage, self-correct, and try again. Real motherhood isn’t typically glamorous and relaxing—it’s a myriad of messy, hectic, tiring, stressful, and chaotic moments, mixed in with too many opinions, family judgements, and a ton of guilt. It is also a collection of unforgettable milestones, laughter, soul-searching, pride to the point of tears, falling apart to build again even stronger, time-management, and re-prioritizing. It’s an incredibly wonderful and exhausting journey every single step along the way.
P.S. Don’t forget to comment with your own experience and share with someone who could use a laugh and/or a boost. xo