A Few Things I Can’t Believe I Did As A New Mom

by Jennifer Gregory
Originally Published: 

Every few months I go on a cleaning rampage, and almost every time, I come across my first baby’s poop log. From December 12, 2006 to April 3, 2007, or 113 days, I chronicled the exact time and length of my newborn son’s feedings, the order in which I breastfed him (right/left or left/right), whether his diaper was wet, poopy, or both, the activities I did with him (tummy time, etc.), the activities I did for me (a walk, etc.), and how long he slept.

That’s a lot of very specific, intimate, and ridiculous information. I may never get around to finishing (or starting) my kids’ baby books, and the last time I made a family photo album was in 2010, but someday I’ll show my first born his “doodie diary” and he’ll beam with pride (or run screaming in horror out the back door).

Eight years into this wild ride of motherhood, when each day is busier, messier, and more exhausting and chaotic than the next, I simply can’t imagine a time when I had the energy or desire to meticulously maintain a record of pee and poop and other futile facts, which got me thinking about a few other things I can’t believe I did as a new mom.

I can’t believe I kept a poop log. This bears repeating. I really can’t fathom that I did this. I mean, I sort of can. I am the most anxious person I’ve ever met (besides my mother), but I now can’t even remember to make a list before I go to the grocery store.

I can’t believe I did night feedings. By the time my second son was born, I pretty much sucked at night feedings. My husband would wake up at odd hours and find me fast asleep with a baby on my boob all over the damn house. Now on an good night, I sleep from about 10pm to 6am (give or take a bout of 2am insomnia), and the thought of getting up to do anything productive in between, like, for instance, sustaining a human life, is just plain asinine.

I can’t believe I used to wake up before dawn every. single. day. Sleep is finally a valuable commodity in my house. My little roosters actually look forward to Saturday and Sunday mornings when they don’t get dragged out of bed at 6:30am for school. To think that there was once a time when finger painting at 4:30am was the norm is unthinkable.

I can’t believe I made baby food. For the record, I think making baby food is awesome. (So is buying baby food, by the way. As long as you feed your baby, we’re cool.) It’s just that I don’t know how I did it. These days, when there’s hockey practice, a soft pretzel from the snack bar at the ice rink counts as dinner.

Occasionally, the only way I can get my Kindergartner out of the car at morning carpool is to promise him an “all snack” dinner that, per his demands, must include a cupcake. Last night, I’m not sure either of my kids ate dinner at all, which is why it’s difficult to imagine that I once took the time to peel, steam, puree, portion, and freeze organic apples, pears, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes in small containers with matching lids.

I can’t believe I had a toilet in my car. There are things about motherhood that people just don’t tell you, like how potty training is a never-ending, painstaking process that lasts anywhere from five days to five years during which your child will fear pooping anywhere except in the toilet at home or in the fold-up portable potty in the back of your Volkswagen Passat station wagon parked in the preschool parking lot.

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