The Real Definitions of 10 Parenting Phrases

by Toni Hammer
Originally Published: 

Shortly after I got over the shock of seeing two pink lines, and washing my hands because it’s really hard to not pee on oneself when taking a pregnancy test, I submerged myself in all the mom terminology I could. I knew nothing of being a parent and there was so much to learn. Attachment parenting? Baby wearing? Swaddle? Was I having a baby or going to a fashion show?

Now that I’ve been a mom for almost three years, I’ve come up with some new terminology you may find useful, as well as debatable—albeit accurate—definitions of existing parenting phrases.

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1. Co-Sleeping: The act of willingly giving up all rights to your bed, pillow, blankets, and personal safety. You will find yourself clinging to three inches of your king-sized mattress. You will wake up with bruised ribs and milk in your hair. Your child will greet the day well-rested and you will… well… not. And the crazy part is that some of us choose to do this. Why? Because when you push a baby out of your body, your sanity goes with it.

2. Dutch Baby Oven: Your newborn baby ripping an adult-sized, and adult-smelling, fart while you’re nursing him or her with a cover on. The odorous air has nowhere to waft but up towards your still-sensitive smeller.

3. Pump & Dump: Spending thirty minutes to set up the pump and milk yourself like a cow, only to trip over a stupid baby blanket and spill that precious liquid gold everywhere. This is also known as one of the saddest moments in motherhood.

4. Naptime: An hour every day during which you are unable to get anything done around the house because every five minutes you’re going into your kid’s room to soothe and rock them if they’re a newborn, or beg, plead with and bribe them to sleep if they’re a toddler.

5. Me Time: A scarce twenty minutes a week you use on “self-care.” Multitasking is the key here. Shave your legs while the bleach on your upper lip does its magic. Quickly cut your finger- and toenails during the time it takes for the shower to warm up. Have your Kindle read a new parenting book to you during the time it takes to run dry shampoo through your hair because that shower you wanted? That’s kind of a joke.

6. Play Date: Allowing other people’s children to destroy your home in the name of having physical contact and conversation with another adult who has some idea of what you’re going through.

7. The Coffee Code: The code says, “When visiting another mom, one must always bring coffee—preferably a special drink order the mom being visited has requested. If you are the mom being visited, you should always have coffee warming in the pot just in case the aforementioned visitor was unable to stop due to a crying baby or tantrum-throwing toddler. Fellow moms and coffee are sanity-spawning necessities and must never be overlooked.”

8. Medicine: Sugar water disguised as a healing potion which doesn’t actually make your kids better, but rather gets them so hyped up that they merely forget they’re sick because they’re too busy bouncing off the walls.

9. All You Can Eat Buffet: What was once merely a grocery store is now a banquet for your toddlers. You will ask for free samples, open bags and cans in the middle of an aisle, and freely distribute donuts from the bakery in the name of keeping your kids quiet during the time it takes to somehow spend $75 on preschooler junk food designed as healthy snacks.

10. Morning: Any time after 4:30 a.m. when your child wakes up for the day.

I really wanted to add “sleep through the night,” and as soon as that happens I’ll let you know what it means. Until then, pass the coffee, please.

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