Hi, new mamas,
Welcome! Your life belongs to someone else right now. You are currently riding the first month postpartum baby roller coaster. The highs and lows are just about as extreme as it’s going to get for you emotionally in your life. One minute you are basking in the glory that is snuggling with a baby and giving them a good sniff because new babies smell like heaven. The next minute you are fully engaged in a nap battle with this little creature beast, and they are slowly defeating you. It’s definitely a bumpy ride.
Just so you know that you are not alone, I have compiled a list of five real things that happened to me in the first month of having my second son, to make you laugh, to make you shake your head, to make you feel better about anything crazy that has happened in your own experience.
So I had a newborn and a 13-month-old, and to quote the great poet, Gwen Stefani, “This shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!”
Here is some real mom truth:
1. The Grossest I Was
I peed my pants in Babies “R” Us from sneezing. It all happened so fast. I did not leave the store. It took me 45 minutes to get the boys out the door that day (people kept pooping). So we had finally arrived. We needed formula. No turning back now. Sorry world.
2. The Meanest For My Own Entertainment I Was
I always changed the baby right on the bed at night. We had a co-sleeper attached to the side of my bed, so I’d just plop him on our bed. One night he peed with the diaper off and it hit my husband in the eye and he woke up all startled. “Huh huh…wha…what’s going on?” And I was like, “Shh shh…honey, nothing, bad dream for you. Go back to bed.” Then I laughed to myself for 10 minutes.
3. The Clumsiest I Was
My legs were covered in bruises from running into things in the middle of the night while looking for bottle stuff — so many baby gates. Somehow baby crying is so much worse in the middle of the night, and I feel like I’m competing in The Amazing Race even with my pre-setup station of nighttime bottle needs (I’m no fool. I’m prepared). Still, I’m stumbling through the motions. I’m spilling formula all over the counter and I’m like ahhh…just leave it. Wasting time! Why is the baby 10 times louder at night? Always running up the stair case two stairs at a time. Sometimes bumping into the wall. Hey! I never claimed to have done well on little sleep. But I do it! That’s all that matters.
4. The Most Tired, Stupid, and Lucky I Was
Most importantly, and awfully, we had been renovating what would become the boys’ new room. My husband gutted the whole room and had torn out the floors, so the floor was just plywood and beams running across it. We had the room all locked up for safety. One Saturday morning, my husband went to the drugstore and both boys were sleeping so I had amazing magical alone time. We had just started talking about the final plan for the boys’ room the night before, so of course I then burned off all the leg hair on my thighs pulling a late night Pinterest bender. And so, during this magical alone time, I crept past the boys’ rooms and unlocked the door to the unfinished room. From the doorway, I was staring into the room trying to decide how I was going to place all my Pinterest plans.
Then I heard a little 2-week-old baby crying in my room down the hall. I turned really fast and that’s when my insanely tired strung-out self accidentally stepped backwards onto the plywood floor. Now, I know this sounds really stupid to you. But you have to understand that I am not graceful…
Above example: When I was in seventh grade, I tripped over the cat while I was running backwards in our living room and broke my wrist.
Oh, and to answer your question, yes that is a full WNBA uniform.
Anyway, I can’t change what happened in the moment. I spun quickly and fell back. I lost my balance and before I could even think, I was falling through the floor of the room. I actually kind of rode the piece of plywood to the ground. After I slammed into the ground, I looked around at the nails sticking up around me. I was in such a state of shock I wasn’t even sure if one of the nails was sticking in me. For once, I was grateful for the 60 pounds of weight I had to lose. My rear end surely saved me in that 15-foot fall into our garage.
People actually said to me after: “Oh, thank god you weren’t holding the baby.” Umm really? Why would you even say that to me? Is it necessary to give me examples of how this could have been even worse? I think the whole situation was bad enough as it was. Don’t fuel an emotional woman’s fire!
5. The Most ‘Laugh or You Will Cry’ I Was
This story begins on a postpartum day just like every other. My husband and I refer to this incident as “the poopcident.”
It starts with your adorable blue-eyed blonde-haired 1-year-old playfully running away from you before you get the new diaper on him. Fresh out of the tub. He runs into his closet and keeps peeking his head out and laughing hysterically. You stare at his tiny body and think, Wow, I can’t believe I created something so amazing.
You take a minute to pat yourself on the back at how awesome your kid is. But in that moment of adoration for yourself, the mood shifts quickly. Your beautiful, naked, playful 1-year-old is now beet red and shitting on the floor — in a carpeted room no less. He’s making direct eye contact with you and grunting.
You pause and panic and then quickly grab as many wipes as you can. You grab the naked poop ninja and start trying to clean him off. He is now in full-blown squirm mode. He has now wiped poop on your leg, and while you’re wiping his butt he lunges forward and begins to actually grab the poop that had landed on the floor. He’s now squished it in his hands and dropped his pacifier in the remaining feces. You move to his hands and try desperately to get it all as he is trying to put them in his mouth.
While this is going on, he sits down on your lap and the remaining shit that you abandoned for the greater good is in your lap. At this point, you just go into all-out-crazy-mom mode. You pin him down with your forearm and just wipe his whole weasel body. You are so deep in your nightmare that you just get super mom strength and somehow miraculously get this tiny poop monster into some clean clothes and a diaper — although the entire time he is screaming in your face. As you proceed to set him free from the “getting changed torture chamber,” he takes one step, stops crying, giggles, and walks over to the book shelf.
You sit on the floor with your back against his crib and assess your life. It occurs to you that you shouldn’t have even dressed him because he really needs a bath. You decide it’s OK, as you find yourself comforted by the thought that even mothers who actually made the nursery out of all the things they pinned on Pinterest get poop on their face sometimes.
Good luck, friends. Don’t worry, the good by far outweighs the bad! Just remember that in between each of these days, there were some of the best days of my life sandwiched in there. And if you are going to be a parent, you can’t hang onto bad days. You have to regroup and move forward. Mostly, because that’s what you have to teach your kids. Let things happen, cry, laugh, heal, and start the next day. It’s the only way to survive. And, of course, make sure you text your friends embarrassing pictures of yourself in the process.