Earlier this year my husband and I welcomed our son, Malcolm, into the world. Three months into motherhood I still feel like I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing. I know it’ll get better, but in the meantime, it helps to laugh at the ridiculous bits.
Here are 10 ways this tiny man has changed my life:
I eat cold meals.
My son has a sixth sense for knowing when I’m about to sit down to eat, and that’s always when he decides he’s hungry, tired, or bored. I’ve developed the ability to balance a sandwich on my baby while nursing, making his teddy bear dance, bouncing him up and down, and riding a unicycle.
I refer to myself in the third person.
I suppose it would be okay if I only did this with our son, but like an imbecile, I catch myself saying things like, “Well, mommy had a pretty good day today,” to adults too. Since I am neither Bob Dole nor Flavor Flav, referring to myself this way is obnoxious and completely unacceptable.
At least half of all my conversations begin or end with poop.
Frequency. Color. Consistency. Volume. My husband and I are educated people, and yet we somehow spend our evenings discussing fecal matter. Three cheers for highbrow conversation!
Taking a shower is a mini-vacation.
I don’t get much ‘me’ time anymore, but for the half hour that I’m steaming up the shower, I’m completely indisposed: I’m not available to change diapers, let the dog out, clean up cat hairballs, or empty the dishwasher. For at least 30 minutes, none of those things are my problem. And it’s flipping amazing!
I’ve become a ninja.
Before having our son, I never realized how squeaky the floorboards are in our house, or how loud the door hinges. After ever-so-gently laying our sleeping son down for his nap, I slink away from his crib quiet as a cat burglar. A Shaolin monk couldn’t possibly escape that room more quietly than I do– I’ve even mapped the noisy spots in our floors, which I avoid like booby traps.
Standards for how I will appear in public have greatly diminished.
Makeup? What’s that? Right now I’m lucky if I leave the house wearing a bra and deodorant. As he gets older I’m sure my grooming habits will improve, but right now I’m rocking the unruly-haired, sleep-deprived zombie-mom look.
Loss of all propriety.
I struggled a lot with nursing in the first few weeks after my son was born. During that time, no less than a dozen nurses, doctors, and lactation consultants observed my nursing technique, inspected my nipples, and handled my breasts (I assume they were all medical professionals because they wore scrubs, but in truth, the hospital janitor could have showed up asking to jiggle my boobs and I’d probably have said “Sure, go right ahead!”). The idea of baring my breasts in public would have mortified me before. Now I’ll whip them out just about anywhere if my kiddo is hungry.
We never get anywhere on time.
I used to be able to throw on my shoes and go. Now there are diaper bags, and toys, and car seats, and strollers, and the dog is going nuts again, and a soiled outfit needs changing, and the cat just escaped out the door, and kiddo is having a meltdown, and where are my shoes again….?
I cry at Gerber, Hallmark, and ASPCA commercials.
Chalk it up to postpartum hormonal changes: You haven’t known ridiculous until you’ve cried because the tv baby covered carrot purée is too cute.
My husband calls this my mom superpower. Considering that I used to snooze so soundly that I once slept through a category 3 hurricane, the fact that I’m now woken up by my baby’s every meep and grunt is nothing short of amazing.