When you’re pregnant for the first time, you’re in for a lot of new feelings. Constant tiredness. The pukes. Irritability. And of course that scary but joyful feeling that comes from knowing in a few short months, you’re going to have a mini you in your arms to love forever and ever. Or at least until he or she becomes a teenager.
It’s a time of a lot of unsolicited advice. “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” “They grow so fast. Cherish every moment.” “Things will never be the same.”
It may all begin to sound like a broken record in your head, but one thing’s for sure — things never will be the same. Motherhood will ‘wreck’ you in the following ways…
1. You become obsessed with snot and poop
Hey, know that snot-sucker you laughed at while putting together your registry? As it turns out, you’ll wish you asked for one. Because when your baby is having a hard time breathing in the middle of the night, all you’ll want to do is get that snot out of her nose. (How does such a tiny thing come up with adult-sized boogers anyhow?) Your partner’s gag reflex while witnessing such actions be damned.
Oh, and poop? It becomes the new centre of your universe. How many times a day. What colour. The texture. The smell (one friend claimed her newborn’s feces smelled like popcorn until she stopped nursing). How many outfit changes explosive poop has required that day, for both baby and you. The best brand of diapers to prevent leakage. How annoying it is that your partner gets 20 minutes on the can catching up on Facebook, meanwhile you now feel permanently backed up. And so on, and so forth.
By the way, these also become perfectly acceptable topics of conversation, so get used to that, too.
2. Suddenly you hate Orange is the New Black
Or Law & Order: SVU. Or Criminal Minds. Or really, whatever your favourite drama was back before baby. Because once you have that baby in your arms, watching TV series or movies about dark and depressing things will ruin you. You can’t help but make connections in your head, while all of that terrible action is happening to fictional characters on the screen. The mother whose son was kidnapped? Yeah, you just want to hug her. The baby mouse struggling to get out of a shot glass before it’s killed? Suddenly it kind of looks like your baby when she’s bobbling her head, hungry and wanting to eat. Things that never used to faze you will suddenly leave you sleepless, with a giant pit in your stomach. Not that you were getting much sleep to begin with, mind you.
3. Taylor Swift’s “Fifteen” will make you bawl
Picture this: you’re dancing around with babe trying to calm her down with some music from your iPhone (which, by the way, hasn’t been updated in ages because… well, time). Suddenly T-Swift’s high-school anthem comes on, and as you’re singing the lyrics, the tears start streaming down your face. Why? Because as you were rediscovering the lyrics as a first-time mom, you thought about how before you know it, your baby is going to be in high school. And she’s going to have a first crush. First love. First heartbreak. And you would do anything — anything! — in the world to stop her from hurting, but you know that it’s inevitable because that’s life.
Not a T-Swift fan? Don’t worry. We promise there’s a song out there that will have this same effect on you and your out-of-control hormones.
4. Dressing baby is an emotional experience
Remember when getting new clothes was actually fun? Think back to your shower, when you were unwrapping the cutest little baby jeans, onesies and sleepers. “I wish they made this in my size!” you probably exclaimed while holding the clothing item up to your bulging belly.
Then baby came, and you loved dressing him up in all of the cute little outfits. Until one day, much too soon, you noticed that the buttons had a little more pull to them, or the zippers felt a little snugger. Before you knew it, babe’s legs were longer than his sleeper, and it was time to go up a size in clothing. Cue the waterworks, because yes. They really do grow up so fast. Also make sure your phone is charged, because somehow you’ll manage to get emotional every time babe wears something for the last time.
5. You wear spit-up stained clothes without a second thought
Meanwhile, you really couldn’t care less about the clothes you’re wearing. Sure, that shirt you’ve worn twice this week has some spit up on the front, but it still smells semi-decent. Plus it’s oh-so-convenient for nursing and recycling it means a little less laundry this week. So you put it on, because these are our new standards for days and nights spent indoors (or let’s be honest — outdoors too) with the baby.
6. In fact all personal hygiene is a thing of the past
Yes, you think about showering, but luxurious bathing rituals in which you actually had time to shave your legs or condition your hair are things of the past. You’ve become a master of the quickie sponge bath, because every time you do hop in the shower the phantom cries kick in. You know, the ones where you think baby is crying but she actually isn’t. You could say that your new standard is “sticky,” or “slightly less sticky.” And your partner better not say a damned thing, unless it’s to offer to watch the baby so that you can have some personal time.
7. You seriously consider the mommy ‘do’
Yeah, you laughed right along when SNL did a sketch about how new moms all get that shorter hairdo, but boy does it sound good right about now. Your long hair can never be down anyhow, since baby has a killer grip on those strands whenever they’re in reach. Plus your pony tail is definitely starting to look a little greasier these days. Oh, and did we mention how our hair is falling out in clumps now that all those pregnancy nutrients are leaving our bodies?
Yeah, a shorter hairstyle sounds pretty freaking great, actually.
8. You forget the name of that cold thing where you keep the food
You’ve got the baby fed, she’s changed, bathed and burped and you know that she’s had ample amount of tummy time for the day. You’ve also made dinner, had a satisfying eight-minute shower, made a grocery list for the next day and checked the weather to see what’s the best time to go for your daily walk. Your emails are mostly answered, you’ve managed to have at least 20 minutes of actual conversation with your partner and — miraculously — the laundry is all folded and put away. You are it. You are a super mom, and you’ve got this motherhood thing down.
Except for one teeny, tiny thing. You’ve been so busy filling your head up with all of these random tasks, that you seem to have run out of room for anything else. And so as you’re recalling a story from your day, you realize you forget the name to your favourite song. No really, you can sing it… but the name? Nope. It’s just gone from your head. Better get used to long, awkward pauses in which you feel like a complete tool because you can’t remember the simplest… what are those things called again? Right, words.
9. Going to the grocery store is exciting… and also terrifying
Getting out of the house for something as basic as groceries suddenly has you akin to a dog going on a car ride. It’s that level of excitement to actually be getting out of the house and doing something normal. And bonus points to you, because it keeps baby busy.
Except it’s also terrifying as hell. Once you actually get there, how do you navigate with the baby? You’ve heard horror stories about babies in car seats on grocery carts falling down and dying. The dairy section is way too cold, and you’ve forgotten the blanket in the car. Baby starts freaking out in the produce aisle, and you swear you can actually feel the lettuce wilting in fear. There are germs everywhere. Sigh… why didn’t you just make your partner pick up food again?
10. You play worst-case scenarios in your head. Constantly.
We blame mommy bloggers for this one. While we appreciate the advice, there’s just so damned much of it. And all of it is conflicting, naturally. If you co-sleep, your baby could die. If you let them sleep in the crib they’ll never bond with you and they’ll grow up to be a career criminal. If you accidentally expose their skin to the sun they’re going to get cancer. If you put a blanket over the stroller they’re going to overheat. You were supposed to sign up for a baby CPR class but ran out of time, and now you’re paralyzed with fear they’ll choke on too much milk.
And so on, and so forth. You thought you knew anxiety before? Believe us, that’s nothing compared to the catastrophic thoughts circulating in your brain now.
11. Aunt Josephine can suddenly piss off
Mama bear is a thing. A very real and terrifying thing. Before baby you kept lots of opinions to yourself. After baby it’s a whole new ball game. Someone doesn’t wash their hands before reaching for babe? Thanks, but no thanks. Go to the bathroom now. An experienced family member tells you to let them cry it out? “You can’t spoil a baby,” you snap back a little too forcefully. Basically, your baby doesn’t have a voice so you have to speak up on his or her behalf. It’s pretty shocking, actually, how much ruder you become when someone pushes your buttons the wrong way.
12. Girls’ night out is no longer the same
You knew your life would change, but you didn’t know that you’d play an entire pros and cons list in your head before reaching for that second glass of wine. Will it transfer to the breastmilk? How many hours has it been? Is it better to go home now and still get four hours of solid sleep? Etc. etc.
As for the conversation, well you try and keep up with what’s going on in your friends’ lives and with current events. But really, your baby has become the most fascinating little human you’ve ever met. Plus he’s the only person you now spend your time with, so it’s only natural that’s all you have to talk about — whether you like it or not.
13. Your partner is no longer the love of your life
You love your partner, you really do. But the love you feel for your baby is indescribable. It takes over your whole heart and makes it feel like you were The Grinch before. You never thought someone could take over your whole being in such an overwhelming way, or that your life would suddenly be filled with such purpose. What’s crazier is that the love you feel grows more and more each day, and can even bring you to tears if you think about it too long. That’s probably a good thing, considering all of the challenges ahead. But for now, baby girl is the love of your life, and there isn’t anything you wouldn’t do to keep her happy, safe and healthy.
And that makes being wrecked in all those other ways totally worth it, doesn’t it?