I was recently talking to a friend of mine who is also a new mom, and she, with no small degree of incredulity, said, “You know, all those things people tell you about being a new mom are actually true!” Those things that you heard and quickly dismissed as being not applicable to yourself and your unborn child. Once the baby arrives, you’re all, “F*ck, that wasn’t exaggerated?! What in the!?!? Did everyone know this?!? And if so, why are there so many new children in the world?”
While of course your individual experiences will vary somewhat (i.e. your baby’s shit might get on your pants or it might get on your shirt), the common denominator (of shit) cannot be escaped. In my humble opinion, there are some universal truths to new parenthood, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to get comfortable with this notion right out of the gate.
1. Your love for you child is strongest when they are asleep
While you will love your child with all of your heart, you will also most passionately feel this love when your child is sleeping. If you think about it, it would make more sense to get a doll since dolls and sleeping babies are pretty much the exact same thing, except that you can leave dolls in your car while you run into Target without the fear of police involvement.
2. You are impervious to your child's bodily fluids
However disgusted you are at the secretions of other people’s children, when it comes to your own child, you will mindlessly roll around in her bodily fluids with the reckless abandon of a raccoon on spring break. You are now disgusting to other people, but you don’t give a shit on account of the fact that the last time you slept was in 2018, best you can recall.
3. You will do whatever you’ve got to do to get by
Think you would never co-sleep? Tell me your opinion on that after stumbling into the nursery like a partially blind and legally drunk sailor for the 50th time in a week. 100% sure you’ll breastfeed? Let’s have this discussion three weeks into cracked nipples and after two bouts of mastitis. Think you will bathe your kid every day? How about after the 6th time they've peed on their own face? That’s your new standard. Confident that you will always use a car seat for your baby? Well, actually, you should definitely do that one.
4. You really cannot get shit done when you have a baby
I know you might think you can. That would be incorrect. I know that prior to having your baby you had visions of catching up on a series of long-neglected organizational (and perhaps even crafting!) projects, in between reading Anna Karenina and writing your autobiography. You planned on having the time to do all of this because the laundry and dishes would take like an hour MAX and then, well, with the baby napping so often the rest of the day would be WIDE OPEN!
5. Meeting and befriending other new moms is like dating other temporarily mentally unstable people
Finding mom friends with babies the same age as you, who are available for mid-day socializing, is more stressful than finding a mate. Now the stakes are REALLY HIGH because you are so hormonal that without proper social support you will end up in the fetal position of your disorganized nursery, and who knows who will watch your baby. (Note: this is another reason to consider just getting a doll. Although it is hard to make a pitch to be a stay-at-home mom to a doll, so factor that in when considering your options.)
What “Universal Truths” did you discover once you had kids?
This list is not comprehensive because, let’s be honest, I need to go watch my baby sleep and marvel at how perfect he is.
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