When Baby K first came in to our lives, it felt a little surreal. Almost like it was an extended babysitting gig. Because I had such a fantastic mother growing up (who is now also one of my closest friends), I had the concept of “mom” really blown up in my mind. Seriously, moms were superheroes who could bake cookies, clean the house, fold the laundry, entertain two attention-demanding children, organize everyone’s schedules, make a family dinner and still have time to enjoy a cup of tea and a good book every day. Great moms like mine set the bar high.
However, I realized that it’s not these things that make you a mom. Sure, when you stay at home to take care of a child it all becomes part of your job description. But, being a mom is more about the little things you do every day. And the sense of humor that comes with them.
Over the last week, I’ve taken the time to stop and write down my top 15 “you know you’re a mom when…” moments as they happen. Some of them make me want to stop and shake my head, some of them make me laugh, some of them would have made me gag previously, and most of them just make me smile because this is the life I have now chosen.
You know you’re a mom when…
You are walking around the grocery store wondering what smells like vomit, and you realize it’s you. And you don’t care.
You haven’t called your husband (or significant other) by their own name in months and realize you’ve become one of those weird couples who call each other mommy and daddy.
You now store a burp cloth and soother in every bag, piece of furniture, vehicle and pocket that you have available to you. Even if they’re still wet.
You spend an hour feeding, changing and playing dress-up with your little one to make sure they look perfectly adorable (and not like a boy!), then proceed to spend less than 10 minutes on yourself before leaving the house. Seriously, I wear make-up maybe once a week right now.
Your child has more clothing than you do.
You no longer wonder what the giant wet spot or stain on your bedding or clothing is. You just throw it in the wash and assume it’s all good.
You no longer think that terror and full-out joy are competing emotions. In fact, they seem to go hand-in-hand now.
You don’t call a pacifier a pacifier; instead, you call it some sugary term like sucky, binky or num-num. And you will get out of bed in the middle of the night to search for one like your life depends on it.
You stub your toe and scream out fluffy bunny. Or something equally embarrassing.
You think your child actually understands you as they start to make new noises. I was telling Baby K that she had to get her head control up before she could play in her Jolly Jumper, and she said “oh”. And I nearly blogged about it.
You see your little one’s tummy start to convulse and you stick your hand out to catch what’s about to fly.
Your baby is sick and those bulb aspirators just suck. So you now use one that is basically a fancy straw so you can suck the snot out with your mouth. And you’re happy to do it all day long if it makes that baby feel better.
You have no idea what songs are topping the charts because you spend your day singing I’m a Little Teapot, the ABC’s and Rolie Polie.
A shower feels like a luxury.
You have a solid belief that the bigger the burp the better. Even if you’re in public.
The reality is this. Being a parent changes your life and your outlook on it in ways you never thought possible. But, if you can learn to laugh at it and just enjoy everything for what it’s worth, you’ll be grand.