I knew that once my son was born, my life would change in all sorts of ways. I mean, how could it not?
And just like every other mom-to-be on the planet, I made mental lists of things that I would and wouldn’t do: I would get the sleep thing under control quickly. I wouldn’t let my kid eat junk food. I would make sure my husband and I went out on regular date nights. I wouldn’t give up my high heels. And so on and so forth. I had the feeling that some of those might go out the window, and I kind of laughed to myself about it.
But then push came to shove-that-kid-out-of-my-body, and I started doing things that trumped anything I ever could have imagined. Things that made me want to use every overused acronym in one fell swoop: OMG, LOL, SMH, FML and, most of all, WTF.
Here are 9 things that would have made my pre-kid self cringe…but now seem oddly normal to me. Something tells me that I’m not alone.
Pick my kid’s nose. Sometimes a Boogie Wipe just isn’t within reach. Sometimes I know that I can get that booger if I position my nail…just…right. Ah, there. So much better. And only slightly gross because it’s my own kid. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.
Sing songs all day long without caring who is staring. They’re to my son, of course, but they’re in public. Occasionally they’re loud. Often they’re completely made up. And yep, they always rhyme.
Try to catch vomit with my bare hands. In the moment, I’m thinking: I don’t want him to get it all over his outfit, all over himself, all over everything. But really, what the hell? Don’t try this at home (or in the car), moms. IT. DOES. NOT. WORK.
Chase my kid around the house with a banana. Kids should sit at the kitchen table and focus on eating when they’re eating. If they don’t eat, they don’t eat, and that’s that. Unless it’s not. Because when they don’t eat, they’re way more likely to have a massive tantrum and make everyone miserable. So I’ve done what’s necessary. That said, I’m thrilled to announce that I no longer chase my son around with a banana. No, now I peel apples so he doesn’t spit out the evil peel and throw it onto the nearby couch with the gusto of a MLB pitcher. So, that’s progress, right?
Leave the house looking homeless. To be fair, I was used to looking relatively homeless when I’d walk my dog early in the morning, especially in the dead of winter. Makeup, brushed hair and clothing other than pajamas or yoga pants are unrealistic luxuries in that situation. But I would have never purposely gone to a place where I’d have to interact with people. These days, I’m exhausted and eternally running late, so off to kiddie classes, grocery stores, play dates in my delightfully unkempt state, I go! Sigh.
And speaking of my newfound lack of style…dress like a soccer mom way before actually being a soccer mom. Sneakers are functional and comfortable, and they are an absolutely fantastic choice when you’re walking long distances with your child. They are not an absolutely fantastic choice for your style, mommy or otherwise, when paired with shorts. But I just didn’t have the time to find cute yet sensible shoes…for TWO FULL YEARS. Last summer, I finally got a decent pair of everyday shoes that aren’t sneakers. Hallelujah.
Skip the gym for months at a time. Yes, going to the gym sets a good example for my kid and is important for my health, sanity and the state of my muffin top, blah blah blah. I need to go more often, I know. But the truth is, it’s the last thing I want to do when my son is awake. And when he’s asleep, I have laundry to do. And a few episodes of The Good Wife to catch up on. And a nap? Doesn’t that take precedence over jiggly thighs? After last night’s 2 a.m. wake-up, it sure as hell does!
Be totally content for a good hour staring at a night-vision video monitor. With all due respect to Paris Hilton, there’s nothing great about night-vision video. Unless your adorable baby is doing sleep acrobatics and softly snoring on it. That’s must-see TV right there.
Not mind not getting a full night’s sleep for years. Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather get eight full hours, and when I do, I feel miraculous the next morning. But when I’m up with my son in the middle of the night—sleeping upright on the couch, since that’s the way he settles the most quickly—I think about how these sleepy, quiet, intimate moments are limited and how someday he’s going to be a sullen teenager who won’t even want to talk to me. So I cuddle a little closer, close my eyes, try to get a little sleep and mainline caffeine all the next day.