I have been a mother for 1, 404 days. That’s 3 years, 10 months, and 2 days of doing all the things required to keep another human alive. Make that two humans.
Since after 1,404 days of motherhood I’m obviously an expert*, I thought I’d take the 9 seconds I have today to impart some of my expert-like wisdom to the masses.
(*No one is an expert. Not even the experts. Anyone who says “I’m a parenting expert!” is a liar. Run away. Except not from me because obviously I’m using the term “expert” for humorous exaggeration. Also known as hyperbole. Please keep reading.)
Here’s what I know after 1,404 days of motherhood:
1. There will be blood.
Sometimes it’s just a little bit of blood. Sometimes it’s a lot of blood. Either way, it will happen. You cannot keep your child from scrapes and cuts and gashes despite your best efforts and a generous wrapping of bubble paper. Buy stock in Band-Aids but know that the character ones kind of suck because there’s no sticky edge around the sterile padding. You’ve been warned if you succumb to the Siren’s song of Dora or Toy Story. Save those for the faux owies. Or just use stickers.
2. There will be poop.
And a lot of it. And always at inopportune moments. Like the middle of meals. Or when you’re in the checkout line at Target. Or on an interstate with 20 miles between exits. Or right after you put on a clean diaper after trying to catch the poop in the already soiled diaper. Or, if you’re Emma, there will be poop in every diaper. Roll with it and wash your hands.
As an addendum to #2, your skin will come into contact with poop that is not yours. If you’re me, it will never cease to gross you out. Not after 1,404 days or 2,808 days or whatever 1,404 x 3 is. Always, it will be gross. Don’t forget to wash your hands.
3. There will be vomit.
Of all the bodily functions, my capacity for handling this one surprised me most. The first time Joshua puked, he was terrified and understandably so. I was nonplussed. Which was weird since growing up I was known for my sympathy gag.
Here’s my very best expert advice: teach your kid to puke in a bowl. Catch, dump, rinse, repeat. You’re welcome. Vomit is going to happen and if you’re lucky you won’t puke all over your kid who is puking.
4. There will be naps that shouldn’t happen. And also naps that should happen and won’t.
The dreaded car nap. That destroyer of schedules and ruiner of days. If your kid falls asleep for 5 minutes on your drive home from wherever it is you drove, forget that kid sleeping any more for the rest of the day. If you get in a car to travel six hours away from home expecting the roar of the engine and the spinning of the tires to lull your little one to sleep your little one will scream for six hours and you’ll maybe wish you could drink.
5. There will be sacrifices.
Parenthood is about making sacrifices. Some willingly and some not so willingly. Most notably among the not-so-willing sacrifices are: hot coffee and sleep. And probably ever doing your business alone again. Sorry, folks, but these are the facts.
The minute you pour a hot, steaming cup of joe, your child, or all of your children, will need something. Something that will require both of your hands (like changing a poop diaper or wiping a butt. don’t forget to wash your hands.). So unless you can drink hot liquids through a straw and have a beer hat, your coffee will sit, languishing into a cold cup of something that used to be awesome and now no longer is. Reheat it in the microwave or throw it in a blender with some ice. Those are your choices.
As for the rest, I have zero advice except one day they will move out. And then you can finally sleep.