Motherhood is all kinds of beautiful – and gross…
Before I became a mom, the idea of poop, snot and vomit was enough to make me feel properly grossed out. But, since having my first baby, it’s like a switch flipped and the lines between ‘That’s disgusting!’ and ‘Oh, that’s totally normal’ have been blurred.
Here are some of the grossest things I’ve had to do (and still do on a daily basis) as a mom:
1. The lift-and-sniff
We’ve all done the lift-and-sniff. Whether you’re in the comfort (and privacy!) of your own home, or at a buzzing restaurant, if baby makes a poop face, mom’s going to lift and sniff it.
My husband almost always side-eyes me for doing this in public which makes me think that it’s not exactly acceptable parenting behaviour. But, I’d rather do the ‘smell test’ than the ‘dip your finger and hope to God that it doesn’t come out full of poop test’ OR the ‘I’m sure it’s nothing, I’ll just wait until we get home to see if there’s anything in that nappy test’. Both are the equivalent of playing with fire.
2. Wearing baby spit-up with no intention of changing
Because, one, we’re far too lazy to change our outfit again, and two, we’re just far too lazy. Besides, any mom will tell you, spit-up is the least of your worries. That mark on your top could be from something far, far worse.
After a few weeks of being spat up on, you won’t be able to tell the difference between your perfume and your baby’s vomit. On two hours of sleep, it’s all the same.
3. Wiping snot with your fingers
I would like to defend myself by saying that when it’s your child, it’s just not that gross. But, now that I’m thinking about it, and I’m not just living in the moment where we’re late for school and I don’t have a tissue so I just use my fingers to clean my toddler’s runny nose and then wipe it on my pants (or walk around rolling it like a mini stress ball until I find a tissue), it’s pretty disgusting.
I should probably stop doing it.
4. Catching vomit with your bare hands
I was actually quite proud of myself for catching my toddler’s vomit with my bare hands on our last family holiday. So proud in fact, that I felt like a fearless first responder who had made it to another level of motherhood altogether.
Catching vomit so that it doesn’t end up splattered all over the car’s back seat (why do kids always want to vomit in the back seat of a car?) takes skill, and, like most moms, I’ve got it!
5. Encouraging stubborn poop out of a baby’s bum
OK, so this is one gross thing that I surprisingly have never had to do. Thankfully, my kids like to poop.
But, I understand why some moms will do just about anything to get their baby to poop (read: swirl a cotton earbud around in baby’s bum to ‘encourage’ the poop to come out).
When you have a baby or toddler, a large portion of your life is taken up by poop-talk. Did baby poop? How much did baby poop? What was the colour? What was the texture like? A baby NOT pooping – well, that’s just not an option – especially when there’s a tub of earbuds and a google search bar at the tip of a frantic mom’s fingers.
6. Using spit to clean your child’s face
“No mom, that’s gross”. My famous last words…
Nothing cleans quite like a good ol’ spit rub. It’s gross (more for your child than it is for you), but when you don’t have wet wipes and you want to look at least semi-put together as a family, then spit it shall be.
7. Licking a dummy clean
I know, I know. This is gross. Pre-parent me would have also shuddered at the thought. But, I promise you, come month six of sterilising a dummy that gets chucked onto the floor every few minutes, and you’ll start licking it too. You won’t even second guess it…
You’ll pluck it off the ground, give it a lick and shove it right back into your baby’s mouth… and repeat the whole shebang five minutes later.
8. Accepting sloppy kisses from little faces full of food, slobber, snot and goodness knows what else
Because let’s face it, being a mom is full of ‘gross’ – but it’s the best kind of gross that there is.