Here’s What Its Actually Like To Be A Mom

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From spending the last year and change with my very own little boy, I’m learning about what being a mother really is, and this list should just about sum it up:

  • Sweeping the floor 3–4 times a day
  • Eating whatever the baby didn’t
  • Pretending to be extremely interested in a piece of fuzz anywhere from 4–7 times a day
  • Doing what feels like mountains of dishes every day and skyscrapers of laundry every week
  • Keeping the baby from eating unedibles such as coins, old food crumbs, cat hair, cat food, small pieces of plastic, miscellaneous splinters of wood, unexplained errant screws, random bits of fabric and of course, the remote
  • Putting things up on high shelves until all the high shelves are overflowing
  • Learning to stay off mom forums because they are too scary
  • Holding a baby on your lap while you poop
  • Talking a lot about poop
  • Collecting and mastering cheats, tips and tricks to “get the baby to” do everything from sit still during a diaper change to eat, be calm in the bathtub, fall asleep, not cry, let mom put a shirt over his head, stop pulling the cat’s tail, not stick his finger in the electric socket, etc, etc.
  • Reading the same books and playing with the same toys over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over all day all week all year
  • Getting really used to strangers saying hello to your baby and asking you questions about how old he is or if he sleeps through the night
  • Accidentally memorizing every song, jingle, sound and ditty that the baby’s toys make and sometimes even singing along
  • Taking every opportunity to close your eyes
  • Waking up at 7 am (or earlier) 7 days a week
  • Developing a daily routine that after awhile becomes very…routine
  • Wondering when it’s OK to cut his hair for the first time and if you should do it yourself or take him somewhere? Is there such a thing as a baby barber?
  • Just understanding that whatever you want to do is going to have to wait, sometimes a lot longer than you are inclined to wait, including all forms of hygiene
  • Going to classes, playdates, playgrounds, people’s houses that you barely know because there are toys there and it’s an environmental change, going anywhere, just to get out of the house
  • Meeting and talking to other moms and sussing them out and feeling yourself being judged a little bit here and there
  • Bickering with various family members about the finer points of child rearing
  • Rubbing ointment onto a baby’s inner buttocks region
  • Seeing things you like get broken even though you swear you put them up and out of the way and…how did he even get to that?
  • Hearing a stranger say, “Enjoy every moment, it goes by so fast…”
  • Getting smacked in the face by a tiny hand 3–7 times a day
  • Deciphering various screams, screeches, howls, yowls, yips, hollers, cries and bellows
  • Feeling a tiny bit irritated when you hear for the 47th or so time that the baby doesn’t really look like you (or looks more like dad)
  • Being a tiny bit jealous that someone else’s kid is already talking, walking, getting teeth, doing party tricks, dancing, pointing, blowing kisses, sleeping through the night, etc.
  • Wondering if you’re doing being a mom the right way
  • Wearing sensible shoes and v-neck or loose fitting shirts, or just changing from PJs into PJs on some days
  • Memorizing entire board books accidentally
  • Striving to be somewhere between 40–72% psychic to predict and prevent future dangers and crises
  • Beginning to worry about sending your kid off to school before they can even sit up on their own
  • Inventing games out of household items such as Q-tips, paper towel rolls, empty yogurt containers and small various tsotchkes
  • Putting tiny socks onto tiny feet 700–900 times before they can do it themselves
  • Drinking a LOT of wine, water, tea, seltzer, coffee, decaf [insert favorite beverage here]
  • Thinking to yourself, “He already grew out of this??? He’s worn it once!”
  • Having a new favorite band, “Noise machine”, that only plays their one hit song non-stop, “White Noise”
  • Assuming ghosts are obviously what the baby is laughing / staring at
  • Questioning the fate of the planet as yet another diaper gets tossed into the trash because cloth diapers ain’t happening
  • Repeatedly picking up and putting down a very meaty small human
  • Trying to keep the iPhone and screens away from the baby though they’re drawn to it like a Zika mosquito to a pregnant woman
  • Feeling gutted when the baby gets hurt
  • Experiencing a new, intense emotion 1000% times deeper than love when he learns to give you a kiss and begins to hug you tightly
  • Forgetting you ever heard any sound before it every time he laughs
  • Making room in your life for a new very best friend
  • Experiencing your own childhood all over again, but different

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Jessica Delfino

Jessica Delfino

I write about life with 1 husband, 1.5 kids, 1 cat, at times funny. www.Twitter.com/JessicaDelfino Bylines: New Yorker, The NY Times, The Atlantic, McSweeney’s.