Being a mom is a shitty gig, and I mean that both literally and figuratively.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I knew there would be dirty diapers involved. In some ways, it was even kinda fun to think about it. After all, those newborn diapers are so tiny and adorable. There was something so exciting about the idea of nurturing my sweet darling child, that it even included wiping his cute little bum.
And then reality hit. My child wasn't just this angelic being who cooed at me and smelled like baby powder and lavender. He grunted and wailed and spit up constantly, making us both smell like sour milk 24/7. And his poop - dear god! It was sweet all right, but not in a good way. It was this bizarre sweetness that made me gag. It was like rotten fruit, complete with some weird ass seed texture.
Those were just the early days. The older he got, the better it got. And by better, I mean worse. Obviously.
I'll never forget the day I put him in one of those little jumpy-toys so I could quickly wash the dishes and tidy the kitchen (as I mentioned, motherhood is super thrilling). I came back into the room to see that he had shit his pants. There was so much poop that it was flowing out of his diaper, running down his legs. He gave me one of his best grins as he continued to bounce up and down, smashing the poop into the carpet. White carpet. Because I'm a dumbass.
I spent the rest of the afternoon giving him a bath, washing his clothes, cleaning the seat of the jumpy toy, and scrubbing the carpet. All of that is a pretty good metaphor for motherhood as a whole. It's a gross job where it's virtually impossible to get ahead. Remember, I put my kid in the bouncy toy in the first place so that I could attempt to get my house clean, and instead, it only led to more housework and a late start to making dinner.
My firstborn in his Jumperoo. Poop story aside, this is my favorite baby toy ever. Here's a link to a good one on Amazon.
My second kid (honestly, it's kinda miraculous that humans voluntarily have more than one) was not any easier on me than the first. I've got lots of stories on that one, but my favorite is probably the time when he was around three and was technically potty-trained. I'd recently gotten a new job that required me to color my hair a dark brown to cover up the pink and blue shades I'd been sporting. I was already annoyed, because even though I was excited about the new job, I didn't want to have to color my hair.
I begrudgingly drove about 40 minutes to the nearest Sally's. As soon as I was parking, I heard my kid grunting in the back seat. Great, I thought. Now I'd have to change a shitty diaper in the back seat before going in. Then I remembered- he wasn't wearing a diaper. He was wearing "big boy underwear." Because he was supposedly POTTY-TRAINED.
I couldn't believe I was that much of an idiot that I'd put him the car for a 40 minute drive without throwing a diaper on him. But then again, wouldn't that have been a step backward, giving him permission to poop his pants? Of course, it clearly didn't matter if he had "permission" because he'd gone and done it anyway.
(This is another metaphor for motherhood. Everything is confusing, there are no clear answers, any decision you make is basically the wrong one. Good luck.)
My second-born is almost seven, and to this day, he still hates wearing clothes.
The story gets better (worse) though, because I glanced over to the front seat and realized the diaper bag wasn't there. WHO DOESN'T BRING THE DIAPER BAG? Me. Because my stupidhead self thought "oh, he's not a baby any more, so I don't need to haul a diaper bag anymore." HAHAHAHAHAHA
I had no wipes. No diapers. No big-boy-undies. No change of clothes for him.
I had nothing but a grinning preschooler with shit squishing out of his pants and a hell of a dilemma. Obviously I couldn't go into the beauty store with him and I sure wasn't going to leave him in the car by himself, which meant I'd made the trip for nothing. I had to go back home, but did I really want to let him sit in his soiled clothes for the next 40 minutes? Yet, if I took his clothes off, how would I actually get him cleaned up with no wipes? And what would he wear? What was to keep him from peeing on himself? (Or worse.)
To be perfectly honest, I can't even remember exactly what I did that day. I think I blocked that part out of my memory, but I have a vague recollection of using fast food napkins and a blanket from the floorboard. I do know that after driving back home, I had to clean him up and change him, and then I had to clean the car seat and go right back to the store to get the hair dye. This time, I'm pretty sure I brought a diaper bag.
My third son was ever more dramatic than the first two. As most of you know by now, he had a serious condition - I SWEAR TO GAWD HE IS LOOKING AT ME RIGHT NOW AND SHITTING HIS PANTS. I am literally being interrupted on writing a blog about poop by a toddler who is squatting and grunting - and while making direct eye contact, btw. He knows exactly what he's doing. $#!*. brb
Okay, now that I have wiped another butt (and thoroughly washed my hands) I'll continue. My youngest son had gastroschisis, meaning his intestines got a whole lot of extra attention since they fell out of his body and all that. Basically, we almost got kicked out of the NICU the first time he pooped. We were worried he'd never be able to, so it was a big moment for us. I never thought changing a diaper would be one of the highlights of my life, but there ya go.
That brings me around to my final point. Motherhood is a shit job, but as it turns out, most baffling of all, shit is worth celebrating.
Jennifer Scott Pickett is a freelance writer for hire who specializes in parenting and lifestyle content. She is half of the comedy duo that makes up Salty Mermaid Entertainment based in Atlanta, GA. In her free time - Wait. She's a mom of three. She doesn't have any free time. Learn more by clicking here.