I could tell you that I knew what I was getting myself into when I found out I was pregnant, but that would be a lie… no new parent knows what is coming. Of course everyone tries to warn you, but truthfully, until you’ve been there you really just won’t understand. When you are given parenting advice people always seem to focus on the inevitable approach of sleep deprivation brought on by late night feedings and diaper changes. I was prepared for that. What I was not prepared for was the absolute level of gross that overcame my world with the amazing, adorable bundle that was my son Conner.
No one told me that within days of being a new parent I would be soaked in someone else’s urine, wearing poop and vomit… don’t even get me started on snot. Maybe you, dear reader, had a different experience. I like to think that for some reason I am the only parent who had issues with the way diapers fit, a child who projectile vomited nightly, and now two boys who seem to produce more feces than circus elephants. Perhaps I am just out of touch with the clean, bodily function free reality everyone else seems to live in. Well, at least it makes for some good stories.
At first each vomit/poo/pee incident was a shock that my husband and I dealt with like a precision trained bomb squad. We mopped up each mess no matter the late hour and changed sheets and clothes, quickly bathed the baby if necessary and took turns showering. What you really can’t prepare yourself for is the point a few weeks into parenthood where these messes stop being a surprise and become part of the routine. Complete exhaustion has set in and where waking up to find yourself soaked in someone else’s pee used to warrant a forty-five minute clean up, you now just change the kids diaper, throw down a towel, and blissfully fall back to sleep. The scariest change to my life was the day I realized all this disgusting mess had become the new normal. Like I said there is no way to prepare someone for this, if you have kids you might be nodding and chuckling to yourself as you read this, if you don’t have kids there’s a good chance you are now traumatized. Either way… my advice to all new parents is this: Go to Target and buy a nice water proof mattress pad… you will most likely get more use out of it than any baby accessory you could register for.