As new mom Amy Adams is learning, it’s not exaggerating to say that your life changes completely when you become a mom, but what is kinda surprising is how quickly those changes happen. Shine’s Jennifer Romolini shares her first-time mommy experience.
Over the summer, about two months into my maternity leave, I ran into a co-worker from my fashion magazine days, a woman I hadn’t seen in years. I was feeling especially proud that afternoon — my new daughter and I were both out, dressed, and not crying — and for the first time in weeks, I felt up to adult conversation. I started giving her the thumbnail update of my life, about how I’d changed jobs, gotten married, birthed the pretty little creature dangling from my chest. In the midst of this, I noticed my former colleague distracted, fixating on something that was decidedly not the words coming out of my mouth. I followed her gaze and… there on my forearm was a streak of mustard-y brown: I was delivering a You-Really-Can-Have-It-All monologue while smeared in baby poop.
Since the birth of my kid last May, I’ve had dozens of humbling moments like this one, times when I felt completely unmoored and more than a little out of control. When I was pregnant, I read tons of stories about “things that change” once you have a baby, but they were usually all namby-pamby, “You stop to smell the roses” and “You look at your baby in the mirror instead of yourself”—true enough stuff, but not really the sort of comfort/commiseration one craves when cradling a crying infant at dawn, drenched in breast milk. So, for my first post back (Hi, Shine readers. I’m back!) here’s the stuff I wish someone had told me:
15 things that change (immediately) once you have a kid
1. Strangers—ie people you don’t know at all—will approach you and dole out unsolicited parenting advice, often when you’re at your most vulnerable and often with the implication that you are trying to kill your child by means of Baby Bjorn/starvation/the wrong hat/not the way they did it in their day. Smile and say, “That’s so interesting.” Then give them the middle finger with your mind.
2. Strangers, part 2: People you don’t know at all (especially old ladies) will want to touch your baby. This will freak you the hell out.
3. Honey, I shrunk the vocabulary! For a time, you will speak a strange baby-wabie language that includes words like Boppy, binky, Butt Dust, Sniffly Sprinkles, etc to infinity. No worries, you will be too exhausted to care about sounding smart.
4. No matter how many times you swear you won’t, you will talk about poop. A lot.
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Tell us: What changed immediately in your life when you became a mom.