Now if you’re anything like me, then before you had your little bundle you occasionally did your nails, mostly had clean hair and were usually hygienic. Before the baby, my boyfriend and I had a healthy agreement on personal space which included always toileting with the door closed, not needing to tell each other about any kind of bowel movement and never ever bottom burping in each others presence (that last one was just for him as obviously ladies don’t do that!) But, pregnancy can put pay to the most robust intimacy agreements and we soon found ourselves discussing all sorts of bodily functions. It seems to me that motherhood has only put me on a downward spiral of grossness since then. Although we still toilet with the bathroom door firmly closed, below are my top ten most disgusting things I now do as a mother that I would never have dreamed of doing before. I hope I’m not the only one who’s guilty of these sins (and trust me if you haven’t had your baby yet, then this will be you very shortly!)
- Running towards vomit
Babies are sick all the time, literally like every day (or maybe it just feels like that?) Your baby will sick up milk for a past time and don’t get me started on weaning and introducing finger food too, they will gag and retch and make all sorts of gross noises and faces while they’re doing so. As a human being you should step back from anyone who’s mid regurgitation, but you’re a mother now so instead you will run towards said human with your hands forming a deep cup, the perfect vomit receptacle, out in front of you ready to catch! And you will catch! Buckets of partly digested milk and food. And you wont care. You’ll just wash your hands and carry on. In fact one time, I just deposited the contents of my hands into an empty bowl on the coffee shop table, babywiped my fingers and moved on. No big deal, right?
2. Wearing Vomit
Sticking with the vomit theme, you wont always catch it. Sometimes the little darling will be over your shoulder being burped or cuddled into you about to have a snooze and then, there it is, the Vom-bomb. It’ll go all over you, your clothes, your hair and all you’ll need is a light brush with a baby wipe and you’re good to go again. Sure your left shoulder will smell slightly sour for the rest of the day, you may even pop to the shops or to see a friend later on and half way through think “I really smell! Oh yeah, it’s just vomit” Trust me, you won’t care.
3. Smelling another human’s bum
So, apparently dogs can tell everything they need to know about another dog by presenting their anus to them and letting them take a big whiff. Humans on the other hand, are not blessed with this joyous gift (thank god) Although, the majority of mum’s think nothing of launching baby into the air by their armpits to bring baby bum hole directly in line with mum’s nose and inhaling deeply to check for poop! It’s an entirely disgusting, but extremely effective shit detecting habit that once baby arrives you won’t be able to avoid. In fact my sister once told me that experienced mum’s can tell if the poopy smell, in a room full of babies, is their own offspring’s brand of stink or not. Clever mummies!
4. Discussing and dissecting human poo
Yep – continuing with my last point (we may as well get all the shit talk out of the way, right?) You will suddenly give a shit, about shit – but it won’t be your own. You’ll ask anyone who’s looked after baby if he’s pooed today, what time, what was it like, did he strain, were there bits in it, was it solid? So many questions. Recently my baby suffered constipation and while I was running his bedtime bath, daddy was getting him changed and called through to me “oh, he’s had a poo!” A normal human response to this would be to wonder why you need to know that piece of information. Not a mum. Not me. I ran full pelt to the bedroom, only then to peel apart his soiled nappy to inspect the little brown log like some sort of crazed Gillian McKeith type.
5. Sucking a dirty dropped dummy
We’ve all seen mum’s do it and when you’re pregnant you think “that’s vile, I will never pick up my child’s dummy from the street and just suck it!” But you will. Baby will drop his dummy onto the floor, the pavement, the road, anywhere! It’s your duty as a mother to prevent the banshee like wail that will commence if you don’t plug that little screamers mouth with a dummy again tout suite! But you will lose all your spare dummies and one day when you’re down to your last one and baby drops it, you will pick it up, suck it and give it back to baby. Then it’s a slippery slope, once you’ve done it once it’s no longer disgusting and you’ll do it all the time. You have been warned!
6. Sucking up snot
Unfortunately for you my readers, this does not mean with a hoover. Yep, what you’re imagining is true and I’m ashamed to say I have done it. I saw no other option. I was desperate. I wanted to sleep and he had a cold so he couldn’t sleep and if he doesn’t sleep then I don’t sleep and so….you see my problem. I put my mouth over his snotty baby nose and sucked. Yes, I spat it out, but let’s face it, that’s not exactly fool-proof and I definitely tasted it at the very least. Yuk!
7. Wiping up snot and picking noses with your bare hands
You’ll note a nose related theme going on here! Once baby gets big and strong enough to fight you off when you’re going in for the human hoover move, you still have to wipe those drippy nostrils somehow – tissues! I hear you cry. No, dear reader. If my baby sees any kind of wipe within 100 paces of him he initiates his now legendary freak out scream. It’s so much easier and quieter for all concerned if I sneak my fingers over his nose and just wipe the snot somewhere else – usually on me in all honesty. But remember, drippy baby noses crust up over night, what was liquid yesterday has now solidified and not only looks disgusting but hampers baby’s breathing so you have to pick it. It’s disgusting, you wouldn’t pick your own nose, or anyone else’s for that matter and I do hope that I don’t feel compelled to do it when my baby is 15, but for now, needs must. Mum’s, get in there and pick away. Knock yourselves out
8. Kissing baby on the mouth
Sounds perfectly normal right? A genuine and totally acceptable expression of the love and bond between a mother and child. Wrong! It’s not the act of kissing my baby which is gross, it’s the fact that he has no idea yet that he needs to keep his mouth closed, so every time he wants to kiss me I basically end up with a face, or worse, a mouth, full of baby dribble. It’s cold and wet and so wrong, but also very cute, so I keep doing it. Eww.
9. Sharing food
Most mum’s spend the majority of their days cramming enough meals, healthy snacks and milk feeds into babies routine all around constructive, developmental play, adequate nap times and numerous dirty nappies. This conveyor belt of baby needs means most mums don’t make time to eat, at least not properly. So when you sneak a biscuit and baby spies it, you share. When baby is having lunch and he’s not too fussed on something, you finish it off. Fine, you say. No problem. But, all food that goes anywhere near baby will be mashed and pulped in sticky fingers, dribbled on, chewed, wiped over a snotty face, I could go on. You’ll still eat it, because you’re hungry and busy and tired and you’ve given up on your pride. I mean, you made him, aren’t they all technically your germs anyway??
10. Talk about birth
Now, this isn’t strictly the baby’s fault, but you can’t compare birth “war” stories unless you’ve had a baby. From stitches to tears, mucus plugs to discharge, women who have been through the beautiful (although disgusting) miracle of birth feel the need to go in depth about every little detail. I think it’s unnecessary, but yes, I still do it! It’s like a badge of honour that bonds you to a whole new group of women. And, when you give birth, you’ll do it too. I guarantee it.