We’ve all seen multiple variations of this scene played out in comedies, or recounted to us by friends and family who have experienced it in real life.
It goes something like this; a new mom runs around her house, answering the door in stained pajamas, her hair in a haphazard bun with mismatched socks on her feet before eagerly embracing the wonderful person who has shown up to gift her something incredible, something unbelievable, something extraordinary...ten minutes in the shower alone.
That’s right. Life with a newborn can be hectic. It can be extremely surprising how much attention and energy a tiny little human requires. After all, they rely completely on the doting attention of their caregivers, and they make sure we know it...always.
Many women proudly proclaim before their child’s birth that they will not be one of those women. They state that it can’t be that hard to care for one, little baby. There’s always time to grab a quick shower and attempt to look presentable for the day. It’s not impossible to find just five minutes to straighten up the house and make the bed.
Now, we’re not faulting these women. In fact, we envy their naivete. And, we’re not negating the fact that some moms actually live up to their pre-baby gloating (please, tell us how you do it), but for the most part, these proclamations are swallowed up like one very huge helping of humble pie.
Just stop by any new mom’s house around day ten post birth, and chances are, there will be more than one pile of dirty laundry lying around, the sink will be full of dirty dishes, and the family will appear more than a little perplexed. It’s perfectly okay! That’s life with baby, and it happens to the best of us.
Eventually, we figure it all out, and baby starts cooperating a bit more, but despite how great mom gets at managing her time and life, there will always be things she doesn’t quite enjoy in the same way that she did pre-baby. What follows is a list of 15 things any new mom will laugh at from her “old” life.
15 A Fresh Smelling Home
Okay, so we’re not saying the home of every new mom stinks, but something mysterious does in fact happen after several weeks with a newborn in the house. Diapers tend to pile up in waste baskets, laundry accumulates, dishes sit a little longer than they should, and the overall cleaning routine falls behind. This is the perfect recipe for a bit of a stench.
Add to that mom’s newfound hesitancy to use artificial air fresheners or scented candles, and you have some au natural stinkiness.
A new mom may laugh at her old paranoia regarding her home not smelling fantastic. Now, she’ll be satisfied if all you can smell is last night’s pizza and some less than fresh clothes. Keep in mind that the messy house is just an indicator of time well spent with baby. There will always be time to clean, and your priority is the loveable babe who wants to be cuddled close stink and all.
14 Detailed Makeup Application
It all comes down to time. Time is scarce with a new baby. Most of the non necessities tend to be neglected, and let’s face it, the new little bundle of joy does not care at all if mom managed to get her mascara applied or any concealer smoothed under her tired eyes.
Makeup application is a luxury, so unless mom is planning to venture out and socialize (which obviously isn’t likely to be happening on a regular basis with a newborn at home), detailed makeup application won’t be taking place.
A new mom will laugh at how her daily, winged liner look has turned into one smear of a neutral shade of eyeshadow across her entire lid, and her lined lips and coordinating lipstick has been replaced by whatever chapstick she can dig out of the couch cushions between breastfeeding sessions.
Hey, it’s okay, mommas! There will be time for makeup later, much later, like when the baby can actually crawl and come after you when you try to leave the room.
13 A Clean Sink
Dirty dishes. They have the amazing ability to get away from us even in normal circumstances. Just as you clear the sink and wipe the counters, someone in the house is finishing a meal, and the work starts all over again. Add a new baby to the mix, and you’ll find piles in the sink higher than a skyscraper, because there’s no time to handle the dishes much less eat the food that was on them.
Plus, there’s often added bottles with their multiple parts, pacifiers, medicine droppers, and more that have suddenly exploded out of nowhere. How can a little baby require so much stuff? Yeah, we don’t know either, but they do, and you’ll laugh at how simple it was to simply rinse a plate and keep a clean sink before they turned your world upside down.
Take the mess in stride. Remember that your energy is focused on something far more important, and that is the health and happiness of your new family member. Everything else can wait. Of course, if your mother-in-law stops by unannounced, she may just handle it for you. No judgement, of course. She’s been there.
12 An Empty Hamper
Laundry piles up with incredible speed in any house with a new baby. There’s a constant flow of dirty burp cloths, swaddle blankets, onesies, sleepers, changing pads, and sheets collecting in every hamper in the house.
In fact, it’s not unusual to forego the hamper route completely and instead store laundry in various dirty piles down the length of the hallway or in various rooms. The amazing thing about this phenomenon is that you will find it occurring in the homes of even the neatest people.
Pre-baby cleanliness and organizational habits have little to do with the state of life after baby arrives. Yes, good habits help, but ultimately, it’s the adjustment to life with a newborn, and the absolutely lack of energy in new parents that sets the stage for more than a little mess.
Try to take it all in stride and have a good laugh at the memory of laundry once being contained to the hamper. And, you’re not the only mom who has picked her leggings for the day out of a pile of questionable cleanliness. After all, how are you supposed to remember which pile is clean and which is dirty after three hours of sleep in the last two days?
11 Unstained Clothing
This one naturally follows the empty hamper, because it’s not just a ton of laundry that a new mom has to battle, it’s complicated and stained laundry! Gone are the days of simply throwing in a mixed batch of lights and colored clothing only to have them dry and folded two hours later.
Now, you need to pretreat the stains from that incredible diaper blowout the night before, rinse the dirtied changing pad before washing, and remove the tags from the new sleepers so you can wash them in the same load.
Plus, if you neglect to treat stains, you’ll often find that they’ve set into your clothes, and you’ll be rocking some spotty, yellow shirts and sweats for the next few months. It’s perfectly okay, and it’s perfectly normal. Babies like to leave their mark, and the stains on any new mom’s clothes are more than deserved.
She’s caring for a messy little human, and they don’t care what you’re wearing, so rock those pants with no shame. There’s time for new ones later...like when the baby poop actually stays in the diaper.
10 Long, Luxurious Showers
These are a thing of the past once baby arrives. It's better for new moms to just accept that now. Moms need to kiss them goodbye and get prepared to wash and condition their hair faster than they ever thought possible.
Those women will remember the days when they used a loofah and thoroughly scrubbed their entire body, then shaved, exfoliated their face, and eventually moisturized. Yeah, gone. They should be sure to get their armpits and all of the important parts with that bar of soap before they hop out to tend to the screaming baby.
Okay, in all seriousness, we don’t want to scare women too badly. There is still time to shower, but chances are, by the time the little babe is sound asleep, the last thing mom will want to do is clean herself up. She’s generally more focused on the house, cleaning breast pump parts and bottles, getting a load of laundry into the washer, and catching a little rest.
Then, just as she makes her way toward the shower out of obligation, the baby wakes up and is of course...starving!
9 Spoiled Rotten Pets
This is a sensitive topic, because the majority of new parents to a human baby feel a sense of guilt over their sudden inability to lavish the same attention on their first baby of the four legged variety. Whether dog, cat, rabbit, or reptile, pets naturally take a backseat in the first few weeks and months of bringing home baby.
It’s natural, and while we try to make every effort to give them their same love and attention, there simply isn’t the same amount of time or physical energy available to take them on regular walks, play fetch, and spoil them silly as we did in pre-baby days.
Of course, there is the option of making arrangements with a neighbor or family member to take over some doggy duties, but at the end of the day, our pets are very intuitive, and they know from whom attention is lacking. Just make every effort to show them you’re still engaged, and involve them in family activities. They’ll still be there when you surface for air in a few weeks, and they’ll be more than happy to make up the time lost.
8 A Gorgeous Garden
Ahh, remember the relaxing time spent pruning roses and enjoying the sights and sounds of your front yard while under the warm Autumn sun? Yeah, neither do we, because that sounds about as realistic as a tropical vacation after baby makes their big debut.
Not only does the interior of the home take a hit with the additional of a baby, but the yard follows suit. Picture this...the baby has fallen asleep and is safely secured in his swing. Perfect. You have the chance to wrangle some laundry and throw together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
You also grimace at the visual of the massive weeds you saw taking over the flowers out front and the clogged rain gutter in front of the garage. Which one gets your attention?
Chances are, you’re going to prioritize and remain indoors with the baby. Exteriors are tricky. Will you take a baby monitor with you? Will it work out there? You only have a fancy video camera one, and you’re not sure your wi-fi will reach the driveway. Agh! ‘How did they survive in the old days?’ you wonder.
Yards and gardens will suffer. Thankfully, you will make your way back there some day, and sprucing it up will be that much sweeter with your little one babbling away nearby.
7 A Full Fridge
A warm dinner is a very rare thing in the home of new parents unless it’s been lovingly prepared, stored, and delivered in person to the front door. Why? Because not only does warm food typically require heating, it also requires prep, cooking, and plating. This is a multi-step processes that despite how skilled a cook is, takes time. And, we know how that goes with a newborn in the mix.
Similarly, having a fully stocked fridge tends to be a rarity. Mom and dad are most likely up at all hours of the night and snacking and scrounging for food throughout the day. The appetite of any new mom, especially a breastfeeding one, is usually through the roof.
Add to that the high likelihood that regular trips to the grocery store are being neglected, and the chance is, there’s a stale piece of pizza, some chicken broth, and a tub of salsa in the fridge. Good luck with that.
New moms often find themselves laughing at the memory of an overflowing refrigerator, or pantry, and will reflect fondly on the nights they proudly cooked a meal with appropriate veggie, carb, protein balance. Cereal for dinner, anyone?
6 Feeling Stuck On The Couch
At some point shortly after arriving home from the hospital with a new baby, most moms will take a look around their living room and laugh at the fact that they used to think the room was cluttered. Clutter has taken on a whole new meaning. It now means: baby swings, pack n’ plays, bouncer seats, changing pads, diaper caddies, play mats, and more.
And, strangely enough, a lot of this gear somehow finds its way up on the couch throughout the night and day with a newborn. It might be due to the fact that the tiny bundles often don’t require a ton of movement. Feeding, burping, changing, and sleeping can pretty much occur while mom is seated in her favorite spot on the couch.
She may be recovering from a c-section and not like moving around, so often time things are retrieved for her and placed near her. The problem is, they’re often times left there...for days.
Chances are, you’ll laugh at what you once considered a spacious, organized couch and living area, because it now feels like a raft, sinking with a load of baby supplies and junk. Add to that the fact that once baby falls asleep, mom doesn't want to move and wake them. This means she's often stranded on "couch island."
5 Having Batteries On Hand
We’re going to let you in on a little known secret of the new parenting world. Are you ready? Here it is...everything baby related that is most likely to save your sanity in the middle of the night when your newborn is in full meltdown mode requires batteries. That’s right. Double and Triple A’s, C’s, and even D’s.
Stock up on them. When you find a deal on batteries pre-baby, buy in bulk. It can’t hurt. You’re going to need them.
Even an electric baby swing often requires separate batteries to utilize the vibration function, and fussy newborns love vibration. You’ll wish you could vibrate your entire house. Add to the list bouncy seats, pack n’ plays, mobiles, and even singing, stuffed animals, and you’ll be replacing batteries frequently.
You’ll laugh at the overabundance of them you had before baby, because once the little guy or gal has arrived, they will seem much more valuable.
4 Not Knowing The Delivery People
So, pre-baby, you occasionally placed an online order, and once in awhile you gave a friendly nod to your neighborhood UPS delivery driver. Now, post baby, you’re on a first name basis with every delivery driver in a ten mile radius of your home, they know exactly where to tuck your packages on the porch, and last week, one of them even dropped off your exact Starbucks order with a note written on an old packing slip to, “Keep up the good work, Momma!”
Seriously, though, chances are you’ll do some serious online ordering in the first few weeks with baby, and you’ll laugh at your old habit of frequently visiting stores in person. It’s just not as convenient to make a trek out with a newborn, and often times, there’s feeding and fussiness that deters even a skilled mom from wanting to make the trip.
Don’t worry. Place those orders and watch the trucks roll in. After all, that Snugapuppy wouldn’t have all those raving, five star reviews if there wasn’t something magical in his little, stuffed body, right?
3 A Clean Car
Okay, so at one time, your car held maybe a stray sweater or two, a hairbrush, and some looser paperwork from the office. Now, it’s practically a traveling nursery, and there’s more than a few dirty pacifiers, snack crumbs, and stuffed animals floating around in there. You’ll laugh at how particular you once were about your car now that you’re happy to just arrive somewhere without every passenger in tears.
The car tends to be neglected a lot of the time because it’s a magical, baby sleep machine. The vast majority of newborns find the vibration and motion of a car trip very soothing, and they almost always sleep at some point.
When returning home, a parent is more focused on getting the sleeping baby comfortably into the house than cleaning out the car and organizing the massive amount of stuff that traveled with baby. This means it stays in the car, and the cycle repeats...for months. Can’t find that matching baby sock or headband? Chances are, it’s in the car.
2 Eating Out
So, we don’t want to scare expectant parents too badly. You will absolutely enjoy dining out with your significant other, and life does continue on as normal...eventually. It’s just that many of the items on this list take a sabbatical when baby arrives. Eating out, or more specifically, peacefully eating a dinner out is one of those things.
Now, there is a slight honeymoon phase with a newborn, where they tend to enjoy the carseat and will lull new parents into a false sense of security in that they’ll sleep right through a meal out in a restaurant. However, after a couple of months, they tend to reject the idea of staying strapped in if there isn’t constant motion, meaning, dinner out is going to be interesting.
You’ll either be constantly passing baby around, entertaining them, or trying to shush their screams and babbling. Of course, it’s all adorable, but you’ll reminisce fondly about the times when your biggest concern while eating out was who would handle the tip.
1 Feeling There’s Something Missing
Okay, so we’ve covered several things that new moms will look back on fondly from their pre-baby days and get more than a few laughs out of, but we want to close with the most important one of all. Perhaps the most meaningful thing that a new mom will never experience in the same way again after baby is the feeling that something important is missing from her life.
Once that new baby arrives, it becomes perfectly clear that one of the most meaningful aspects of life is now a reality. There’s a piece of every mom’s heart that becomes filled to overflowing with love that she never knew was possible with the addition of any child. All of the mess, worry, and struggle suddenly seems insignificant when she looks into the shining eyes of her new baby.
After all, that little boy or girl couldn’t care less if the laundry is done, or the fridge is stocked. They want love and care. That’s all. The rest will take care of itself or happen in due time. You’re a mom, and you’re making it work, just like you always will!