Thinking back to the childhoods adults survived, they can probably all remember some of those strange things their mothers did that they didn’t quite understand (or, more accurately, that embarrassed them). Maybe she asked to stop at rest stops more than her 4-year-old did. Maybe she needed lessons on how to use the latest technology thing….or even just her email. Everyone can probably pinpoint one or two memories where they rolled their eyes at their moms at how lame they were.
Jokes on them.
Here they are, all these years later, doing the same things their mothers once did. They now understand when she ran around, she’d have to stop for a minute to make sure she didn’t wet her pants. Those humiliating worn-in pajamas she insisted on wearing every day are the equivalent to the yoga pants and oversized sweaters everyone loves deeply today. Let’s all take a moment to wonder what our kids will think of the Ugg boots their parents wear, despite the fact that it is not 2004 anymore (nor cold out), but they can’t let go of that furry and fuzzy warmth.
Motherhood is a club that is filled with comfort over fashion, skin masks that would scare kids if they walked in on their moms, and immunity to cleaning up vomit and other bodily fluids. Moms are living the dream, ladies!
Aside from the innate ability to humiliate our kids, there are a lot of other moments only moms will truly understand.
20 The Specialty Makeup And Skincare Disagreement With Your Husband
Remember the good old days of college when you could throw on some inexpensive concealer, after an all-nighter, and still have glowing skin the next morning? Those were days!
Now, every night is an all-nighter because, even if your kiddo sleeps through the night, you still manage to wake up at the slightest out-of-the-ordinary sound they make while your partner continues to snore. Let's be honest, his snoring is what ultimately makes it even more difficult to fall back asleep. No amount of clearance-rack concealer can hide those dark circles anymore.
So, the time has come to start investing more in everyday makeup and the likelihood of a skincare routine is daunting.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, 50% of pregnant women experience the “mask of pregnancy.” No, this isn’t that elusive glow that everyone seems to talk about (which, frankly, I’m not entirely convinced wasn’t just my constant state of sweating, but anyway..), this is Melasma and Chloasma. These are little dark spots, usually on the forehead and cheeks, that appear due to an increase in hormones which lead to an increase in pigmentation.
Whether you experience this during pregnancy or not is based entirely on genetics, but for that lucky 50%, it makes skin extra sensitive to sunlight, which can make the spots even darker. Then, once the baby comes, a lot of these spots will fade, but not all of them, so moms are left with an ever-present reminder of pregnancy (and sometimes, a never-ending sensitivity to sun).
Some moms may want to rock those spots and dark circles as a sign of strength and endurance, but some may not. This is when the pricy skincare products come into play, and typically when the “you spent HOW much on makeup?!” fights start with husbands.
19 Late Night Fun 2.0
As a mom, late nights become a whole new adventure. If they don’t consist of feedings or a sick child who won’t let you put them down, they are these glorious pockets of time that you can do whatever it is you want. The possibilities are endless!
Even better? When grandma and grandpa take your little one for a whole night to give you and your partner a break, and a night to enjoy yourselves together. As soon as that offer comes, you may start mentally scanning your closet trying to remember if there is anything in there that is appropriate for a night out (or at least something that doesn’t smell like spit-up.)
The truth, though, is that you can dream up those possibilities and nights on the town, but any mom knows that’s not what typically happens.
If you get a night to yourself, chances are good you’re using that time to light some candles, read your Magnolia Journal Quarterly Issue that is two-quarters old, before snuggling up on the couch to catch up on several episodes of This Is Us and Grey's Anatomy. And, truth be told, you’re lucky if you make it through one episode of each.
If you have a night alone with your partner, you’ll likely get a good dinner date in with your 6:00 pm reservation. Then, you’ll come home to a romantic evening of Netflix and Chill….chill meaning looking at each other at 9:00 pm and determine you’re both ready for bed.
Don’t worry, mama, you’re still cool, it’s just that sleep is cooler.
18 Target Runs
Oh man, Target runs. That store has the ability to know the hearts of so many different people. Need some food? Super Target to the rescue! Need a command hook? Target. Need an outfit for a last minute meeting or a date? Target’s got you. Feeling crafty? There’s a Target aisle for that.
No, this is not an ad for Target. Not that we’d mind, that is one product everyone can get behind selling.
Once you become a mom, Target is a new sanctuary of its' own.
If you have to bring your kiddo, there are at least four separate toys you can grab from the dollar section on your way in that will occupy him throughout your adventure. If you have to buy them because they’ve formed an attachment, whatever, it’s $4 and that is less than a babysitter by far.
Every now and then, though, moms get to go alone. This is the equivalent to a spa day for some of us. Every mom has her Target routine down. Maybe it starts with a Starbucks in the Grocery side of the store, or maybe it’s the book section on the home/misc side of the store. Whatever it is, it’s time to herself to weave through the aisles, maybe with a podcast on, and decide that today is the day she’s going to completely re-do her kids’ bathroom.
Target, please don’t ever leave us. Moms everywhere depend on you.
17 Gym Trips
Gym trips used to mean a solid chunk of time either first thing in the morning or right after work to clear your head, get in some cardio, and maybe take a few selfies in the locker room. Now, if they are even a thing, they are at 4:00 am before anyone in the house is awake, or at 9:00 pm when the kids are asleep and you can squeeze in a solid 20 minutes before passing out for the night.
A lot of moms don’t even have time to go to an actual gym if their kiddos are little, and their gym doesn’t offer childcare (which, honestly, why don’t they all?).
And, unless she’s a dedicated runner, that jogging stroller is only building dust and spiderwebs in her garage because she used it once and realized that running with a stroller uphill is hard.
There are websites like Parenting.com, who offer quick solutions for busy moms to get a workout in at homes such as chair dips, modified push-ups, and other exciting floor exercises. There are also the YouTube videos that promise an hour’s worth of treadmill cardio in one 20 minutes HIT workout (which I am convinced was created specifically by and for busy parents).
Some moms really rock the workout routine, whether they need it for their mental health, physical health, or just because it’s an excuse to get out of the house for a little bit, they make it just as much of a priority as raising the kids. Those moms are the ones taking the 4:30 am spin classes. The rest of us, doing the 10 minute modified push-ups, we salute you, ladies!
16 Hiding Out In The Pantry
Once upon a time, there was a woman who sat down to eat her lunch and got to enjoy every single bite all for herself. She took her time and did that whole “eat slowly so you can feel the texture in your mouth and soak in all the flavors” thing experts say to do. She even sat there, after the meal for a minute, before cleaning up only her own mess and going on with her day, just to sit there.
That’s the kind of stuff Disney should be making movies about because that is the stuff of fairytales.
That mythical woman was definitely not a mom to a youngster, because if she were the story would be about how she sat beside her child, who had the exact same meal as she did, and shared every bite with him because he wanted to be like her and eat off her plate. Then, once the food was finished, the child likely threw his plate on the floor and looked at her to clean it up because he’s a child and shouldn’t be expected to do such things. That woman also likely unintentionally lost weight that year on the phenomenon known as “the toddler diet.”
Additionally, that fairytale makes mention of when she just wanted a couple Oreos all for herself and opted to wiggle into her small pantry, shut the door behind her, cozy up next to the broom, and enjoy every bite of that processed cookie goodness. Which we’ve all done to some degree.
15 Can't Forget To Bring The Squad To The Bathroom
Remember when “hey, do you want to come to the bathroom with me?” was a question you’d ask your girlfriends during a night out? It would be fun to make it a group thing where everyone reapplied lipstick and made friends with the other random girls in the bathroom doing the same. Sometimes, you even got some really sweet compliments on your outfit from those girls, or they shared the store where they got their cute shoes.
Now, the question is more, “do you need to go to the bathroom because I’m going and this is your only chance” which is quickly followed up by a back and forth about how even if your two-year-old doesn’t have to go right now, she should probably at least “try”.
If you were smart enough to lock the door before you went in, your visitor is screaming from the outside and sticking her fingers through the gap between the door and the floor.
Even better, there is no question or conversation at all. You are just in your own home minding your business when you decide you need to use the restroom. You casually stroll in and in about 3 seconds later, you have someone in there with you.
Gone are the days of compliments and fashion inspiration, because now the only thing your toddler says to you on a group bathroom trip is something like “here, mom, make sure you wipe your booty clean like you tell me to do!”
14 Vomit. Everywhere.
Everyone warns pregnant women of the spit-up they are about to encounter once the baby arrives. So, moms stock up on burp cloths to help them manage that cute, but gross, little white stuff that comes up after a quiet feeding. Then, the baby comes along and that “little stuff” isn’t so little as it is projecting out of the baby’s mouth and into your hair, on your shirt, and all over your furniture. Suddenly that burp cloth seems pointless.
Once the infant stage is over, the “spit-up” becomes full on vomit, and the first time a stomach bug takes over your kid’s daycare class, it’s game over.
There is no burp cloth in the world that is strong enough to handle situations like this.
So, you do what you never thought you’d do, you clean up someone else’s vomit entirely by yourself. Maybe you walked into your kid’s room, only to find out he quietly threw up all over his crib, and the walls, and is now sleeping in it while it’s crusted to the side of his face and in his hair. Or, maybe he’s on your lap and, in an attempt to minimize the mess, you try to catch the vomit with your bare hands. Whatever it is, this is a moment you would never have imagined.
Then, two days later when you are inevitably sick with the same virus, no one is there to clean up after you because you’re a grown-up who is expected to make it to the bathroom like a responsible person.
13 Does This Even Match?
Before kids, if you were into fashion, you likely picked out your outfits with strategy. The colors coordinated perfectly, your accessories were on trend, and no one rocked a stiletto like you did. Oh and clutch purses. Remember those? So cute, so tiny, so perfect to not have to carry Sophie the Giraffe in!
Nowadays, it’s comfort for the win. Suddenly, those stilettos are collecting dust, if they haven’t already been donated.
Your accessories consist of stud earrings your toddler won’t pull out of your ear, and a Fitbit so you can feel like running after your kid all day constitutes as a workout (because let’s be honest, it is).
Clothes are no longer trendy, they are classic (white t-shirts will forever be a style staple) and they are practical. Your neckline is higher and your hemline is lower because you have to pick up a kid constantly and you don’t want to give everyone at the park a reason to take your picture and shame you on social media while you’re doing it. The holes in your jeans are real because you wore through the knees while crawling around with your tot, and if you gazed into your closet you’d see only neutrals because they always work together so there is no strategy involved in matching.
Back to those clutch purses? Well, maybe again someday. For now, it’s over-sized totes and crossbody bags large enough to hold tablets, diapers, wipes, toys, and goldfish crackers for days.
12 Breaking The “Bad” Food Promise
In a world of organic, grass-fed, non-GMO deliciousness, prepackaged foods and “fast” foods have become less and less popular. During your pregnancy, maybe you ignored those cravings for that Laffy Taffy you used to eat in high school but hasn't been made in a decade, so you would have to search the internet high and low to find it (hypothetically speaking….of course). Maybe you promised yourself that you’d raise your kid on all that is good and nutrient in the world and that not even a Dorito would touch the lips of the angel growing inside of you.
If you’re still that mom today, kudos! If you’re not, join the club.
Perhaps it was early on, maybe a road trip and your kid who could finally eat solids was just not pleased with what you packed, so you gave in and got some sugary, made-for-kids, yogurt. Or, maybe it was when they were a little older and well past hungry at the same moment you were well past having patience, and suddenly, the golden arches appeared on the horizon.
Whenever it was, you broke that promise to yourself. Then, you likely broke it again. Just like a robber or criminal, each time got a little easier than the last. Next thing you know, your weekly meal plan has “takeout” written in for Wednesday night and every packed lunch contains a prepackaged snack because it’s so easy.
But, at least the chicken nuggets in your freezer are all organic, so don’t beat yourself up too much!
11 Literally Crying Over Spilled Milk
Before having kids, the phrase “no use crying over spilled milk” seemed like some age-old wisdom about not allowing things that have already happened to worry you or get you down. It was deep and philosophical.
After having a kid, you likely realized this is not some “read between the lines” kind of thing. This is real, and it's been going on for over an hour. Because few things are as soul-crushing as a bottle of breastmilk or formula spilling all over or accidentally being left out and going bad.
Even though preachy scientists on the internet act like breast milk is easy to come by, there is a reason moms call it “liquid gold”.
It’s tough to get and even tougher to sustain a supply for a lot of moms. There are websites, books, and even careers dedicated to getting the most breast milk out of your body as you possibly can. The Bump, for example, has articles like “How to Increase Milk Supply” because not every mom can feed her baby adequately with her supply. So, if she spills an ounce of it, tears are warranted.
The formula, though in greater supply, is expensive! It can cost a family more than $100 a month to feed their baby with formula. So, whether a mom can’t produce enough of her own milk or she has opted to formula feed for other reasons, wasting that expensive powder is not something on the top of her “makes me happy” list.
It’s okay to cry over spilled milk, even if there is no use in it.
10 Waking Up With A Disney Song In Your Head
There was a time when “It’s A Small World After All” was like nails on a chalkboard, because the minute it played, it stayed in the heads of people for days (also, sorry if this article has done just that). The “Small World” ride at Disney is one that many parents are reluctant to ride because the song is played on a loop throughout the entire ride.
Toddlers don’t seem to mind hearing the same song three-million times over, though. In fact, they don’t mind watching the same movie over and over and over.
According to ScienceABC, toddlers like to watch the same movie over and over because it allows them time to fully understand what’s going on. Also, they know what to expect with the movie, and they enjoy seeing their expectations get met when they get to watch it. Repetition is one of the best ways for toddlers to truly master a skill, so watching a movie on a loop allows them to master the concept of the movie.
Despite the benefits to their development, this fun-fact isn’t so easy for moms. By the time a toddler has “mastered” their movie, moms can usually say every word by heart and often find themselves singing the songs even when their kid is not around.
Nothing like waking up in the morning and singing “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” to yourself while you’re getting ready, only to have the song never leave your head for the rest of the day.
9 Borrowing Cash From Kids That You Put In
At your baby shower, it’s likely you received one, if not many, piggy banks for your little kid. You probably placed that bank perfectly on your baby’s shelf and started adding coins to it, then later every $20 bill your baby got from a family member for his birthday or milestone went right in there. Eventually, you lost track of how much your kid had in there and maybe even wondered if he was filled with more dough than the Pillsbury man himself.
Then, the pizza guy came with your dinner and you suddenly realized you didn’t pay for it online (like you usually do) and he’s standing there waiting for $21.45 plus tip.
You do the unthinkable, you steal from your child’s piggy bank.
Much like the fast food scenario, this becomes easier over time. “Oh, your great-grandpa sent you $25 to Target? Well, I’ll pick you up a $5 shirt and myself that cute throw pillow I’ve been eyeing.”
Look, you don’t have to be proud of it, but you can accept it. Moms everywhere dip into things now and then. Just maybe keep your online-shopping-addicted fingers off your kiddo’s college funds and be sure there’s still enough in the piggy bank for some new pants if an unexpected growth spurt comes.
8 Baby Fever Round 2 (or 3, 4, 5)
Every mom knows that hot/cold feeling towards her kids. One minute her toddler is snuggling up on her reading a book, and the next she's throwing herself on the floor, kicking and screaming, because the book is over and it’s time for bed. Moms are kept on their toes, that’s for sure. And, once that little girl is in bed, mom comes downstairs and exhaustedly sits on the couch to ask her husband,
"Maybe we only have one kid?"
Then, her best friend has a newborn and she goes to visit her in the hospital, with a “mommy survival kit” and infant toy in-toe, and she holds that 7 lbs infant all fresh from his mommy’s belly. There he is, tiny, quiet, no opinions, and just snuggly. When he does cry, it's so soft and small compared to the cry of a strong-willed toddler. And his diapers? Well, they are the size of her kid’s foot, so how much stuff can really get in there?
This is called mom amnesia which is the gateway to baby fever.
All of the sudden, she’s forgotten those late nights, begging her infant to just fall asleep. She’s remembering how overwhelmed she was at the time and how “next time it won’t feel that way,” since she’s already successfully done it once.
It’s 18 years to life, mama! Don’t let the new baby smell fool you!
7 Paying for an empty snack package at the grocery store
Ever picked up your kid from school/daycare and had to stop at the grocery store on the way home, while he is hangry and wants the entire store to know it?
These are the kinds of moments that make that $10 fee for grocery delivery seem like a steal to moms. Every mom has had that moment where she took her precious angel to the store for what she thought was going to be a quick trip but turned out to take longer than expected.
The store is crowded, they’re out of something essential for dinner so now she has to come up with a whole new meal idea, and her toddler is hungry.
So, she does what she has to. She opens a fruit and vegetable puree pouch and hands it to him to keep him occupied so she can get out of there. Then, when she rolls up to the cash register, she hands over the remnants of the snack and apologizes.
The first time this happens, mom is likely a little ashamed and feels like she stole from the store. Over time, though, she realizes this is a reality for most moms and the cashier at Target isn’t going to ban her from the store because her kid was hungry (especially because her shopping alone helps pay that stores’ electric bill every month).
6 Blasting The Stereo When You’re In The Car Alone
Kidz Bop. What can be said about it? Sure, it’s nice because kids can listen to popular songs without hearing profanity or suggestive lyrics. Maybe it makes mom happy too because she can pretend like she’s listening to the actual Taylor Swift song instead of the kids' version of it about an old friend instead of an ex-boyfriend.
However, you haven’t lived as a mom if you haven’t taken advantage of those times you’re in the car by yourself. Maybe you celebrate and turn on your “My Favorite Murder” podcast because it’s hilarious and you’re a grown-up and are allowed to listen to that kind of content.
Or, maybe you find a fantastic Pandora station and turn down the windows while you sing, “FROM THE WINDOW TO THE WALL!” while flailing your arms around.
That’s usually the point that the guy in the car next to you, looks at you, looks at the empty car seat in your backseat, then looks back at you like you’re a crazy person.
Well, that guy is not a mom. You are. But at this moment, you don’t have to be on mom-mode and you can sing whatever you want, just as long as it's not Kidz Bop.
5 Regretting The Days Where All You Wanted Was “Mommy”
My daughter’s first word was “Coco”, which is the name of our family cat. Our cat who doesn’t even like her all that much. Our cat who runs away from her if there is any sign she wants to try to practice petting “gently”.
No big deal, kid, I just gave you life and continue to keep you alive, but whatever, love on the cat, it’s fine.
Most moms have had this kind of moment. One of those “really, you’re going to say DADA first?! Do you know that you put my body through?!” meltdowns. Many moms have to wait through a lot of words before their kid finally looks up and says “mama!” When that moment comes, it will feel like angels singing.
Then, about seven days later, the glitter and glamour of that milestone has faded and now the word “mama” is almost like nails on a chalkboard. Do they want something? Mama! Are they angry? Mama! Are they hungry? Mama! Somehow, “mama” equates to pretty much everything and never seems to be followed up with, “you’re doing such a great job, and I love you so much, thank you for everything.”
Where’s the cat when I need her, now?
4 Smartphone Mishaps
Remember that time before kids when you had a functioning brain and memory? Good times.
Now, it’s asking a lot to keep everyone in the house alive, let alone to respond to text-happy friends. There’s nothing quite like the first time one of your best friends (oftentimes, she is not yet a mom) calls you out for “never responding” to her anymore or for “being flakey” because you forgot about your plans again. It’s a tough blow, honestly, because she’s right.
Seemingly overnight, you’ve turned into one of those people who looks at a text, processes it, thinks of a response and goes on with your life.
Only to find out about three days later that you never actually responded to the text and you’ve left your mother-in-law hanging when she was simply asking what size shoes your kid wears.
You may not have responded to a text or email because your toddler, who has an unhealthy obsession with your phone if you’re being honest, has once again stolen that shiny handheld computer and discarded it somewhere once she was over it. Then, two days later, as you’re pulling out your boots to brave the rain, you find your phone nestled nicely in your Hunters. In that time, you missed 28 texts from friends, 5 instant messages from your boss, and 236 calls from your mom (she easily gets worried).
Don’t worry, though, your friends and mom will understand, but you may want to get a backup communication system with your boss.
3 Only Buying Quiet Toys, Said Every First-Time Mom
Before becoming a mom, you likely loved to buy your nieces, nephews, and friends’ kids toys for birthdays and events. You probably had to google what an age-appropriate gift was, and then you’d pick from the top-ten list with so much pride. Then, your friends would open the gift on behalf of the child and suddenly, they give you the death stare. Let's not forget that instead of saying thank you, they’d rather say, “seriously? I’ll get you back for this.”
Apparently, maracas and tambourines aren’t such a great gift for a toddler. Who knew?
Well, now you know, because your toddler not only received the maracas and tambourine from your vindictive friends full of revenge, but she got the deluxe edition with a drum and harmonica, too. So, not only do you have to deal with the war that has developed between you and your best friend (do you pay back again, or wave the white flag?) but you have to deal with the musical stylings of a one-year-old.
Suddenly, toys start to “break” and “go missing” in your home. As your toddler cries, you may offer some comfort with her favorite stuffed animal, as you hide the talking teapot behind your back because it needs to be “fixed”, too.
Motherhood is apparently just slowly morphing into the Grinch who steals toys to be fixed in the “workshop” later.
2 Lounging In Your Car
In your newlywed days, after your yoga class, you’d likely rush home to get every minute with your new husband. You’d share news about your days, laugh about current events, and smile as you slowly made a delicious dinner together.
Okay, that may be a rose-colored-glass version of the past, but chances are good you’d head home when you could because why in the world would anyone hang out in the car when they can go home to hang out there?
Why? Well, because they have a kid, that’s why.
Moms know there is truth to that whole “witching” hour people speak of.
It’s the hour where dinner is served (and rarely eaten), baths are had, and bedtime comes. Some nights, that all goes smooth and others it's like Lucifer himself has taken human form through your toddler. One solid hour of this spectacle can leave parents wondering why they decided to do this whole child-raising-thing in the first place.
So, that woman in the parking lot after yoga class, at the grocery store, or casually enjoying the ridiculous line at the post-office, is likely a mom knowing that if she just hangs out for ten extra minutes, by the time she rolls home, the witching hour will be over and she will have avoided it for a night.
1 Realizing Your Mom Only Wanted Online Time As A Gift
It’s true that we don’t understand the love our mothers gave us until we are mothers ourselves. If you're lucky enough to still have your mom around, new moms can be found almost-literally at their moms’ feet, thanking them for all they’ve done.
This is also the time when we realize what our moms actually wanted for birthdays, mother’s days, and other celebrations in their honor: time off.
For some reason, society has made us all think that moms want to spend a day with their kids pampering them. That’s probably true when the kiddos are teenagers who won’t spend time with their moms unless forced to. But moms of littles? Not so much.
We now realize that while our moms loved our tiny handprint cards, and dandelion bouquets, they then wanted our dads to take us out of the house for the day so they could sleep and enjoy the day without tiny humans crawling all over them.
Just another thing to lay at our moms' feet and apologize for. Also, maybe that would be a good time to ask if she’d like to spend time with her grandkids on Mother’s Day weekend…..you know, as a gift to her, not yourself, of course.