Have kids, they said. It will be great, they said. Motherhood is so beautiful, they said.
You know what they didn’t say?
Being a mom can be seriously gross sometimes.
Yes, having kids is beautiful and fun and rewarding. But, day to day, raising kids falls far short of the glamour of those stock photos you find in picture frames at Kohl’s. There are days that you can’t help but think: “what exactly did I sign up for?”
You know, like that one time my son, who was about a year old at the time, projectile vomited all over me and himself. And I mean, ALL over.
As you could hear (yes, HEAR) the puke drip off both of us onto the hardwood floor, I looked to my husband for guidance. He shuffled us into the shower, fully clothed, leaving a trail of vomit all the way to the bathroom. We got my son quickly undressed and washed up and I passed him over to my husband to dress up. And there I stood in the shower, still in puke covered clothes that were now sopping wet.
On the bright side, my son felt a lot better after that. I, on the other hand, gagged my way through cleaning myself up.
If you’re nodding your head knowing you had one (or two or three or three hundred) of these types of moments you’re in good company. To prove it, I started asking other moms for their cringeworthy parenting moments.
Reading these will make you laugh. They’ll make you cry from laughing. And then you will probably pee yourself a little, because you’re laughing. You know, because growing a kid for 9 months and giving birth has done wonders for your bladder control (let’s add that to the list of gross parenting moments)…
“My husband was with our eldest son at his first Red Sox game and I was home with our other children. My one year old, who was in his pack ‘n play, had evidently pooped. However, he had proceeded to remove his own diaper and was ‘poop painting’ the white walls and curtains in his reach. I definitely drew the short end of that marital stick that day.”
“When my son was about 6 years old, he came into our bedroom around midnight, stood in the middle of the bed and informed us that he felt sick. Seconds later he threw up all over the bed and us. He was sick the rest of the night. Not our finest hour.”
“I have 3 young boys. They all share a room. My 7 year old came down stairs one morning and told me that he knows for sure that pee tastes disgusting. I was then informed that my 4 year old had to pee in the middle of the night but didn’t feel like coming downstairs so peed in his empty water bottle. My 7 year old discovered this the hard (and disgusting) way. My 4 year old simply said, ‘you shouldn’t have drank out of my bottle!’ “
“My daughter spit up all over me at my sister-in-law’s house, an hour away from home. It was in my hair, down my neck and shirt and down my chest and in the cups of my bra. I cleaned up the best I could but had to wear it for another 3 hours before we got home.”
“I was distracted with the baby upstairs, and my older kids (including the non-potty trained one) pooped. Both boys decided that this is the day they were going to wipe themselves. When I came downstairs, everyone and everything was covered in poop. The worst part? They were so pleased with themselves that instead of retching and yelling, I had to act proud and hand out potty treats.”
“My adorable 1-year old went up to everyone at a party with a bowl. And they all gave him blueberries, all afternoon. On the way home, on a hot, hot summer evening, he threw up all over his 4 year old sister. We were on the highway, just an exit away from our house. She wailed in horror until we arrived home. When we got home, my husband took our 1 year old out of the car, still attached to his car seat. He told our 4-year old to stand still and then he hosed them both down.”
“My daughter pooped in her diaper sometime over night and then proceeded to pee quite a bit. Fast forward to the next morning when I walk into the room and hit by the most offensive smell ever. That poop had liquified and had seeped into sheets, blankets, and clothes. Before walking into this mess, I saw her licking her fingers in the monitor.”
“When our twins turned 3, we started potty training. By the third day, I was so excited that it really seemed to be clicking! One morning the girls were playing with their Elefun game. I was busy putting laundry away when one of our girls ran into the bedroom all excited to tell me that her sister did potty! Of course I went running to the bathroom, her but the potty it was empty. Perplexed, I found my just-went-potty daughter in the living room, as proud as can be, exclaiming, ‘I go potty!’ To my shock she is pointing to the Elefun game. She had taken the head off of the elephant and used his body as a potty. Needless to say we had to say goodbye to Elefun that day.”
“I was grocery shopping while holding my seven month old daughter on my hip. I suddenly felt something warm and looked down to notice that she had exploded out of her diaper. I was now covered in poop.”
“My husband and I took the kids to the beach. The kids were looking for seashells and picking up rocks and throwing them in the ocean. I notice my little one throw a rock into the water that landed rather suspiciously. It didn’t make quite the same ‘plop’ as the other rocks. As the waves retracted, I walked up to where his ‘rock’ had dropped. Sure enough, I realized he had just chucked a dog turd into the ocean. He was going through a ‘hands in the mouth constantly’ phase, so I ran him to the bathroom. Three hand-washes and two applications of hand sanitizer later, we were back on the beach, throwing rocks into the ocean.”
Look, no one said being a parent would be glamorous, despite what the parenting magazines tell you. We have all caught ourselves wondering how long we’ve been wearing our shirt or how many days have lapsed since we washed our hair. Then there are moments like the aforementioned, the ones that are slightly traumatizing and don’t (and won’t) leave your memory anytime soon.
Don’t worry, though, because if this little research project proves anything, it is that you are NOT alone. And let’s face it: it’s all worth it, every disgusting moment is worth it because, in the end, kids are pretty amazing. Plus, those moments for some great stories to tell your future grandkids.