1. No More Diapers
This is a big one for many reasons. First of all, diapers and baby wipes can put a dent in your bank account. It’s ridiculous how expensive they are. If you weren’t a coupon clipper before, you are one now. Changing a diaper six times a day is not pleasant for either the parent or the baby, especially if it is a “blowout.” You parents of newborns know exactly what I’m talking about. If you are unfamiliar with the term however, a blowout is when a baby has such a big bowel movement in their diaper, it overflows. Their poop gets everywhere and I mean everywhere. Besides the usual spot, their poop gets on their clothes, back, and legs. When you remove their adorable (now poop stained) onesie and clean their bottom with 20+ baby wipes, the poop may even get in their hair and on your hand. Yuck! Don’t forget about the poop that got on the changing table too. Looks like you will have to give your baby a bath and start the laundry early today! (God bless you parents that use cloth diapers.) At least the smell isn’t that bad when babies are breastfed though. It’s actually kind of sweet smelling. (My daughter’s poop smelled like yogurt. Seriously.) Once babies begin to chow down on solid food though, watch out! You’ll want to take a clothespin to your nose for those doosies. God help you if you are out in public when your baby has a blowout. My little one had her biggest blowout while sitting in a high chair at The Cheesecake Factory. I will spare you the details, but let’s just say my husband and I made sure we tipped our waitress very well that evening.
2. No More Breastfeeding
This is another big one. At first, breastfeeding hurts like you won’t believe. The nurses say it shouldn’t hurt, but it sure did for me! Your nipples become ultra sensitive. If a soft and loose shirt I was wearing simply grazed my nipple, it would hurt. If your baby didn’t have a proper latch, that would hurt even more. And the leaking! Oh my God, the leaking! I stained so many of my shirts that way. Because of that, I bought enough nursing pads for an army. Your breasts start to have a mind of their own too. They know when it is time for your baby to eat. Every two hours, whether your baby is with you or not, milk is going to start dripping from you. You can be in an important meeting at work and then all of a sudden, you start to feel that weird sensation in your breasts. You know it’s coming. It’s almost like you can hear your breastmilk saying to you, “Ready or not, here I come!” Your breasts become uncomfortably hard and then it happens. You are now leaking milk right there in front of your boss and coworkers. Oh, the joy of motherhood! Don’t get me wrong. Breastfeeding is beautiful, healthy, and natural and it is a wonderful way to bond with your baby. For that first year of your baby’s life though (or longer if you decide to), you will literally feel like a cow. You will feel like your baby is attached to your breast (because she is) and you will feel like you can’t get anything done (because you can’t). Let me tell you though, it is all worth it. Because of you, you have a happy and healthy baby. Nothing beats that.
3. No More Sleepless Nights
There is nothing quite like rocking a baby to sleep and watching them peacefully drift off to baby dreamland. Now do it again at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, and then every two hours after that. I guarantee you will wake up in the morning (if you even want to call it “waking up”) feeling the same way you did in college when you pulled an all-nighter before your final. Your posture and voice will resemble a zombie’s and if you are a mother, you are now what is commonly known as a “mombie.” Whether it is because your baby is hungry, teething, running a fever, congested, or just wants to be held for the sake of it, you have to be there for them 24/7. Ready or not, you are on duty day and night. Welcome to parenthood! Eventually though, your baby won’t wake as often and then will end up sleeping through the night (Knock on wood). Your baby will get a good night’s rest and so will you, your other kids, your pet, your neighbors, etc… finally. Sweet dreams!
4. No More Potty Training
Congratulations! Your child is now entering the wonderful world of potty training! You may no longer be running to Target for diapers and wipes anymore, but you will now be investing in items you never dreamed of purchasing, like a Potty Watch, Tinkle Targets, or an iPotty (Please don’t buy this one). You will bring out all the bells and whistles to get your child to use the potty. Rewards chart and stickers? Check. Jar of M&Ms? Got ’em. You will have all the Pull-Ups “Potty Dance” moves down to a T and know the entire dialogue of Potty Time With Elmo. Let’s focus on what is really going on here though. You now have the sole responsibility of teaching a human being how to recognize the feeling to go peepee and poopoo, sit on a toilet (or pee standing up if you have been blessed with a boy), wipe themselves, remember to flush the toilet, and properly wash and dry their hands afterwards. This is much harder than it sounds, because it takes a lot of consistency and positive reinforcement on the parents’ part. If your child is like most children, it will take some time for your child to get everything down. I actually wouldn’t hold off on getting rid of diapers entirely, because your child is going to wet the bed… a lot. Even though they may use the potty like a champ during the day, they may still require a bedtime diaper at night. Nothing wrong with that! It means less mess for you, because let’s face it. Who wants to change soiled bedsheets and a cranky wet toddler at three o’clock in the morning?
5. No More Annoying Movies and Music
If I have to hear Caillou’s annoying voice one more time, I’m going to start smashing dishes. Seriously, that kid is the whiniest child on television. And why is he bald? He’s four! I don’t know why, but shows geared toward toddlers are the equivalent of hearing nails scratching a chalkboard for parents. They are filled with loud and obnoxious characters and sounds, but kids love them and can’t get enough of them. When you need to get bills paid or dinner on the table and can’t give your child the attention they want, those shows are a lifesaver. Thankfully, children grow out of those “baby shows” and begin to watch much more tolerable television shows and movies. Now that my daughter is six years old, we can actually have Movie Nights with a movie the whole family enjoys. (One of our favorite films to watch together is Maleficent.) The same thing goes for music. The early years at my house were filled with “The Wheels On The Bus,” “Five Little Ducks,” and the like. It was so much fun to sing those songs with my kids and watch their little faces light up. Their favorites were definitely the songs with movements, like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “I’m A Little Teapot.” Years and years of this can take a toll on a parent though and drive them a little crazy. For the longest time, the Frozen soundtrack was in my car, because it was the only music my daughters wanted to listen to and I’d much rather listen to “Let It Go” ten times in a row than my kids whining and complaining. Finally though, my daughters allowed me to show them new “cool Mom” music. They may not know what the lyrics are about (which is great), but my six year old’s current favorite song is “Love Me Like You Do” and my three year old’s is “All About That Bass.” I love it! I can now listen to an actual radio station in the car and the best part of all this is I no longer have to sing the boy part of “Love Is An Open Door.” Ha! Take that, Hans!