Lack of sleep, forgetting your own name, smelling vaguely of spit-up at all times — must be a new parent! Here are 29 things only a new parent would understand.
1. “Wait, you’re just sending us home with this baby? Alone?!”
2. Actually begging your mother-in-law to visit — she can help with the baby!
3. Checking 327 times an hour to make sure your newborn is breathing.
4. Driving 12 mph on the way home from hospital. On the Interstate.
5. Exhaustion so great you forget your own name. And your partner’s name too.
6. Opening a diaper gleefully so you can discover what color your baby’s poop is this time.
7. Feeling yourself up multiple times a day to determine from which side you last fed your baby.
8. The terror of your first postpartum bowel movement.
9. Baby’s first smile resulting in a high better than any known drug.
10. Keeping a running mental tally of whose turn it is to get up with the baby at 3 a.m.
11. Falling asleep standing up in the shower.
12. The ease of discussing your child’s bodily fluids with perfect strangers. Even childless strangers.
13. Willingly giving up happy hour to go home and smell your baby’s head.
14. Keeping a spreadsheet of how many times per day your new baby pees, poops, and eats.
15. Being trapped on the couch under a sleeping baby you are terrified to wake.
16. Choosing sleep over sex.
17. Spending an entire month’s salary on a stroller.
18. Screaming “IT’S NOT MY TURN” to get up with the baby in the middle of the night.
19. Filling a one-gigabyte memory card with photos from your baby’s first four days of life.
20. Asking visitors to wash and sanitize their hands — and maybe don a hazmat suit — before holding the new baby.
21. Experiencing the fear at least every three minutes that you are doing it all wrong.
22. Refusing to believe this wee baby will ever grow up to be a messy, sullen teenager who thinks you know nothing.
23. Spending hours contentedly watching your baby sleep.
24. The excitement of meeting someone with a baby the exact same age as yours, despite having nothing else in common.
25. Stealing alone time by going to the grocery store and leaving the baby with your partner.
26. Leaving your cart in aisle seven and running out of the store because you miss your baby so much.
27. Trying to remember when you started calling your partner “Mommy” or “Daddy” instead of their proper name.
28. Spending your entire date night discussing preschool options, despite the fact preschool is three years away.
29. Deciding things are so great with this baby that you’re totally going to have another.
Amy Sprenger is the author of “Yes Mommy: The Mayhem and Madness of Not Saying No” “Over My Dead Potty” and “Baby Bumps: The Almost, Barely, Not-Quite-True Story of Surviving Pregnancy, Bed Rest and One Batshit Crazy Family”. A mom to three, Amy blogs about parenting at snarkymommy.com.