I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Parenthood is gross. I mean, sure, it’s also amazing, fulfilling, and wonderful beyond your wildest dreams. But when you get past all those ooey-gooey feelings, you realize that at least once a day in your first three years (or more) of parenting, you’ll find yourself in truly disgusting situations.

For those of you just starting out, here’s what you have to look forward to.

1. Fishing Poop Out of the Tub

I had two big fears when it came to motherhood, and both involved poop. The first was the fear of pooping on the table in labor — a fear that was only quieted by the fact that I was never able to get pregnant myself. Yes, I gladly would have pooped on that table if it meant I could have been the one to carry and birth my daughter myself. But that wasn’t an option for me. Such is life.

But that other poop fear of mine? It came about when a friend told me her little one had recently pooped in the tub. She described in full detail the horror of having to deal with the baby, dig the floater out (with her bare hands), and scour the tub in bleach. I was never the same after that. I held my breath during each and every bath for eight months. And then, when we were out of town and staying in a hotel, it happened. My daughter let it rip in the bathtub, and up popped a floater seconds later... while I was bathing with her!

I may have cried...

But it got better. The next four times she did it in the year that followed, I swear, my reactions improved. Or at least, there were no more tears.

2. Having Boogers Randomly Handed to You

The nose-picking stage is the worst, especially when they go through a period of eating what they collect — and trust me, all kids do. So it’s exciting when they outgrow that and no longer go straight from nose to mouth. What’s less exciting is when the alternative becomes them waving booger-ed fingers at you at completely inopportune moments (like when you’re checking out at the grocery store) as they shout, “Here, Mommy!” over and over again until you shove the bottom of your shirt at them in frustration. You’ll wind up wearing that booger the rest of the day.

3. Realizing You Smell Like Spit-Up

I don’t know what the statistics are on how often new mothers shower. But I’m willing to bet that for most moms, it’s a whole lot less than they showered before motherhood. Let’s be honest: Simply finding the time to jump into the shower alone becomes a challenge. So because of this challenge, every mother will have at least a few instances of catching a whiff of something foul, only to realize…it’s her.

4. Getting Peed On

There seems to be this misconception that only parents of little boys will get peed on. Let me tell you, as the mother of a little girl, both sexes find a way to greet you with a golden shower every now and again.

5. Projectile Vomit in the Face

I am the best nurse you could hope for when it comes to just about any illness…as long as that illness doesn’t involve vomiting. When my daughter’s day care called me last year to say she was throwing up, I was pretty bummed. Of course, I went and got her. Of course, I took care of her and cuddled her in my bed all day. But when she woke up in my arms from a dead sleep and vomited right in my face? It was not my favorite mothering moment.

6. Being the Lucky Recipient of a Blowout

On my daughter’s adoption day, I dressed her in a beautiful dress and headed downtown to meet with the judge. We invited our closest friends and family members. Everyone was excited. Everyone was ready to celebrate. And everyone lost it when, in the middle of the proceeding, my daughter had the blowout to end all blowouts while sitting perfectly poised on my lap.

Poop was up her backside, all over my black dress, and wound up on each of her aunties as I frantically handed her back so they could take care of her while I tried to make it through the court proceedings. When everything was said and done, the judge agreed to take pictures with us, but refused to shake anyone’s hands.

7. Dirty Little Fingers, Shoved Straight in Your Mouth

My daughter had a visit to the dentist recently, and has since been obsessed with “checking” my teeth. Often that involves her abruptly prying my mouth open and sticking her fingers right in any time I dare to let my guard down. These are the same fingers that have been up her nose and down her pants countless times throughout the day. I gag a little just thinking about it every time.

8. Any Number of Bodily Fluids in Your Bed

Everything that’s already been mentioned? Yeah, plan on having it all happen in your bed at some point or another. Poop on your pillow, pee on your sheets, vomit right on your mattress — it’s inevitable. And you will never feel like your bed is clean enough again.

9. Discovering Forgotten Diapers

When my friend’s little boy was 2 years old, I changed my daughter in his room and threw her diaper in the diaper genie that was there. Realizing it was full, I decided I would do the kind thing and change it out for her. Only, when I went to pull what should have been the perfectly sealed collection of diapers out to take them to the trash, the bottom (which had apparently never been tied off) flew open. Diapers were released everywhere. It wouldn’t have been a huge deal, except they had used their diaper genie since the first month of their son’s life. Every diaper in there was nearly as old as he was. They had all been sitting in that bin, only haphazardly sealed, rotting into a smell I couldn’t even begin to describe. We’re talking eyes watering, actually throwing up in the cleaning process, disgusting.

We had to open all the windows in the house, and the smell lingered for days.

10. Diaper Digging

I’ll never forget the day my daughter came home with a note from day care requesting that she not be sent to school in dresses for a while. The problem? She had discovered how to start digging in her diaper, and she was producing prizes to show off to the other kids.

I’m told it could have been worse. Some kids will actually paint their walls in poop if given the chance. But the thought of my daughter going to a corner and digging through her diaper really skeeved me out, nonetheless.

The Takeaway

Let’s face facts, no one makes it through parenthood unscathed. Even if you haven’t experienced all of these for yourself, you probably have your own, equally disgusting, stories to share.

It’s a good thing your kids are so cute!