Moments in Early Parenthood That Make You Realize: Holy Crap, I'm a MOM

Mom Moment 51

I have a friend who had her first baby a few months ago and she recently shared something that sounded very familiar to me. She said, "I still can't believe I'm a MOM. I mean, I do and I don't, you know? I spend my entire day taking care of my kid and then once my husband is home I'll drive somewhere by myself and I'll glance in the rearview mirror and it's like, WTF, there's a CARSEAT back there."

I knew exactly what she meant. In fact, I still have these moments, like I catch sight of myself reflected in a grocery store window or something and I think, jesus, who IS that frazzled-looking lady chasing not one, but two kids? Or the day I had my first parent-teacher conference, and I realized I still inexplicably think of myself as someone who's closer to a student in age than some 38-year-old MOM.

Being the parent of a new baby is the most dramatic adjustment of all, though. While there may be one particular occasion you fully and completely understand that you're a mother now (holding your baby for the first time after birth? Weathering the first scary sickness? The day you see a no-shit 100-percent-for-real smile?), it's usually a bunch of little things that drive home just how much your life has changed.

I thought of some of the silly, random things I could remember from being a new mom, and how the instant they happened, I realized: whoah. Things are very, very different than they were before.

You know everything's changed when ...

• You've redefined the concept of an all-nighter

• The contents of a diaper have become your daily Rorschach test

• You find a teeny, tiny puddle of barf in your bra—and you don't even care

• Bellagio fountains? More like changing time geysers

• It occurs to you that your washing machine is getting more action than you are

• You find yourself nabbing a dried umbilical cord off the floor like it's NO BIG DEAL

• You realize, belatedly, where that kind of thermometer's supposed to go

• Your booger suction technique knows no equal

• You suddenly realize it's YOU that smells like that

• You have a new superpower: waking up exactly one second before the baby monitor explodes into life

• You contemplate laundering those pee-sprinkled clothes, then toss them in the dryer instead

• A blowout no longer has anything to do with your hairstyle

• You experience firsthand the mistake of playing airplane after a feeding

• You cheerily count tiny toes every day ... before mindlessly stuffing them in your mouth

• You've transformed all your favorite punk songs into lullabies ("Twenty-twenty-twenty-twenty-four hours to go-oh-ohhhh ....")

• It's your birthday and all you ask for is a hot shower and when you finally TAKE one you're plagued with Phantom Shower Baby Cries

• Is that Chanel No.5 you're wearing? No, it's the beguiling smell of stale milk

• You can talk on the phone while simultaneously performing a goddamned blue-ribbon swaddle job

• The scent of someone's head makes you weak in the knees

• You're willing to be your life that THAT smile wasn't "just gas"

• The spitup stains match your outfit? WINNING!

• You find a week-old burp cloth in the bottom of your purse. At the grocery store checkout counter.

• You realize, all in a rush, that the stretch marks and saggy boobs were worth it

• For the first time, only you will do

What little "You know you're a Mom when" moments do you remember from early parenthood?

Image via Linda Sharps

baby first year, milestones


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Cari Dato

I love the "Phantom Baby Cries" comment. I thought I was the only one that heard those!


Freela Freela

I still hear 'phantom noise' from my kids and they're all over five now! The sensitive 'mom nighttime radar' never really goes away!

I could always see myself being the mom of a baby... I had a bunch of 'I can't believe I'm doing this parenting thing!' moments when my kids hit school age. The first time I went to parent/teacher night was a big one. And my oldest recently turned ten, that was a wakeup call that I don't have babies anymore!

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

My moment came when my son was right around one week old. I was changing his diaper and I had my hand resting on his belly. I noticed my hand out of the corner of my eye and just about jumped out of my skin because I had no idea whose hand it was. It just looked like a mom hand, I can't explain it. Maybe it just looked comfortable touching a baby and I'd never been comfortable with a baby before. After a couple of seconds my brain connected and I realized that it was my hand and I was a mom.

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

The first time I heard a kid say "That's D's Mom..."

I was like...holy crap! I AM D's mom! Thats me! lol 

nonmember avatar sarah

Today I looked down at my hand while driving to the store and saw dried poop on my finger... awesome! (I have a two week old)

etk etk

phantom baby cries...i hear them everywhere!!! not just the shower


Jennifer McCrum

When your married without kids /single friends don't even bother to ask you to go out.  When you also have hand sanitizer everywhere. When the diaper bag becomes your purse and is heavier than the stroller! When people say your mascara is smeared but it's just the dark circles that have formed under your eyes! On the other hand, you know your a long time Mom when you miss all those little things! I wouldn't trade any of it got nothing!!!! I love my babies because they will always be my babies!!bouncing mom

Jennifer McCrum

Trade any of it for nothing, I meant!

nonmember avatar Sarah

When it's you that has to clean up the puke

MomLi... MomLily67

hahaha!! love all of them, as they are so true. Evenif you maneage to get all showered and fixed up, there are always  clues that you are a mom now. And love them!

• It's your birthday and all you ask for is a hot shower and when you finally TAKE one you're plagued with Phantom Shower Baby Cries,  these have noe transformed to "7 year old phantom calls"

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