20 Ways to Spot a First-Time Mom From a Mile Away

funny babyYou know her when you see her: the First-Time Mom. I myself am a first time mom, and I can recognize my fellow freshmen in motherhood by a few telling clues. No matter how cool we try to act, I bet you can pick us out of a crowd in the time it takes to say Diaper Genie.

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Just take a look at the signs:

  1. She posts a dozen photos of her kid's first trip to the mall on Facebook, including captions imagining what her baby is saying.
  2. She is lugging two diaper bags, a Pack 'N Play, a portable swing and a jogging stroller for a trip to the post office. She forgets to bring the letter she was supposed to mail on account of the fact that she has an entire day care center strapped to her back.
  3. She's wearing her baby in a trendy wrap, skin to skin, even though it is 90 degrees out and the baby looks like he wants an air conditioner and some personal space.

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  4. She has a fear of cutting her baby's nails, revealing her belief that such an activity is roughly on par with playing Russian Roulette in terms of likelihood to cause bodily harm.
  5. She cannot yet perform other high stakes tasks on her baby such as taking a rectal temperature. For a new mom this task carries the unmistakable fear of destroying her precious cargo. The rectal is really easy in reality, but let’s be honest -- nobody wants to be the first one to stick anything into the great beyond of their baby’s nether regions. It’s probably how Lewis and Clark felt at some point.
  6. She hasn't showered in days, and this fact is immediately apparent because she will tell you, upon first greeting, that she has not, in fact, showered in days. She will say this with a small, wistful shrug, as if showers are a thing of a distant and magical past.
  7. She has begun referring to women she has met on the Facebook "mommy" forums as if they are not strangers on the internet but are, in fact, close friends and also medical professionals who can be called upon to weigh in on her child's rash.
  8. When asked what she does all day, she stares blankly ahead. She knows she does things all day. A lot of things. When asked to name those things she will adopt a semi-catatonic state.
  9. It requires her, a significant other, and a pit crew to bathe the baby. Supplemental personnel may be on hand because at this stage in the game every bath is worthy of a documentary film crew.
  10. Her baby eats only organic purees.
  11. She has philosophies on parenting. Not just hunches or tendencies, but studied and impassioned stances on CIO, breastfeeding, and free-range parenting. These philosophies are likely to be debated on Facebook, which everyone knows is the ideal venue for discourse in the new-mom community. Sleep deprivation and rampant insecurity do not in any way set a negative tone for these conversations.

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  12. When she drops her child off at day care for the first time, the instruction sheet she provides is roughly the size of the Bible -- King James edition. Several items are highlighted. There is a footnote section.
  13. The particulars of her child's sleep schedule and overall sleep needs are gospel. Please do not touch her white noise machine. It is set at 7 for a reason. Her child will have nightmares for the next decade or more if it is bumped to 8.
  14. She cuts up her child's food as if she was feeding a toothless hamster rather than a child with molars. The choking hazards of applesauce cannot be overstated, really.
  15. You can find her swaying in the aisles of the grocery store cradling a cantaloupe. No mind that she does not have a baby with her -- she is like a sailor who has just stepped onto dry land but still feels the waves.
  16. She starts to look forward to outings at Target with the zeal of a religious enthusiast. This is her Mecca.
  17. She will stare at you wistfully if you suggest meeting up for Happy Hour. That wistful look may suddenly turn to rage (results may vary based on the individual mom). Happy Hour is now Crying Hour in her house. Please do not suggest Happy Hour again for four to six years.
  18. She can recount for you the specifics of her birthing experience in painstaking detail. Depending on how the birth went, this story may take on the quality of an epic battle, complete with villains, moments of triumph and sheer terror, and heroic maneuvers. It also may include a startling description of vaginal tearing (just try to go to sleep with your eyes open during this part of the story).

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  19. She is intimately familiar with the nuances of every soiled diaper her child produces. She tracks daily urine output and stool consistency like a fecal detective, looking for clues to potential allergies. Once repulsive bodily secretions now fascinate her and she is happy to chat with you about them over coffee.
  20. Navigating her stroller into a Starbucks is an elaborate dance requiring the assistance of other patrons and a dozen or more apologies for having knocked into your table. Depth perception does not seem to kick into high gear in these early days.

OK, spill ... what do you always notice and think "first time mom"?

 

About the Author: Liz Faria spent much of the past decade as a social worker and photographer. Now a full-time mom and blogger, Liz writes about the joy and ridiculousness that is motherhood at A Mothership Down. You can also find her on Facebook.

 

Image via © iStock.com/druvo

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