37 Times You Know You're a Parent

Parenthood changes you - physically, mentally and emotionally. Priorities shift, emotions intensify, marriages evolve.

And tolerance for bodily functions increases tenfold.

After just seven months, I’ve gone from an aversion to blood and vomit, to now deciding whether or not to shower or change clothes based not on IF I was pooped, peed or puked on, but on the amount that is still on me. So there's that.

Note the vomit on my shoulder. #dontcare

Whether it’s catching puke midstream with my hand before it hits someone in the face, or recognizing the warm (yet not fuzzy) feeling spreading across my stomach while nursing – these are the moments where I think, "You're definitely a parent."

I asked other parents when they had this same revelation. Their answers left me equal parts entertained, horrified and frightened.

Spoiler alert: Being a parent involves a lot of poop. Can you relate?

Photo Credit: lifecreations via Compfight cc
You Know You're a Parent When...
  1. You'd rather stay home on Saturday night than wake up at 6am to nurse a baby AND a hangover.
  2. You celebrate bowel movements with a "poop dance."
  3. You don’t think twice about pushing on your boobs in public to see how full you are.
  4. You want to kick the person’s ass that coined the saying, "Sleeping like a baby." It should be switched to, "Sleeping like my 80-pound Labrador Retriever on a Tempur-Pedic bed."
  5. You accidentally tell your co-workers you'll be ready for lunch after you go "potty."
  6. You institute a "no bodily functions" rule at the dinner table.
  7. You find yourself alone in the kitchen at night softly singing "Old McDonald" as you do dishes.
  8. You find yourself saying "Oh, good, it's just vomit."
  9. Your husband asks if you want to have a "quickie," and you think he said "cookie." You’re disappointed because you would prefer the cookie.
  10. You learn to shower with people watching you.
  11. You sniff your baby's butt multiple times a day and think nothing of it.
  12. You leave the house and find pacifiers in your pockets.
  13. The 10pm showing of a new movie is too late for date night.
  14. You use the restroom with a kid in your lap.
  15. You know the pain of stepping on a Lego.
  16. You and your spouse create a swear jar just so your kiddo doesn't repeat that four-letter word to his Sunday school teacher...again.
  17. The most revered object in the household is the hairdryer. Not because you give a damn what your hair looks like, but because it's the only thing that can get your baby to stop crying and fall asleep.
  18. You poop with the door open.
  19. You're singing along to the Frozen soundtrack, then realize you're in the car alone.
  20. Getting poop on your hand—or anywhere else—doesn’t faze you.
  21. You know precisely how to "extract" a hard poop ball from your child.
  22. You have groceries in the cart, and you're totally okay with leaving them in the aisle, so you can assist your screaming child out of the store.
  23. You find yourself swaying and rocking, no matter where you are—or if there is a baby in your arms.
  24. Food falls out of your bra when you undress at the end of the day...and it wasn't food you ate.
  25. You find boogers on your curtains.
  26. You learn to bribe your children with everyday tasks. "If you pick up your blocks before bed, you get to brush your teeth!"
  27. You keep watching kid shows after the kids go to bed.
  28. Going to work on Monday sounds like a vacation.
  29. You buy clothes for yourself based on how easily puke will wash out.
  30. You hear a baby cry in the store and instantly start rocking your shopping cart.
  31. You hide to eat a snack because you don't want to share.
  32. Your trip to the gynecologist is your idea of "girl time!"
  33. You make up songs… for everything.
  34. You consider 7AM sleeping in.
  35. You pretend to use the bathroom just so you can play on your phone for a few minutes without being bothered.
  36. You know where all the drive-thru Starbucks are in your city since you frequent them daily driving baby around for nap.
  37. You can fall and stay asleep in almost any position.
When was a moment that you realized you were in the thick of parenthood?
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Liam {7 Months Old}

We don't have a well visit until September, but we think Liam probably weighs about 18.5 lbs, and is about 27 inches long.
  • YELLING! He screams and yells and squeals and it is the cutest thing ever. (See video)
  • Blowing air between his lips...see short video below, but it is adorable!
  • Eating, especially now that we've started solids. There is not much he won't try! He loves sweet potatoes, peaches, bananas and squash. We also give him table food at restaurants, like french fries (LOVES), hummus, avocado, etc. He gets supremely pissed when you eat in front of him and he gets nothing...it's hilarious and annoying at the same time.
  • Music - any toy that plays music and lights up, he is all in.
  • When I sing "You are my Sunshine."
  • Peek-a-boo. I hide behind the counter, jump up and yell, "PEEK!" and it scares the crap out of him. Then he laughs...and sometimes cries :) (See video)
  • Being high in the air - Daddy lifts him up and they "fly," or we count to 3 and "throw" him, and Bryan puts him on his shoulders, and Liam just squeals.
  • Exploring - child will not/does not sit still, unless he is being put down to sleep.
  • Details like labels and jewelry and zippers and shoelaces
  • Baths. Otherwise known as "nakey baby time" - nothing new here!
  • His Daddy. He is so happy and excited when he gets home from work. He turns to find him if he's not holding him. Makes my heart melt!

  • HATES being on the changing table. There are tears before we even lay him  on it, so we've taken to changing his diaper on the floor.
  • Not having food to eat when others are eating. Gone are the days of taking him out to eat with us and him being super chill. We'll still take him out, but he must be in on the food action. Or else!
  • Hand dryers and toilets. Any time I have to change him in a public restroom, I hate it, and so does Liam. The loud dryers and toilets scare the crap out of him!
New Milestones/Skills

  • First tooth! Teething hasn't been TOO terrible. 4th of July weekend was rough (that's when we started with the swollen gums, etc) but  for the past few weeks, he's been totally normal! He has needed ibuprofen to help him sleep some nights. Sunday, I did my tooth check and could feel that one of your front teeth had cut through! Your second one is on it's way!
  • Army crawling! He is very quick and moves everywhere. He's also close to crawling on all fours, and gets into push-up/plank position.
  • Learning how to kiss, clap and wave "bye bye"! We're trying to teach him these ourselves, so stay tuned for next month!
  • So many consonant sounds - "mmm" "thhhh" "ba"...we hope to hear a word soon! :)

  • Visit to the zoo
  • Swim in the big boy pool (see video)
  • Time at the lake
  • Sleepover in a hotel
Still pretty much exclusively breastfed, although I have been supplementing with some formula as of late so I can stash some milk for you to have while we are in South America.
Just had some raspberries!
 You have about 5 bottles a day, and eat solids 2-3x a day. You LOVE any solid food. Green veggies are your least favorite (join the club!)

Liam is awesome at sleeping these days! He officially moved out of the beloved Magic Sleep Suit. We envisioned a much worse transition than actually happened, so thank you, my love, for surprising us yet again. He goes to bed at 7:30pm and wakes up between 7 and 7:30am most days. Some days we get a nice 6-6:30am wake-up, but that usually happens when we put him to bed too late night before. He's still taking 3 naps most days, but has also only taken two a few times before.
Since sleeping in a sack vs that suit, he sleeps on his side or belly (which is SO adorable) and can also find his own paci. We have really only needed to go in to him at night if he can't find the paci for some reason, or if he's upset about something (like teething).
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Give Yourself Grace

Lately I've found myself in a bit of a negative funk. It comes and goes, but when it comes, it's intense. It infiltrates every part of my brain. 

I just feel like there are so many things to juggle right now. Everything is only getting half my effort or attention - nothing gets 100%. It's a shitty feeling.

I've made a concerted effort lately to change my perspective. To try and not be so hard on myself.

People tell me this all the time - that' I'm too hard on myself. I always have been. I'm that girl who brings herself down with more negative thoughts than I'd ever admit to anyone who asked. 

Nothing I do is good enough. I don't exercise enough. I am too forgetful. I am so clumsy. I am too this, too that, not enough this and definitely not enough that.

Now, as a mom, those "flaws" morph into anxiety or worse, guilt. 

Over having to go to work every day and leave Liam with a nanny. 

About not yet having started a college savings account for him. 
About looking forward to bedtime some nights, even though I've only spent a total of 3 hours with him that day. 
Still about not exercising enough. 
About not being able to get done all the things I used to be able to get done in a day. 
About not producing enough breast milk or drinking too much wine. 
About not losing enough weight fast enough.
not saving enough money.
spending too much money.
not waking up early enough.
not going to bed early enough.

I have anxieties about bad things happening to people I love - mostly, my family. everything feels more fragile now that I'm a parent. Probably because it is.

It is so easy to get bogged down in all of the things I'm not doing good enough, instead of focusing on the things I am doing well. Or to think about the areas in life where I'm doing the best I can. And why. 

I am working because the money I am earning will allow us to give Liam with a life where we can provide for him.

I am also working to pay off debts so that someday soon, we can start putting money into savings for Liam instead of into credit card payments.

Although I might look forward to bedtime so I can get some things done, those 3-4 hours I am spending with Liam, I teach him, love on him, play with him and I'm all in.

I may not exercise enough, but I am exercising when I can, and that has to be enough right now.

It's natural to not want anything bad to happen to our loved ones, but worrying about things not in our control is a waste of energy. Not to mention morbid and toxic. Instead. I must be grateful, and hold every day a little closer to my heart.

I can't do everything in a day - no one can. But I do what I can.

And isn't that the most important thing? That as moms, and parents, we do the best we can? 

There is just so much judgment out there in the world - so many ways to compare ourselves and so many ways we don't measure up. 

We don't make enough money, live in a big enough house, take enough family vacations, eat enough healthy food, save enough money, sleep enough hours.

When is "enough" actually enough?

I allow myself moments, sometimes entire days to feel overwhelmed and consumed by these negative emotions. But before I go to bed at night, I try my damnedest to remember what is most important: I'm doing the best I can. I am enough for Liam. I am enough for my husband. 

I give myself grace.
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4th of July Celebrations

I woke up this morning as I do most Mondays: Pissed off and sad, because we just had a great weekend. But then I remembered it's a short work week because we are going away this weekend on a mini-vacation! And all was fine. Then I got to work and all of the anxiety I've been hiding from over the long weekend came rushing back to meet me, so I spent all of day sighing, hemming and hawing with stress and anxiety seeping out of my pores.

However, as much as I want to close the computer, finish my wine and go to bed, I also wanted stop and do at least ONE THING for me today - even if it's just recapping a weekend that was wonderful, yet not very exciting!

For us, summers usually mean a booked calendar. We are typically always going somewhere or having visitors, and this summer is no different. We have about one weekend each month this summer where there are NO plans, and in July, that weekend was over the Fourth of July.

Let it be known: I LOVE the 4th of July. So it felt weird to have a long weekend and have no plans! But it was actually also kind of awesome. Especially since if I've learned anything since having a baby...babies ruin the best laid plans. :)

We kicked off the weekend on Thursday evening after work. We visited a local brewery (Begyle, for any craft beer lovers) for some flights and drafts, and then planned to go eat at a new BBQ restaurant. However, dearest Liam had other plans, and for the first time in 6 months of taking him out to dinner with us, we ended up ordering our food to go. Don't worry, there were no epic meltdowns or anything like that - he was just pretty fussy and we could tell he was tired, so we just packed up and went home!

Friday we both had the day off of work. One of my besties was in town for a wedding, so we congregated at my other bestie's house in the suburbs for a little BBQ! We had a great time just hanging for a few hours and having our littles try to figure out that they are going to be best friends like their mommies.

On Saturday, we totally just played the day by ear. Liam officially started teething this weekend (as in, has swollen gums and teeth trying to break through), so he was pretty out of sorts and fussy. Regardless, we went and grabbed a late brunch alfresco to take advantage of the amazing weather (sunny and 80s in July vs 100 and humid? YES PLEASE!). Then we took a walk, which Liam fell asleep on, so rather than take him inside and wake him, we just had some cocktails on the front porch until he woke up.

#babiesbeteething / #murica

A friend of mine was in town for the weekend, so we met up at a BBQ for a short while in the afternoon before taking the bambino back home for the night. Fireworks were not really an option for us this year for many reasons, but it was all good! We put Liam down, and headed out to the back deck where we saw fireworks from afar and enjoyed (more) cocktails and each other :).

Sunday, we got some stuff done around the house in the morning, then played in Liam's pool for awhile.

Late afternoon, Liam's "guncles" (self-proclaimed gay uncles, LOL), came by to meet Liam and have some margaritas!

So all in all, while it was SUPER low-key, we still got in some fun activity and most importantly, spent time as a family. Would it have been nice to have gone home and partaken in some more "family friendly" activities, like parades, fireworks, pool parties, etc....it was just as nice to just be with each other in the moment, and have that be enough.

This weekend, we are headed to Michigan for our second annual "Friends Family Weekend!" Last year for the 4th, we went to Nashville with my three best friends, and we were all pregnant. Now we've all had the babies, so we thought it'd be fun to get together for another trip! We are headed to Michigan, where we rented a house on Lake Michigan. I assume that with 4 babies ranging from 6-10 months, we will just hunker down at the house and spend time at the private beach/pool, and that is just fine with me! I can't wait.

Hope ya'll had a great 4th of July!
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