Becoming a mom for the first time comes with a special set of challenges that one rarely encounters at any other point in their lives. This being true, there's an inevitable learning curve involved in raising tiny humans. Aside from the poop and the feedings, the handsy strangers at the grocery store who want to put their germy mitts all over your pristine baby, and the obvious exhaustion that comes with the job, there is another, lesser-known category of minor obstacles one must overcome while in
the first days, weeks, and months of being a parent.
The baby books are great and all, and there's a surplus of information on the Internet that new or soon-to-be moms can delve into while in search of parental wisdom, but there truly aren't enough chapters to sufficiently warn us of the pending changes that are about to befall our previous ways of living. Among these changes, you are about to be hit with profound annoyance about things that never used to bother you at all.
Once you have a new baby, there are going to be things to which you previously had no aversion that are going to make steam come out of your ears; that will make you literally want to pull out all of your hair (which is probably already falling out in clumps anyway, because hello
postpartum hair loss. These are things that will cause you to questions your very sanity. These will be things that you previously saw as insignificant, trivial, and meaningless, but after you become a mom, are going to make your blood boil. There are just some things that new moms hate, so if you're reading this, you have been warned. Be prepared to get disproportionately enraged at these things once you have a newborn in the house.
Uninvited And/Or Unannounced Guests
We live in a world that runs on technology: Instead of landlines, we have cell phones; Instead of emails, we use text messages. Pretty much everyone has a phone these days so why,
just why, is it so freaking hard to use it to make someone aware that you are about to show up at their door? Especially if that someone has a new baby. I mean, think about it: Babies need sleep and so do new moms. Life with a newborn is a careful dance of schedules and barely getting everything done. Fitting in a visitor isn't a simple task, and by dropping in unannounced, some well-meaning friend or family member is basically acting like that whole "we have a newborn and are barely holding it together over here" dance isn't happening, and that any old time is perfect for a quick stop-and-see-the-baby. That knock at the door might wake up everyone in the house, and there's a good chance that none of them are going to be happy about it.
Seriously, why are there so many tiny buttons on those adorable footie pajamas? It just doesn't make any sense. Obviously, a baby is going to be kicking and rolling, and possibly screaming, so outfit changes need to be quick and concise, and they should
never involve 37 tiny buttons.
Salesmen (hey, that might still be a thing in some parts of the country), delivery people, neighbors, random people who you're too tired to remember their real reason for ringing your bell; you assume they were sent straight from hell to bum you the f*ck out... They're all going to show up at your door eventually. So in order to save yourself the agony of waking a sleeping, baby go ahead and disable your doorbell ahead of time. You will thank me later.
A dog is a great means of home security if you're worried that someone might break into your house. However, when dogs assume that butterflies or lady bugs or the TV are intruders, the barking can get a little out of hand, and can consequently wake up that infamous sleeping baby. Or
maybe you don't even a have a dog and a dog can still ruin your new-parent life, if you're one of the "lucky" ones who lives across the street from the family who leaves their dogs outside 24/7, and those dogs bark at everything that also might interfere with your baby's ability to concentrate of her breastfeeding latch, which is a lot of work than the rest of the world and their annoying dogs seem to understand.
(I wish I had better news but there really is no solution for this problem.)
New moms sleep hard, but they still basically sleep with their eyes open. And they have this creepy-keen ability to be hyper-aware of their newborns' every movement, even while totally asleep. So when her body is fine tuned to wake at the slightest of movements from her baby's crib, she may occasionally experience what I like to call "phantom cries." Here's what that is: When you spend every waking moment with a newborn, you get accustomed to hearing the sound of a baby crying. It becomes an integral part of you to the point when even when you're not around your baby, you will constantly be listening for those cries. Our babies could be spending the night at their grandma's house, but there will still be moments when we're convinced that there's a baby crying in her house. We're not psychotic, we're just very good at our jobs.
Screw you and your uncomfortable way of not being leggings, denim! There is no need for you here or in any other new mom's life.
Ridiculous Expectations From Society
New moms are under a lot of pressure to "do it all." We are expected to be the perfect mother, and also the perfect partner. People expect us to drop our "baby weight" before we step out into public for the first time. We live in a world where the term "baby weight" — and all of its gloriously shameful implications — even exists. People expect us to slap a smile on our face every hour of every day, even though we're covered in either urine or spit up, and we're so tired that we literally wonder if we even remember how to sleep sometimes.
We're supposed to fall in love with our babies and cherish every precious moment of nurturing a human. We're not supposed to complain or whine or cry because women have been having babies for centuries before us and they mothered up hill both ways during a hurricane and a plague, and there just must be something wrong with us if we can't handle all that being a mother entails.
OK, this is not a "minor annoyance" so much as it's a "massive, overwhelming, crushing, systemic problem that profoundly affects the well-being and happiness of new mothers at all times" but I'm just going to throw it on this list for good measure.
Major New Mom Problems™: The Patriarchy
annnnd...constipated babies. Constipated babies = crabby babies. Crabby babies = crabby mommies, and if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy (or something like that). The only thing that will soothe a backed-up baby is a means by which to relieve their constipation, aka invading their personal space with a Q-tip and/or a shot of prune juice. The good news is that this helps ease their stomach pain. The bad news is that it creates a bit of an explosive poop.
Tiny baby socks are the spawn of Satan. While adorable in their appearance, their inability to be easily folded instantly renders the would-be folder borderline psychotic while they search for the mates of 18 tiny socks. (Seriously though, where do they all go? It only takes, like, two hours to lose the mates to an entire pack of socks.)
Anything That Happens Before Coffee
Coffee is the fuel to the maternal machine. With coffee, we are invincible. We are capable. We are caffeinated and energized enough to conquer the day. All the diapers, the feedings, the tantrums, the random visitors, and the new parent fatigue... Nothing can slow us down or prevent us from being the badasses we are when we've had our coffee. It is our drug, our vice, our Achilles' Heel, and if you dare approach us before we've had it, well, don't. Really, just don't. Especially if you didn't text us before you came over and you rang the damn doorbell.