Having a baby is awesome. There are plenty of challenges, to be sure, but tiny people are adorable and wonderful and life with them can be truly great. I've got a toddler now, who is also really great, but I already find myself missing his baby days something fierce, and wistfully scrolling through his baby pictures during the two minutes a day when he actually sleeps. Still, as great as life with a baby can be, there are just some things no one actually likes doing with their baby.
I know we're not supposed to say it, 'cause being a mom is supposed to be all sunshine and rainbows or something, but whatever. Sometimes, even the best things in life come with little annoyances that we deal with so we can enjoy the rest of the undeniably good stuff. Admitting that there are some parts of motherhood we don't necessarily like doesn't mean we're any less worthy of or grateful for the immense privilege of caring for our precious little ones. It just means that we're humans who need to gripe every now and then so we don't explode.
So take heart, parents who are playing their baby's calm-down tunes for themselves in a last ditch effort to keep from screaming: you are not alone. Nobody likes the doing the following things, but fortunately they're not the only part of having a baby. Plus, baby giggles definitely help make up for it.
The best you can hope to achieve with diaper changing is not actively hating it, because no one actually likes it. What's to like about poop, pee, and an often-squirmy child seemingly hell-bent on remaining covered in poop and pee?
Bringing Them To Non-Baby Proofed Places
From the time a baby gets mobile until the time they become semi-reasonable bigger children, bringing them to places that aren't baby proofed is such a pain. It's just non-stop scanning for danger and then chasing your child away from said danger. Non-parents are trying to be nice when they invite us over, I know, but while they're imagining a visit, I'm preparing for a grueling workout.
Taking Them To The Doctor
Even though it's important for their health, and even if you have a great pediatrician, taking your kid to the doctor is still a chore. The visits are often at inconvenient times, you usually have to deal with them getting a shot or otherwise being made to feel uncomfortable, and there's just something about taking your kid to the doctor’s office that feels a bit like being a grade school student on report card day, except for parents. Even if you get a good grade, it's still kinda nerve-wracking.
Getting Them In Their Car Seat
The car seat: sworn foe of all babykind. Sure, we're out here trying to keep these babies from dying in car accidents, but babies apparently think we're trying to kill them based on how they react to being put in their car seats. So much screaming, wiggling, and flailing, all while trying to manage multiple straps and clips. Oy.
Running Multiple Errands In The Same Day
I loved going out with my baby in public, because the world can be a really friendly place when you're wearing an adorable baby. But when you have to do multiple errands in the same day, and if they're not all in walkable places, in addition to having to navigate public changing stations and feeding situations you'll also spend a significant amount of time going in and out of the car. That means getting them in and out of their car seat, over and over again. That adds so much extra time and aggravation to each task.
Long Car Trips
Between having to stay in their car seat and having to endure prolonged stretches of time without cuddles, long car trips are no fun for a baby. They're not much fun for parents, either, since you have to stop way more often when you're traveling with a baby. And if your baby is a blowout diaper artist like mine, they'll save some of their most extensive works for when you're on a road trip, and don't have your normal cleaning supplies on hand. Yay.
Though it's often folks without kids who complain the most about babies on planes, actually flying with a baby is way harder than just sitting next to one. You have to prepare for so many possibilities when you travel with a baby, which means you have to lug lots of extra stuff and check luggage, all of which makes air travel less comfortable and more expensive. Plus, even if your baby stays quiet on the flight, everyone's always looking at you like they're just waiting for you to inconvenience them somehow. Grr.
Going To Theme Parks
If you have an older child and a baby, chances are you'll end up having to take your baby places you'd rather not, like theme parks. This is a drag, as there's basically nothing for them to do, so whomever is taking care of them gets stuck doing nothing right along with them. It's usually hot outside during theme park season, so you've got to deal with heat and sun and bugs to boot. Hopefully you have a partner or a companion who can trade off with you so you can at least get on some of the rides or eat funnel cake without dropping pieces on the baby's head. Otherwise, this is the worst.
Preparing To Go Out In The Heat
Similar to the car seat response, babies have no appreciation for all of your hot weather precautions. Because they don't yet understand cause and effect, or the concept of sunburns (or lifelong sun damage), your attempts to cover them in sunscreen are treated like straight up attacks. The cute sun hat you try to put on them for protection? Baby thinks that's a new toy to throw. The heat itself is also miserable, and if you have a baby like mine who hated his stroller for the first part of his life, you may end up wearing them instead. It's just sweat on sweat on sweat. (Pro-tip: linen ring sling. One layer of breathable fabric is way better than layers of canvas and padding.)
Preparing To Go Out In The Cold
If you're trying to go anywhere with a baby in the winter, leave some extra time to get ready. Like, a year. You have to put on so many layers, and when you finally finish they will probably have pooped and/or peed through everything, forcing you to start all over again. Plus, they can't wear their thickest, warmest stuff while in their car seat, so you have to do all sorts of backseat coat wrangling when you get to your destination and before you leave. (This is the worst on those multiple errand days.)
If you dare to try to quickly carry them in and out of your destination without re-doing the baby coat maneuvers, you will be accosted by random people convinced that carrying your child 200 feet from your car to the door in three layers instead of four is child neglect. Sigh. This is why mama bears hibernate all winter.