Every new mom has been there at some point: exhausted, hormonal, sweaty, flabby, self-conscious, and probably aching from the vagina. Then out of nowhere, some jerk pushes all your buttons and you lose your cool in a fit of blubbering, cursing, and shooshing…because you probably woke the baby. If you were anything like me, you glared at the clueless offender and added them to your mental shit list: the place where you mentally hang, draw, and quarter anyone who crosses you. Come on, it’s cathartic.
As a new mother of three, I’ve been adding to my shit list for almost five years now and I bet you, too, have considered jabbing a teething toy into the eye socket of at least one of these people.
The Little Old Lady at the Grocery Store – She has some sort of baby-sensing super powers and you’ll hear the sound of her cane scraping toward you from several aisles away. She’ll insist on reaching her wrinkled hand out and touching your sleeping child, probably in an effort to suck the youth right out of them. Once she’s woken the little dear, she will proceed to tell you for the four thousandth time to cherish these days. Of course, you probably won’t hear her over the blood-curdling scream of your now very annoyed infant.
The Guy In The Elevator – This guy thinks he’s some sort of comedian and after staring uncomfortably at both you and your baby for several minutes will smirk to himself and then ask “So where did she get her red hair from?” I’ve never known the correct response to this question. Is he questioning the child’s parentage? I hope not, because I’ve got the gnarled stiches in my perineum to prove it.
The Crunchy Free-Range Mom – She believes that children develop best if they are given the freedom to make their own choices and learn about the world first-hand. At least that’s what she says. To me it looks a lot like sitting on her butt playing candy crush while her kid paints on other people’s walls with his own feces. Then again, I believe in a mom’s right to parent her child however she wants. That is, until her snot-covered, probably unvaccinated, feral toddler picks his nose and then touches my baby’s face. Now, one of these people deserves a good slap upside the head and since I have no interest in making the news, Mom it is.
The Silent Bystanders- There is a special circle in Hell for anyone who saw me in public last week and didn’t warn me that my left boob was leaking AND my shirt was on inside out. Seriously, a little help here people!
The Teenage Third Cousin Once Removed- We all have those “friends” on Facebook who we never talk to, and sometimes can’t even remember how we know them, but who come out of the woodwork to like or comment on any major life event we announce. I’m all for lurking silently on people’s pages, until they feel the need to complain about the lack of entertainment. “Why haven’t you posted more pictures of the baby?” Yeah, because I have nothing better to do.
The Doctor- What exactly is the point of telling the mother of a newborn baby to “try and get more rest” when she presents to you with any number of medical ailments. Do they really think we aren’t trying to sleep? Are they planning on coming over and babysitting for us while we do? No, I didn’t think so.
The Sycophants- Please stop telling me how thin I look or how you can hardly tell I just had a baby. This advice goes double for anyone wearing spandex or mid-drift shirts, sporting glitter nail polish, or on their way home from Pilates class. You are all terrible liars. I couldn’t even get my pants undone the other day because the top button was lost under the folds of my enormous muffin top. Let’s keep it real, folks.
The Braggart- All parents are proud of their children and love any chance to brag about how wonderful they are at art, or math, or basket-weaving. However, the tired mother of a newborn is probably not the person to look to for affirmation that your children are, as you suspect, God’s gift to the world. At least disguise your ulterior motives better and wait at least three seconds after you ask how my baby is doing before launching into the epic saga of Junior’s soccer prowess.
The Touchy-Feely Woman at Starbucks- While it is entirely acceptable, even encouraged, to speak to me as though I am a completely normal person while I am breastfeeding my child, it is NOT ok for a total stranger to touch my baby’s head while it is a mere two inches from my nipple. It would be like sticking your finger into someone’s cleavage for absolutely NO REASON. Just don’t do it.
The Mailman- While I love them dearly for bringing me all the completely unnecessary but delightful goodies I’ve purchased on Amazon at 3:00am while nursing the baby, I am currently training my dog to bite anyone who rings the doorbell during nap time. Though my dogs are small and probably not capable of delivering a crippling blow, they are perfectly poised for jumping approximately crotch high.
The Crazy Cat Lady- Children and pets are not the same thing. I love animals and animal owners, but you will have to search elsewhere for sympathy when your cat wakes you up in the night and you’re just so tired you can barely function. Until you breastfeed the feline you can keep your comments to yourself.
The beauty of the new mom’s shit list is that it is a living, changing document. Names are added and removed from the list at my completely subjective and random discretion. So the next time you are over at my house, please keep this in mind before you attempt to open or close a door, flush a toilet, or step on a creaky floorboard while the baby is napping. You could be next…