No one ever told me, you’ll miss your pre-mom, peaceful defecations.
There were many things I was told would be hard or that I would miss after having a baby. Like sleep, or having time to yourself, but no one ever told me that what once was such a private daily routine would turn into a not-so-private and sometimes not-so-daily (for me not-so-daily, for my kids sometimes multiple times a day) family event.
Ever since becoming a mom, poop has become a constant part of my family’s vocabulary. Before having kids, my husband and I would rarely talk about our poop regularities or issues. Now, it’s a freely given family conversation from car trips to eating at the dinner table (yeah probably not the best time, but believe me, it comes up). My husband and I text about the kids’ poops and our own, daily. Actually everyone pretty much tells me about their poops and it’s all I can do to make sure I poop once every day.
Now as a mom of two kids under the age of five, I can poop in less than three minutes flat. My body has adapted since becoming a mom. It knows that if it needs to poop, it better happen quick. I almost never poop alone. Usually there is at least one set of curious eyes peering down between my legs to see what mom’s poop looks like. “Mama, that one looks like a dinosaur!” Or I’m always multitasking like yelling at the kids to stop fighting, helping to tie My LIttle Pony braids, or connecting that tricky Lego piece. Ever had your crying kid sit on your lap as you poop? I have. Breastfed while pooping? Yep.
My husband somehow still gets about twenty minutes of peace and quiet in the bathroom to poop everyday. Me on the other hand, will see the kids are playing peacefully and try to sneak away to the hall bathroom. I sit down and begin, only to hear arguing and toys crashing three seconds later. A cry for help follows, “Mom!”
“I’m pooping! I just need to poop! Moms poop, too!” I yell back.
Weekends when my husband is home and I have to poop, are the best. I know I will get uninterrupted time to myself. Sometimes, I don’t even need to poop, I just imply that I do so I can have a few minutes of peace.
This is what is has come to.
Can I just take a moment to talk about post-birth poops? Holy mother. I’ve only ever had c-sections, so I don’t know about bowel movements after vaginal labor, but I can tell you that after my first c-section, I now understand the term, “shitting rocks.” I thought my insides would explode and I’d have to go back to the hospital. Call it postpartum, hormonal, irrational thought, but it was so bad. I then learned that you have to keep taking your stool softeners for a while after having a baby. Yep, keep taking them.
Poop creeps it’s way into our family conversations or games daily. It has even found its way into once sweet phrases. “I love you more than the whole universe toilet poop!”
Don’t even get me started on how often we talk or tease about farts or toots.
No one ever told me I’d miss my pre-mom poops or how much poop related activities or conversations would dominate my life. And while that may be the case, no one ever told me that some of my favorite memories would be poop-related:
The first few days of my daughter’s life, when her mustard poop squirted across the room and splattered against the wall mid-change. Laughter erupted between my friend and myself as we realized that as a new mom I truly was in, “deep shit.”
Two years later, my daughter would talk about having, “big happy poops.” She’d hide under the kitchen table in her squat position every time to poop. I’ll never forget peeking down at her under the table as she looked up a me like a disgruntled old man, “I need some space Mama. I’m pooping.”
Then, there was that time we went to the Tulip festival in Mount Vernon and it was so crowded. My daughter was just getting over a cold but I was adamant that we had to have the “perfect,” picture of her among the tulips. But with all the wind, rain and people, we never got that perfect picture with the flowers and needed leave much earlier than I had hoped. On the way home, our two-and-a-half year old was insistent that she had to poop and she didn’t want to do it in her carseat. We had to pull over in an abandoned parking lot so that she could squat in the back of the Highlander to poop in her diaper. As she pooped, she played with tennis balls. Giggles erupted as she bounced the balls and tossed them in air trying to catch them as they landed, all while she pooped. That’s when I got the perfect picture.
The countless number of songs, books read, and silly games we have played while one kid is on the toilet or the other is squating in his diaper, have created so many poop-related, wonderful, happy memories.
I realize how much my kids love me because they don’t even care about my stinky poop. They come in the bathroom just to have a conversation with me, show me something they are playing with, or just to make sure I’m still there.
When I think about poop dominating our lives as parents, I have come to the conclusion that it really isn’t the poop that has taken over, it’s our children. It’s these amazing, unique individuals that require care in every area imaginable– including when they poop. And they require that care at anytime of day imaginable–even during the times when I have to poop. There is a huge amount of sacrifice and vulnerability that comes along with parenting. The love that is poured into every diaper change, bathroom pow-wow, or family poop joke, is immeasurable whether we realize it or not. I am so grateful to be the mama of my two children, even if it does mean the sacrifice of my own peaceful pooping.