The One Friend You Need As A Mom
Being a new mom is confusing, and not just because you’re sleep deprived. You have questions. Is it normal to have an elaborate nap ritual involving swaying, singing, and a half hour of butt-patting? If the baby stole salmon from hub’s salad and stuffed it in his mouth before we could stop him, does that count as starting solids? Do we really need all these fucking wooden toys?
And then you have questions about poop - your baby’s poop. Because never, in your entire life, did you ever imagine you would pay such close attention to someone else’s bowel movements. How often should he poop? The books say his poop should look like peanut butter, but does this poop really look like peanut butter? Is he pooping enough? Are there supposed to be little grainy-seedy things in his poop? Should he be pooping so loud? Should he be farting so loud? Will cloth or disposable diapers best contain this poop? Because there is a lot of fucking poop.
You need a mom friend. A mom friend who has been there, done that. A mom friend with whom you can talk about poop - your kids’ and your own. A mom friend who will answer your poop questions without blinking or labeling you a total neurotic and/or incompetent. And not just poop questions. Basic baby questions. A woman who will listen to you bitch about the trenches of motherhood. Because there are trenches, and you are in them, and they are filled with bodily fluids and genitalia. Basically, you need a mom BFF (MBFF). And you need her now.
First, you’re going to have to let go of some things. You have a certain parenting philosophy. It’s nice if your MBFF shares it, of course. However, you need to jettison the new-mom idea that anyone who doesn’t do exactly as you do is killing their baby. If you’re a boob mom, your MBFF may formula feed. You may be all save-the-earth cloth, but your MBFF’s like, fuck that, all sposies, all the time. You let Junior cry-it-out, but your MBFF? Her baby’s still sleeping her bed. He’s three.
Basically, keep an open mind. Because you have one requirement, and one requirement only: that bitch has to be down with the brown. You are in dire need of a woman who can sit down at your kitchen table (messy, because she’s your MBFF and it doesn’t fucking matter), calmly sip tea/water/wine, and listen to the story of your baby’s birth from start to finish, including the poop on the delivery table. She needs to nod her way through The Tale of Stitching My Mangled Vagina, and then honestly, earthily, tell you about the first time she and the hubs had postpartum “sex” (spoiler: the quotes mean it didn’t happen). Then she can offer some tips on what will make you poop normally again (Colace, prunes, and fennel).
She may demand to hold your baby through this because her baby is no longer a squishy baby. Give up the damn baby. You’re holding him pretty much 24/7 anyway, and she’ll stay longer if you hand him over.
Then he’ll poop, and you can get what you really needed her for: poop advice. Change the diaper in front of her. This will not bother her because she’s MBFF material. Ask all your insane questions about infant bowel movements, appearances, and frequency. She will answer them all with aplomb. She is that awesome. She is that knowledgeable about baby shit. She long ago stopped caring about who hears her talk about baby shit.
You need this woman in your life like, yesterday.
So start looking. Troll the moms’ groups. Stalk La Leche League. Look at the library storytime, the open gymnasium hours, the Stroller Striders or whatever the hell they call themselves. Size up every mom. If you can envision her ignoring your dirty dishes, dishing about period blood, and delivering a lecture on baby poop, she may be your gal. But first, test her out. Sidle up to her. Smile. Then ask, “Hey, how often should my baby poop?”