What do a brand-new Mom and a naïve college freshman have in common? Pretty much everything, if you can remember back to those hazy days of confusion and fatigue. Thankfully, our horrible memories fade with time, so that we are usually dumb enough to procreate again, and sometimes smart enough to continue on with our education.
So that you are able to empathize more compassionately with any new Moms (NM) or soon-to-be college freshmen (CF) in your life, here are a few reminders of those shitshow days.
Everything is new and a little terrifying and you are overwhelmed and just want someone to hold your hand and tell you exactly what to do.
NM: You are now in complete and total charge of the health and well being of another human. One that is tiny, can only communicate via screams and seems more fragile than Donald Trump’s ego. You have to make sure it is properly fed, clothed, bathed, and rested around the clock. What fresh hell is this?
CF: You are wandering around a campus where every building looks the same and you don’t want to appear to be the clueless freshman who is lost and late for class. You try to keep smiling and acting like everything is OK as you text your best friend a “WTF!?”
Sleep deprivation becomes your new normal and it sucks balls.
NM: Your tiny human is fully unaware that nighttime is for sleep and that their crib is where they should be doing that. They will only fall asleep on your chest for short increments of time, and only when it is light outside. Yay, you!
CF: Suddenly nothing exciting in your life starts to happen before 10 pm, yet you are expected to be alert and awake for M/W/F Chem lectures that begin at 8 am. Yeet.
You think about naps. You daydream about naps. You wipe silent tears away while wishing you could just lie down and take a quick nap on whatever semi-flat surface is nearby.
NM: Everyone you know is telling you to “Nap when the baby naps.” So therefore, you have no time to do things like shove some food into your face, take an actual shower and clean yourself of that bloody dribble that keeps seeping out of you, or throw away that small mountain of dirty diapers that could cause a pig to run away in fear.
CF: When you finally manage to find one free hour and you hurry back to your dorm room for a nap, your roommate is Face Timing her boyfriend and obnoxiously screaming with laughter about something stupid and you consider murdering her but are much too tired to even think about disposing of a body.
You rejoice if you can get through 48 hours without seeing or smelling vomit.
NM: Splashes of regurgitated milk are on every item of clothing you own. You quickly realize that “spit-up” is just a bullshit way of saying “vomit” and that you’ll be talking methodically and seriously about bile, shit, and pee for the next 2 years, at a minimum. And also, how the hell can anyone figure out how much an infant has peed into a super-absorbent diaper?
CF: Don’t look now but there’s puke on the carpet of your dorm hall, all over the bathroom at the sketchy AF frat house you foolishly walked into at 2 am, and in your friend’s hair when she wakes up on your floor after getting locked out of her own room last night. Good times.
Your nightmares become vivid and as wildly frightening as a Jordan Peele -directed movie.
NM: You’ve left your baby on a bus. You’ve left your baby in a car seat on the roof of your car as you drive off. You’ve left your baby at the grocery store next to a beautiful display of Pinot Noir. You’ve left your baby in the care of your mother-in-law who’s busy watching Wheel of Fortune and chain-smoking cigarettes.
CF: You’ve been locked out of the classroom where your English midterm has already started. All of your friends are at an epic rager that no one told you about. Your Psychology professor can now only speak Norwegian and you are trying unsuccessfully to download Google Translate. Shit!
You feel broke all the time.
NM: ONE fucking box of diapers costs how much? Is that pricey breast pump adorned with gold inlay? So, wait – our insurance doesn’t cover another visit for jaundice phototherapy?
CF: That tiny-ass textbook costs how much? Does my meal plan include Kobe beef steak and fresh Maine lobster on the weekends? So, wait – the lab fees are extra for my required class?
You will start obsessing over bizarre things you never even thought about before.
NM: Will the baby’s poop today still look like tar or will it have morphed into that mustard color I read about? That gross umbilical cord stump is drying up unevenly so what the hell do we do now? Wow, that door closes really loudly, we probably need to oil it.
CF: How many pairs of shoes can I fit under this bed? Does this room stink because of my shoes? My roommate breathes super loudly at night. Guess I should order some earplugs.
Homesickness is REAL.
NM: I wish my Mom were here to help me with this. I need to call and ask her about how she survived this insanity.