Why Moms are Disgusting

Before I had kids, I didn’t understand mothers at all. It seemed to me that at least half of the things moms said were completely and utterly disgusting. I actually went so far as to compare motherhood to a sorority and mom-conversations as hazing. If you could stomach those conversations then maybe–MAYBE–you could be mom material.

Well, now I am a mom and I find myself really wanting to have these very same conversations. I mean, I actively have to remind myself that not everyone want to talk about, you know, bathroom habits. Or bleeding nipples. Seriously, y’all, these are apparently not universal areas of interest.

So I ask myself, what changed? I’m the same person, so why do I suddenly find myself willing to “go there” even when I’m stone-cold sober? I think I’ve figured it out and I thought that if I explained it, that maybe that would help bridge the gap a little between moms and non-moms. That, or I’ll just convince you further that moms are gross. It could go either way.

So here are just a few of the reasons why moms are disgusting.


Motherhood is shocking.You’d think that I would have listened to all those moms when they were telling their poop horror stories, but I guess I wasn’t paying as much attention as I thought. Vomit rising up in the back of your throat can be a bit distracting. So when you actually become a mother, when you realize the breadth and the depth of the nasty, you’re shocked. And like anyone who witnesses a horror, you want to talk about it, or you will convince yourself that it never happened. And it did happen–you’ve got the wine bill to prove it.

Motherhood is hard. I know–everybody says that while secretly wondering what exactly it is that mothers do all day–hell, half the time I’m wondering what I did all day. I think I was on Twitter. . . or something. But it really is hard–I mean, it’s physical labor. As someone who went to college specifically to avoid physical labor, and who has been told on at least one occasion that they would never make it at any job that required sweeping (true story), I was completely unprepared for this area of motherhood. You want an educational activity? I’m you girl. Coordinating outfits for four boys ages 0-5? Got it. Mopping puke off the floor? She falters. Motherhood is a virtual parade of mopping, washing, scrubbing, bleaching, etc. etc. It’s work. As such, we want some form of acknowledgement and my agent tells me that motherhood still doesn’t come with a paycheck or benefits package–despite what you may have heard. I mean, I didn’t even know how to do laundry when I went to college at 18 and now very few days go by without a load or two being done by yours truly. To get that acknowledgement, we turn to our friends and family and exclaim over this work–let’s face it, never in the history of the universe has a baby thanked you for cleaning poop off of it’s body. Your child could have poop in their mouth, and they’ll still act indignant if you interrupt play time for the have a second it takes to fish it out.  So if you’re not duly impressed by the laundry, dishes, and vacuuming (full disclaimer: I never vacuum. Never), that make up a large portion or our day, then we’ll try to gain your admiration by grossing you out. We have no shame.

Which dovetails rather nicely into the number one reason why moms are disgusting–we have no shame (see what I did there?). Nothing in life will scrub you of your dignity quite like having a baby. Basically, your parents spend most of your life drilling it into you that certain things are private and then you get pregnant and all bets are off. Your first tip-off is probably that ultrasound wand that they DON’T place on your stomach–that was a surprise! And it’s not just your lady bits getting the royal treatment–it’s everything. Your feet, your stomach, your bowels–anything and everything is effected by pregnancy. Stuff you wouldn’t tell your husband gets written down and saved for posterity. It’s not a yearly thing either–quickly forgotten–by the end of your pregnancy, you are in the office weekly and getting “examined” while a nurse or two excitedly waits to hear about the state of your cervix. I was on bed rest a scant 24 hours before my twins were born, which meant I had to ask someone to bring me a pan so I could pee in it–they waited while I went. That? Was embarrassing.

By the time your little bundle of joy arrives, you think nothing of noting their every burp, pee, and poop. They actually encourage you to write that stuff down. You get through with all that, you can sometimes forget that the whole world doesn’t need to know that stuff. You can actually go so far as to type a facebook update about poop. Or vomit. Or both in the same update. Don’t hate me!

So the next time one of your mom friends says something that makes your stomach turn, try not to be too hard on her–the deck is stacked against us moms and at some point we’re probably going to be gross. Just be grateful we’re not your mom.

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  1. I read pretty fast… did you mention the part about how we take our own spit to wipe things off their faces? Guilty! And yes, I though moms were gross before I had kids too. That ALL certainly changes once you have your own!

  2. We talk about what our days revolve around. Yours just happens to be the ick of the world, right now.

    I could gross you out by discussing dermatology images that try not to see while at work, if that helps.

  3. Melissa K. says:

    After having my daughter, I was stuck in the bed for over 24 hours thanks to a super effective epidural. Since I had a c-section, a catheter was my very unwelcome friend, and an embarrassment when the nurse was a bit late to empty the bag…..so it overflowed all over the floor. Or once I finally could walk (barely), bleeding all over everything on the way to the bathroom – it looked like the scene of a slasher film.

    I agree wholeheartedly, having a baby makes you lose all shame you might have once held. I had 2 c-sections with my guts and everything else out there for (what felt like) half the world to see. If I get covered in puke or poop, I don’t hesitate to whip off my shirt and grab a clean one out of the pile of (clean) laundry on the couch – even if we have company. I stay at home, so 98% of the time it’s just me and the kids – husband doesn’t understand why my brain’s not there to not change in front of company.

  4. I was on inverted bedrest for over a week, trying (successfully!!) to keep my then-28 week baby from being born. Nothing is “off the table”, as far as conversation…or asking for help, for that matter. Thank GOD for nurses, I tell you. Most compelling display of compassion I’ve ever had the honor of experiencing. We Moms GET IT!!

  5. Before I was a mom, I had lots of friends with kids. I also worked at a daycare, so I was used all the “mom talk” and “kid stuff.”

    One evening I was out with my friend and her son. We were sitting in a booth at a restaurant. Suddenly her son leaned over and puked. I had a napkin in my hand a caught most of the vomit. My friend’s reaction was “that was cool!”

    She said most of her other friends wouldn’t have done that. Well, most of her other friends didn’t spend as much time with kids as I did. Plus, if I wouldn’t have caught it, I probably would have been wearing it.

  6. I gave up any hold on modesty when after the c-section for my girls and unable to move I was sponged bathed by not 1, not 2 but 3 novice nurses. Sigh the indignity of it.
    Mother hood really exposes you to so much grossness that you have to take in stride. Great post as usual.

  7. Totally had to do the pee in a pan thing too… yeah, 9 months pregnant and in labor… that didn’t work out so well. Poor conditions for peeing, even though the nurse turned on the water to aid in the situation. Oy.

  8. Oh! Oh! Oh! Can I tell you about how they shaved my hoo-ha right before my scheduled c-section? The nurse asked me if I had had a chance to shave before coming in that day. I didn’t realize that she was talking about my hoo-ha and not my legs. But seriously, who knows to shave that? And then, who can reach to appropriately shave down there? I was mortified when she busted out the shaver for my first c-section. And, let’s not talk about how many people saw my boobs when we were in the hospital. Both my kids had trouble latching appropriately, so I had an army of people gathered around shoving a hungry baby onto my boob. Awesome.

  9. amazing post – so true!