Vomit, pee, sweat, dribble, food, breastmilk… oh, you name it! Some days I think to myself that instead of putting my dirty clothes in the hamper, that tonight, maybe I should just burn them instead, but I think I’m planning to make shirt quilts and pillows out of my clothes I have now for my children when they grow older. Lucky for me, I’m stay at home right now, and I don’t have a need to wear semi-presentable clothes. I know when I was working, I would always keep a spare shirt or two in the back of the car, just in case I didn’t make it to work looking respectable.
There’s no such thing as wearing something nice when you have a baby around. Even with Margo, who is three, there is no guarantee that anything I’m wearing would stay clean for long with only her around. And, with a seven month old baby. around pah-lease! Summer doesn’t help. It’s hot. Well, technically, summer is turning into autumn, but today was so hot that I was sweating bullets and the kids were running around the house half naked, so end of summer, doesn’t really mean a thing.
Things have gotten better now that Goldie is a little older. In other words, the rate at which the bodily fluids coming out of her (and of the ones feeding her), has gradually subsided. She doesn’t puke on command anymore and she doesn’t feed 24/7 anymore. Also, now that she’s on solids, the #2s are much less frequent and explosive. Even when doing EC, the poos can still get you sometimes 🙂
In case you don’t know what that is… the ‘pop-and-spray’, goes sort of like this: Baby PRETENDS to want to feed, but then, something interests them more (like a fly buzzing on the wall, or their 3 year old sister walking into the room). And, it always seems to happen the instant the milk starts coming out (called let-down). The baby first makes eye contact with the object of interest, then, slowly hint like they are about to pull away, and then, fast as lightening, they whip their head around and break the suction, leaving you to quickly grab a towel, (if you’re lucky) or most likely, your shirt, or anything to stop the hose down from plastering your favorite upholstery or wall with breastmilk. Sometimes, I desperately (and failingly) try to sort of hold the head in place to encourage a few little sips… just enough so that the initial let down has passed. But,,, if the distraction is too much, like the fly is buzzing too loud, forget it! INSTANT WET SHIRT!
I would say the ‘pop-and-spray’ is one of the most serious offenders in terms of long and short term effects. Not only do you get an instant wet shirt, but then hours later, when you’re walking around the shops wondering why you smell sour milk, you remember what happened. I don’t wear those breastpads… to me, they would just get all wet, soggy and gross, so I just press down with the heal of my hand (careful if you’re really full, doing this too often, or new at breatfeeding, it can give you mastitis or something..).
A sphincter is just a valve people! The sphincter between a baby’s stomach and their esophagus is weak. Vomit can and does happen (not to all, but to most). Baby vomit, can of course, be a more serious offender. But, usually a good up-chuck is enough to make you change your shirt immediately (if you’re in the position to do so), so you eliminate the chance of further offenses straight away. Unless of course, you have just finished off tying a tricky back wrap with your baby wrap, and your baby is all in there, snug and secure. You’ve worked up a sweat to get them in there and then suddenly, you have puke dripping your back just as you’re walking out the door… in that case, I have, on several occasions, simply wiped away the chunks that I could see and continue on out the door. Can you believe my life has come to that!
‘Get Puked On
Sweat is another common offender… Post partum, you tend to be a little more smelly and sweaty anyway. If you’re wearing your baby around, and it’s summer, you can just about triple the sweat and stink factor.
No Shirt is Left Unscathed!
I get really excited when I buy a new shirt from K-mart for $3! I’m serious! You know, one that doesn’t have the neck stretched out from hauling my boobs in and out all day. I really struggle to find something respectable to wear. Lucky for me, about 99% of the time, I’m actually wearing my baby, so I don’t have to worry about what I’m wearing as a shirt…
Stains are Minor Offenders
When it comes to stains and actual food mess, I could even care less about these! Tomato sauce on my white shirt… meh… Beetroot stain on my khaki shorts that I’v had for 7 years.. oh well. It doesn’t smell, turn crusty or turn into biohazardous waste material, so I usually don’t care if I have a few spots on my shirt.
It Doesn’t Take Much
Not every mother is in such a dirty mess as I am. I don’t know how it happens to me, but it just does. Some moms are really organised and neat and tidy… I’m not sure how they do it… I guess I could do it too… might require extra effort though…
The greatest part about being all crusty and dirty at the end of the day is hoping in the shower. I take the girls in with me and we all get clean at once and then I let them roll around on the bed to air out. There’s nothing like going to bed clean and fresh. In fact… I think I need to go there now. Tonight, I’m not going to burn my clothes, but you can bet that the thought does cross my mind, at least once or twice a day.