Of course, nobody likes cleaning up spat-out food or poopy diapers. But hey, we're parents. It's what we do.

By Nicole Fabian-Weber
January 07, 2016
Credit: Liam Norris/Getty Images

Before we become parents, we're warned of the typical ways in which our lives are going to change—less sleep; fewer date nights; trading in heels for more sensible toddler-chasing shoes. But one thing we're not informed of is the amount of gross stuff (like, really gross) we wind up doing when we have kids. And the weird thing? What once would have made us gag ends up not even seeming all that icky. Well, most of the time.

The following eight things may have triggered our gag-reflex pre-kids, but now? We wipe snotty noses with our sleeves and catch barf in our bare hands. We're parents. It's just what we do.

1. Sucking the snot out of someone else's nose. You really haven't lived until you've (attempted to) aspirate a baby's nose with one of those squishy snot-sucker ball things. You'll need ninja-like speed and agility to get the dang thing up your baby's stuffed nose and vacuum the snot out before he completely freaks out. And then you get to clean it. Kinda sounds like the candlelit dinners you and your partner used to enjoy, no?

2. Cleaning up someone else's poop. Sure, before we have kids we know that babies poop their diapers, but no one knows just how intimate one can get with someone else's bowel movements until they become a parent. From studying the color, consistency, and frequency of what's filling your newborn's nappy to cleaning up diaper explosions that seem to cover every inch of your babe (on his shoulder blades? Seriously?!) to wiping toddler's butts, it's safe to say "poop happens" when you're a mom. And the scary thing is, you'll really care about it.

3. Dealing with spit-up and barf. The thing about baby spit-up is that, even though it can happen frequently, it's typically pretty small in terms of the amount. Also, it's only breastmilk or formula. The thing about toddler barf is that, even though it happens infrequently, it's a lot more than spit-up. Also, it may contain crayons.

4. Cleaning up chewed and/or spat-out food. "Oh, what's this on the floor? A half-eaten apple and some spat-out pasta?" Or, as parents like to refer to it: Tuesday.

5. Randomly putting cream on your kid's butt. The funny thing? When your toddler scrunches up his little face and tells you that his bum hurts, your heart breaks a little and you can't get to the cream fast enough.

6. Being on the receiving end of sneezes, coughs, and other bodily functions that contain So. Many. Germs. If a stranger on the train coughed and sneezed in your face without having the decency to cover her mouth or nose, you'd be horrified. But when your kid does it, you just wipe it off and keep on truckin'. Also, you're pretty much okay with your sleeve being used as a Kleenex.

7. Playing Doctor Mom (or Dad), regardless of how squeamish you may be. It doesn't matter how much you once recoiled at the site of blood, when your kiddo gets a boo-boo you're all but ready to suit up and turn your kitchen into an O.R.

8. Flatulence. Yep, when you're a parent you get farted on. A lot. And the best revenge is farting right back.


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