Being a Mom Is Beautiful -- Except When It's Totally Gross

04/29/2015 12:40 pm ET | Updated Jun 29, 2015
Sara Goldstein

Maybe you've seen it by now -- the Instagram photo that went viral of a woman sitting on the toilet, contents of the cabinet strewn all over, while a standing toddler helps herself to the woman's right boob. Looking directly into the camera, the mom smiles with raised eyebrows as if to say, "Yep. Same crazy, different day."

As expected, the photo, with a caption that asked, "What's your mom truth?", ignited plenty of discussion. Little was in response to her question.

I've nursed a baby on the toilet. You know where I haven't nursed a baby? In a field of daisies while a gentle breeze blew through my hair.

One of these scenarios is the real-life nitty gritty. One only happens in stock photos. Like her accompanying hashtag -- #MotherhoodAintPretty -- suggests.

In fact, motherhood can be downright gross. And momentarily breastfeeding a demanding kid while on the toilet in your own bathroom is far from the worst of it.

Is it an overshare? Of course it is. I have a strict "no taking photos of people on the toilet" philosophy. Hell, I probably wouldn't let you take a photo of me without mascara. But there's something to be said for being honest about the messiness that is raising small people.

Here is a list of truly disgusting things I've done as a mother, and guess what? None of them occurred while lounging in the countryside.

1. I've performed mouth-to-nose on a congested baby, spitting the gelatinous contents into a handkerchief, and only gagged a little.

2. I instinctively leapt toward a retching toddler to catch vomit with my bare hands.


4. I've woken up in a puddle of piss, completely disgusted and equally relieved that it wasn't my own.

5. I've spent a collective six and a half days standing around in public bathrooms waiting for a singing child to WRAP IT UP.

6. I've stashed prized princess urine-soaked underwear in my purse because tossing them and dealing with that nuclear fallout was less appealing.

7. These people have sneezed and coughed directly INTO MY MOUTH.

8. I have eaten mashed banana from the fat, sweaty hand of a gracious baby and managed to make an "mmmm!" sound while not totally grimacing.

10. I've scooped turds out of a bathtub.

11. I've lost the game of "water or week-old milk" when fishing sippy cups from under the couch.

12. I've played the game which truly has no winners, "Where is that vomit smell coming from?"

13. I have inadvertently eaten Goldfish that were soggy for reasons undetermined.

14. I have spent an afternoon wearing a shirt that had a legit streak of baby shit on it due to a carrier/diaper malfunction. (No one ever tells you to throw a change of clothes for yourself in the diaper bag. But to be fair, it was a walk downtown, not a jungle safari.)

15. I have spot-cleaned spit-up out of an otherwise clean pair of jeans.

16. I've milked myself like a cow, directly into the crusty eye of my irritated newborn.

17. In a moment of panic, I licked perfume out of the eye of my toddler, who, unbeknownst to me, had snatched a bottle off the shelf in Macy's and fired it right into her face. The blood-curdling scream nearly shattered the shelving.

18. The "clean their faces with saliva" animal instinct is strong.

19. My potty-training toddler crapped her pants at the private beach a few blocks from home, and because I didn't want to make matters worse with a ride home in the wagon and bathing suit bottoms sagging under the weight, I looked for an answer. It came in the form of a discarded coffee cup, complete with lid.

20. I've pulled teeth that were hanging sideways in the mouth of a child who cried for 20 minutes because he wanted me to pull them out, but not actually get within six feet of him.

21. Perhaps the most disgusting of all... I've shared their backwash-laden drinks. OMG. Is that an entire sandwich at the bottom?

You can check out more from Sara on her blog, Oddly Well Adjusted.

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