10 things only a mom with a newborn will understandMoms of newborns, unite! When you’re in survival mode during those first weeks and months after giving birth, you realize the newborn stage is its own unique world. Sleeping, eating, your standard of personal hygiene all change considerably. Someday, you’ll emerge into a new normal, but for the time being, moms with newborns share a few ultra-exclusive experiences:

  1. You develop a talent for eating with one hand. And only occasionally do you drip or drop food on your sleeping baby’s head.
  2. A three-hour stretch of sleep is like heaven. All day long, you fantasize about sleep in your soft, cozy bed or on the couch or even on the floor—doesn’t really matter where. To think that three hours used to be a solid weekend nap!
  3. Fresh air has never felt so good. When you emerge from your home, you are confronted with so much wide open space—and the fact that there is a whole world going on like nothing has changed while you HAD A BABY. It’s surreal. People are working, shopping, socializing and commuting like no big deal, and you—well, you’re doing the very big, important job of keeping a little human alive.
  4. For breastfeeding moms, your nipples have never seen so much action. Doesn’t matter what kind of amorous affection you might have enjoyed previously, your boobs are getting a million times more attention than they ever have.
  5. Your couch has taken the form of your butt. Between cluster-feeding marathons, naps that MUST happen in your arms and countless middle-of-the-night wake-ups, you’ve set up camp. Hey, look at it this way: you have total permission to do some major Netflix and social media binging. Now is the time to soak up all that entertainment with zero guilt, mama.
  6. When you leave the house without the baby for the first time (or first several times), you feel like you’ve forgotten something. It’s like you’ve left your right arm at home. Looking in the rear-view mirror at that empty car seat base is so weird. And it’s like, Do I bring the diaper bag? Or a purse?
  7. Your first date night or girls’ night out is an exhilarating and disorienting experience. Look at you in real pants (okay, leggings are pants, right?) and mascara! So light and free. Bring on the wine!
  8. You never thought you’d be completely 100 percent unflustered by poop, but hey, if it gets on your hand now, no biggie. Wipe it off and move on.
  9. Your loving partner still thinks you’re beautiful even though you haven’t showered in five days. Dry shampoo and deodorant are the best you can manage (some days, even that’s a stretch) and that’s okay.
  10. The standard for changing your clothes has drastically shifted. A rotation of leggings or yoga pants, nursing tanks and slouchy tops has become your uniform. On days when you succeed in throwing on a “dressy sweatshirt” and your old maternity jeans, you feel super put together.

It won’t be like this forever. This funny, bizarre newborn stage is a fleeting one. In the not-so-distant future, you will suddenly realize that you ate a meal without holding a baby, you’re wearing pants that button and you actually slept a few hours in a row. You’ll feel a little more like yourself, or a new, improved “supermom” version of yourself. So embrace the chaos and do what you need to do. Soak up the newborn snuggles and during the tough times, remember this too shall pass.