Sometimes you just have to wear the poop! Let me explain…
When my daughter Sophie was 2 weeks old, we took a family outing to a walk-through light display at our local zoo. I’ll just give the disclaimer that I probably shouldn’t have been out for a walking activity like that so early postpartum. I’m still glad we went, because my toddler had the time of his life!
Anyway, I bundled up Sophie in the carrier and walked around with my family to see the lights. Sam was in awe of it all! Everything was going well. We were making memories together and all of that.
Then, while Sam was hopping around on lights projected onto the ground, Sophie let out the loudest, crudest-sounding, adult-level fart, and I felt my front become very, very warm.
I already knew she had had a massive blowout and that it was not just on her, but also all over me. Our parents kept asking if I wanted to stop into a bathroom to clean up. However, trying to handle it in a public restroom would have been so much worse than just wearing the poop for a little while longer. It had soaked through all my layers, and I didn’t have a change of clothes. She wasn’t upset, thankfully!
We took our time to get through the rest of the light displays. When we got to to the minivan I climbed in the trunk, and Sophie lost it when I started to change her. I cleaned my screaming baby up as much as I could while my toddler was shouting into my ear and did my best to not let my own clothes touch anything. It wasn’t fun, but I stayed (mostly) calm!
If that had happened with my first baby, I probably would have cried the moment I realized what had happened, left the zoo, and then been scared to leave the house for a few days afterward. The greatest lesson I learned after having my firstborn was that I’m really not in control of my circumstances. I can plan as much as I want to and try to have everything be just right for our outings, but children always find a way to surprise you!
I think one of the most helpful skills you can have as a parent is to be able to say, “Well, that happened. It’s not great, but we’ll figure it out” whenever an unideal situation presents itself. The trick is to not expect any certain outcome and to be able to adapt to your circumstances in the moment. And if you don’t have that skill going into parenthood, chances are you’ll learn it very quickly! Taking a few deep breaths in the moment helps too.
Something else you should know if you’re a new parent is that there are SO many supportive and understanding people around you. I shared this story in an Instagram reel, and many other moms shared their own similar stories. There were a few negative people who criticized how I handled the situation, but there were plenty of women who came to my defense. They all emphasized that we really just have to do what we can when the unexpected happens!
The reason I wanted to share this small story is to encourage you. Embarrasing things WILL happen to you as a parent. Your baby might have a huge blowout or your toddler might have a massive meltdown in public. But you’re a good mom who’s doing her best, and the fact that you’re still willing to show up and face the world even in the midst of chaos is amazing. Our kids don’t need incident-free lives… they need us to show them how to navigate the unexpected. None of us will ever be perfect, and learning to be examples of grace in these moments will be a lifelong process.
Thankfully, this process is one of the most rewarding there is!