The baby was sitting in her Mickey chair, with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on, but wasn’t paying attention to her favorite show. She was too preoccupied picking at a toe nail that had grown to be too long and was obviously irritating her. So I went to get the nail clippers so I could help her out. It turned out that all of her toe nails and finger nails needed to be clipped. Since I was clipping nails, I called the 5 and 3 year olds over to do them as well. Sure enough, their nails had also grown to be too long.
I swear I just did this! Their nails grow so fast! I thought to myself.
When the tedious task was completed, I then began the even more tedious task of picking up all the nail clippings that were littering the carpet. As I did this, I had the sudden realization that I just clipped 60 nails. 60 nails. And I was now picking up 60 nail clippings one by one out of the carpet.
I feel like moms get so ingrained in their routines of caring for tiny humans that they forget the huge tasks that they face every day. It’s all too easy to judge ourselves, wondering why we can’t seem to get our lives together. But when you put a number to all those daily tasks, it helps put the job into perspective.
Every two weeks, I have 60 nails to clip. Plus, there’s , you know, my own 20 nails to maintain.
Twice a day, I am in charge of ensuring that 52 teeth get brushed. Once the baby gets the rest of her teeth, that number will go up to 60. Again, this number does not include my own teeth, which I also have to remember to brush. And before my kids had teeth to brush, I soothed them through the pain of each one of those teeth cutting through their delicate baby gums.
Assuming that a newborn will go through 10 diapers a day in the first 6 months, then 8 diapers a day after that, and that they are potty trained at 2 1/2 (which was not the case for my second born), I have changed approximately 20,130 diapers in the 5 1/2 years that I have been a mom. This is not including pull-ups, because it varied too much between my older two, making it impossible for me to try to calculate it. But my 3 year old still wears pull-ups at night.
Assuming that you nurse for 40 minutes at a time, 8 times a day for the first year of life, you will spend 117,120 minutes nursing. Which is 1,952 hours. Which is 81.3 days. For 1 kid. I have now nursed 3 kids, so I have spent approximately 5,856 hours nursing. That’s 244 days.
I have spent 32 hours in labor.
I have been pregnant for 101 weeks. Assuming that my current pregnancy goes to full term, that number will go up to 122 weeks. Which is 2.3 years.
Google estimates that the average kid will get around 7 colds a year between ages 6 months – 5 years. I have a 5 year old, 3 year old, and 18 month old. So I have seen my kids through approximately 51 colds. Not to mention the stomach bugs, ear infections, boughts of pneumonia, and RSV that I’ve also nursed.
The average 4 year old asks around 100-300 questions in a day. My kids start the constant interrogations around 2 1/2 and are on the higher end of the spectrum because they are girls. Last year I counted all the questions that my then 2 1/2 & 4 1/2 year olds asked me in a day, and it totaled 417. For the sake of age, let’s assume my 4 year old asked around 350 questions that day. For the sake of calculations, let’s say that the questions start at age 3. Between my 5 & 3 year olds, I have answered roughly 1,088,850 questions.
My point is this–motherhood is not for the weak. If you are a mom, please let me be the one to tell you: you are a superhero. There is no other explanation for how you are able to do this job. There is without a doubt, something supernatural about you. What we do day in and day out is mind boggling. It is so very important.
I am so very proud of us.
Also–we need a raise!