This story was originally published November 20, 2020 Before I became a mom, I had this picture of early motherhood in my head. That picture was of a mother dressed in crisp white pajamas, snuggling her angelic baby (clad in a beautiful, ruffly outfit with a big bow perched on her head, of course) all day long. That's in line with the images we see so often, right? Sure, I knew the newborn stage would be tiring and challenging...but mostly, I thought it would be as serene and lovely and sweet as it looks on Instagram. But then I became a mom and quickly realized those first few months were...kind of a hot mess. Sure, there were moments of exquisite beauty (and, for that record, I would give anything to relive those moments)... but sometimes, it felt hard to find those moments because they were (quite literally) covered in poop. Or spit-up. Or breast milk. Or...all three. That's why I'm loving a recent Instagram video from Lindsay Arnold, who just welcomed her daughter, Sage. The Dancing With the Stars pro is setting out to prove that even a world-class dancer can't make every single second of the newborn stage look graceful in this short clip, which she shares on her Instagram feed.
The video features all the hallmarks of the newborn stage: There's a diaper blowout, some projectile spit-up and even some classic breastmilk leaking through the new mom's shirt.
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We're all so used to seeing those varnished, filtered images of new moms and their babies—and sure, we all love to get dressed up for an hour so a photographer can capture the those images you'll treasure forever. But this? This is the reality of new motherhood. I remember being a week postpartum and struggling for a solid half an hour to get my daughter to latch at our pediatrician's office... and when she finally did, she nursed for a nice little chunk of time... before spitting up all over me. I remember walking out with vomit all over my clothes and excess milk leaking through shirt wondering what I was doing wrong, why no other new mom had stains everywhere or a baby that had to be changed 10 times a day. Of course, I get it hindsight: Few people are sharing those moments because, let's be real, they aren't pretty. But I wish someone had been as upfront and honest about what really goes into it as Arnold is being in this short video. I wish I could have seen this then. The comments on this video indicate that I'm not the only person who finds this video super relatable. "Why can I smell this video???? lol Godspeed momma #beentherewipedthat ," one commenter writes. Another adds: "Wait til you get a blowout down to their ankles and you're not at home. Pure Joy!". Been there! So props to this new mom for keeping it real and sharing a peek at those moments that are not so glamorous. Because we've all been there and that reality deserves to be seen.