This Is Not a How-To: When There's Spit-up On Your Shirt

A sweet friend recently welcomed her third baby girl into the world. What a treat to hold this little beauty against me the other day, feeling her warmth and soft breathing as she slept peacefully on my chest. Later, as motherhood and my mommy style blog came up in conversation, my friend turned to me and said, “Here’s a question for your blog: What do you do when you’re out in public and the baby gets spit up—or poop!—on your shirt?”

Oh, don’t we all have stories of our clothes suffering exposure to the baby elements—aka: poop, pee, and the ever present spit-up surprise. Welcome to life as a mom.

I remember going out with our first baby. I felt a lot of new things. There was the self-consciousness about an untamable tummy pooch. The feeling of thickness from those extra pounds that were taking their pretty time coming off. The concern about milk leaking through my shirt. The concern that everything would stay in my shirt! The quick worried glances at my shoulders for dry saliva or snot before walking into a public place.

Before a baby I used to spend ample time dressing, fixing my hair, and applying make up. I’d step out of the house without any doubts about what my shirt was doing or whether there was snot on it or whether there would be poop on it by the time I got back home. All that had changed with a baby in the back seat.

But those weren’t the only new things I felt. I also felt pride and joy as I drove around town with my baby strapped cozily into his car seat. I felt gratefulness toward God when I recalled that nagging empty feeling in the mommy corner of my heart—and realized I no longer felt it. I often caught myself grinning ear to ear as I sat in traffic and replayed my baby’s first giggle or smile from the night before. I laughed about more moments throughout the day than ever before. I was amazed that a little being that added so much work to my day and detracted so much sleep from my night could also bring so much new joy into my life. For hubby and I, life had been made so much more complicated, but also infinitely more complete. I felt peace.

So while I could sit here and write out tips on “Dealing With Surprise Spit-up on Your Shirt” or “How to Prepare for Poop on Your Outfit”  instead I’m going to suggest a fresh approach to such problems.

When you feel like a less-than-perfectly-put-together-mommy (and let’s be honest, that’s every day in the early months and definitely every day after kid #2), rather than asking how to fix the problem, ask yourself why you have the problem. When the answer inevitably comes back to that sweet little squirming body in the car seat, you will have reminded yourself that the wardrobe trouble is the result of a huge blessing.

You smell like sour milk because you have a baby of your very own to feed. You have dark circles under your eyes because something more precious than sleep is keeping you up at night. You have a snot-streak on your shirt because a little one is depending on you for comfort. You have a pooch on your waist because your arms are no longer empty.

You have been blessed beyond words. And that’s why you smile and kiss your baby when she spits up on your blouse. No immediate wardrobe solutions. Just a moment to remember how rich you really are.

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