1. Natural child-birth. It turns out that if your baby takes fewer than two hours to come out, it’s really not that bad because you don’t have any time to think about the pain (or get the anesthesiologist).
2. Carrying the equivalent of a 40 pound bag of dog food up and down stairs multiple times a day. Eliza weighs 25 pounds, Zach weighs 18, and yes, I carry them at the same time despite how dangerous it seems every time I do it.
3. Tuning out sounds while awake. I often don’t hear Eliza the first 14 times she calls my name, but the 15th often reaches my inner ear.
4. Hearing everything when trying to sleep. Conversely, I didn’t know I could sleep so lightly that my child’s cough, sneeze, or even sigh wakes me up.
5. Skipping meals cluelessly. Yes, I’ve skipped meals before, but normally it’s because I think about eating and just can’t manage to pull myself away from an activity. Until I had kids, I never skipped meals without knowing it.
6. Sleep deprivation. I had no idea I could function on the equivalent of 5 or 6 non-consecutive hours of sleep a day for weeks and even months on end. The Army has conducted multiple sleep studies, and has found that we shouldn’t go more than three straight weeks on five hours a night without expecting a loss of brain function. Now I know why I feel so dumb and forgetful.
7. Pinching off diarrhea to finish at a later time. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
8. Going five days without washing my hair. In my defense, Greg was out-of-town and I had been to the salon, so it was “styled” that whole time. I know people who have completed outward bound or hiked the Appalachian Trail have probably done this, but that doesn’t count because that’s outside of living in “society.”
9. Cooking, holding a baby, talking on the phone, and watching a toddler all at once. Becoming a mom has truly changed my definition of multi-tasking.
10. Pumping hundreds of hours and in random places. I’m not only a member of the mile-high pumping club, but I’ve pumped countless times in the car (sometimes while in motion, other times in parking lots). I’ve pumped in the bathrooms at wedding receptions, ski resorts, and even a black tie award event for my husband.
I’m curious to know what you have done that’s tested your physical abilities since becoming a mom.