The gross things that come naturally once you are a parent

Parenthood and a little bit of grossness go hand in hand.
Parenthood and a little bit of grossness go hand in hand.  Photo: Frederic Cirou

Before you become a parent there are many things that would have you cringing and shaking your head in disgust that, post children, you think nothing of. 

Take heading out, for example.  

Pre-children, you'd spend time getting ready, leaving the house in a presentable state, minus food smeared all over your clothes. Your hair would be freshly washed and you'd have a handbag free from soggy biscuits and snot-filled tissues. 

Post-children, however, you're lucky to get five minutes to brush your teeth – if at all. Your clothes are considered clean if they only have one or two unidentifiable stains on, and fully 'made up' is a slick of lip balm and a swipe of crusty six-month-old mascara.

Trips to fine dining restaurants are exchanged for visits to noisy, child friendly yet often unappetising buffets or cafes equipped with plastic fantastic, germ-riddled toys.

Likewise, a clean and hygienic house is exchanged for one that boasts fingerprints on every surface, dead, smelly clothes abandoned all over the floor and a toilet that constantly reeks like a public urinal.

Yes, it's fair to say that having children means that your standards lower considerably and, when faced with the day to day responsibility of keeping these beings alive, things that once seemed gross or unsavoury are now a walk in the park.

I'm guilty myself of taking naturally to many gross things since becoming a parent.  On a personal level, I often go a day or two without a shower. I sometimes forget to brush my teeth. And I've accumulated a variety of hats to hide the sin of 10-day-old unwashed hair.

As far as my children are concerned, I'm not much better. I'm always wiping their noses on my clothes, think nothing of finishing off their leftover semi-sucked snacks, and regularly and rather publicly sniff my seven-month-old's bum.


But when I asked friends to share stories about things that no longer gross them out since becoming parents, many came forward quickly with their tales, showing that it's totally a normal transition. (Well, either that or I also have totally gross friends!)

Michelle said, "I lick my thumb to get the dirt off their faces, even though it used to gross me out 110 per cent when I was a kid and mum did it to us!"

Ainslie said, "I was vomited all over this morning (yay!), but my first thought was at least it was me and not the sofa or rug."

"Not me, but my brother in law ate a half sucked soggy chocolate biscuit from his daughter as he didn't have anywhere to dispose of it in his car," says Marianne.

Leeanne confesses to picking out her son's boogies, while Jess admits a love for picking off her daughter's cradle cap when she was a newborn.

And, of course, what would any gross parenting tale be without the inclusion of poo and bums?

For Ali, looking for worms is something she now considers just part of her job as mum.  Rashida admits helping her son out when he's got stuck in the past … quite literally.

"When my little one got constipated twice, I dug out his poop from his bottom because it was hard and he couldn't pass it out," she says.

Similarly, Lee's bath time is no longer as fresh as it once was.

"I remember sharing a lovely, long bath with Curtis when he was little, only to drain the water and discover we'd been bathing with a big poo lurking at the bottom," she says.

So there we have it – proof that parenthood affects us all when it comes to changes in our lifestyles and, more specifically, in our tolerance of grossness.

It's just lucky for us that the good far outweighs the bad, and cuteness begs forgiveness for every gross thing we now have to endure.