How a Hot Mess Raises a Baby

Babies were basically the original Hot Messes. Greetings, it is Hot Mess week here at ParentalGrit; on MONDAY we detailed what a Hot Mess is and why the trendy term is worth exploring and on TUESDAY we investigated how a Hot Mess accomplishes housework. Today we move forward to share how a Hot Mess raises a baby. If there’s a way to raise a baby not in Hot Mess style, I’d like to hear it. Babies are the quintessential HM project: absolute chaos surrounded by a world that loves to offer unsolicited judgments on your parenting abilities. What a tidy fit that is.

If you thought your life was a Hot Mess and your head was spinning before having kids, try running on 4 hours of sleep for 6 consecutive months while desperately grasping for the final remnants of your sanity. I sometimes have this dream that I get 8 hours of sleep every night; I’m more productive at work, I’m always patient with my girls, and my wife and I only speak to each other in loving tones. Then my newborn poops herself awake and stubby toddler fingers jam into my eyeballs. It’s 2:30 am…and it was definitely a dream. Anyway, back to the story, let’s explore how a Hot Mess deals with a baby.

As I mentioned above, babies really are the original Hot Messes. They’re constantly breaking down and always in need of something. It actually raises the age-old chicken-or-the-egg question: which came first, the Hot Mess baby or the Hot Mess parent? Regardless, a Hot Mess having a baby often could be translated into ‘A baby raising a baby’. Who cries more? Momma, daddy, or the baby? That’s definitely a toss-up for the first several months. Who is constantly sleeping (though always in 15 minute intervals)? I believe my wife literally took 6 naps last Saturday in a desperate attempt to ‘catch up’—haha, yeah right honey. Who is constantly hungry? Who flips from happy to bawling in a single moment? Who mumbles incoherently? I could describe the baby and the Hot Mess parent right down a similar vein.

A Hot Mess always raises a baby in a way that will inevitably offend family members, friends, and complete strangers. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, somehow drama will follow the parenting. It could be co-sleeping, it could be breastfeeding, car seat installation, formula use…it doesn’t matter what the topic, the Hot Mess will seemingly always make the worst decision (hint: but not really). Controversy follows baby raising like flies follow my toddler’s diapers out to the trash. I mean, some parents introduce a vegetable as the first weaning food…and others introduce saltwater taffy first. Who are we to judge?

Normal parents have the imagination to creatively problem solve and life hack all the difficult trivialities of babies. Baby sensory games, nursery décor, crafts, etc….all the nonsense we see in yogurt commercials and staged IG photo shoots. Hot Messes, on the other hand, have an imagination that runs wild…in the opposite direction. Can my dog watch my baby for 20 minutes? Isn’t urine like water and it will just evaporate in the diaper if I don’t change it? Can I make it that second week without a shower?

There’s no shame in raising a baby in an unorthodox manner. As we covered on Monday, life is sailing along at a breakneck pace and sometimes a shortcut is the only way out. Raising a baby is the ultimate pairing for a Hot Mess parent: your kindred spirit awaits you in the form of a miniature human relying on your best effort to survive. Please note that I said best effort and not perfect effort. If you’re parenting a baby, there’s really only one way it’s going to be: messy.

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