Anonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.
I have not changed my 11-month-old’s diaper in more than six weeks.
I consider this one of my all time greatest achievements in life. What mother of a non-toilet trained baby do you know has gotten away without changing a diaper for a day? Let alone weeks weeks? I’m not bragging that I haven’t changed a diaper. It’s just I’m in total shock that no one in my family has noticed. I’ve started to count the days until someone in my house finally says, “Hey, when is the last time YOU changed a diaper mom?”
I don’t even mind changing diapers. I prefer not to since my baby is now eating adult food, which means what comes out of him is adult-like (if you know what I mean.) You’re probably thinking, or hoping, I’m going to tell you how I’ve gotten away with this. I’m not quite sure myself, but I’ll share my story.
I work from home. My husband goes to an office. This baby is our fourth boy. We have three older boys, ages seven, nine, and 11. I have a part-time sitter who comes Mondays to Fridays for five hours a day to help out while I run my home business. So my day usually starts with my baby waking up when he hears the older kids get up.
I’ll say to one of the older children (who love their baby brother and are surprising skilled diaper changers) to go, “change your brother’s diaper, while I make you breakfast.” Either one of the boys, sometimes two, or sometimes all of them, will change his diaper. They love the baby in the mornings because that’s the time he gives the biggest smiles and is at his goofiest. They’ll bring him down, passing him off to me, and eat their breakfast. I’ll get the older kids off to school.
Then I’ll feed the baby. And by the time I’m done wiping him down and changing his outfit, the part-time sitter arrives. So I have a good few hours off diaper-duty during the day and then I pick up the older boys from school. When they get home, I’ll say something like, “I really have to run to the bathroom. Just change him and I’ll get you a snack.” (Boys will do anything, it seems, for food.)
Sometimes I bribe or plead, “Oh, come on. Just put your show on pause! It will take you one minute. I gave you life!” Or, “How many times do I drive you to hockey and your friend’s houses?” (I guess that falls more under guilt, but this works too.)
Now it’s after four o’clock and the sitter has left (not before I always ask, “Can you make sure he doesn’t need a diaper change? I really just have to get these final e-mails off.”) And then my husband will come home. He’s a good guy. The kind of father that actually loves being a father. We eat usually after the boys, including the baby. When my husband is home, I’ll say to him, “OK, I’ll prepare his bottle if you go upstairs and get him ready for bed.” Of course this includes a diaper change.
Weekends are harder since there is no part-time help, but I still manage get out of diaper duty.
So, you can see how easy it is to get “away with” — if you can call it that — not changing a diaper. It’s pretty much, “I’ll do this if you change him.” I say it in such a way that it sounds like a compromise and no one really seems to have caught on that I’m always finding something else – “Have to go to the bathroom!” “Have to prepare his bottle!” “Have to fold the laundry!”
To be honest, as a parent, we all have things we hate doing. For example, I hated playing with trucks with my firstborn (by the fourth, it’s just part of life, like breathing.) I hated bathing my second born. Contrary to me, my husband loves giving baths, but hates feeding time and hates putting babies to bed. I’m really good at putting babies to bed, so I definitely don’t mind doing that.
But, seriously, I’ve started counting the days as they go by to see how much longer I can get away with this. It’s kind of like counting down the days until Christmas. But in this case, I’m counting the days until someone says, “Mommy hasn’t changed baby’s diaper in 103 days!” It could happen. I’m almost at the 60-day mark, now that I’ve just looked at the calendar.
Or perhaps my husband is pulling a fast one on me. He hasn’t fed the baby in…I don’t know how long. But maybe he’s saying, “I wonder when my wife is going to catch on that I haven’t fed the baby in weeks.”
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