Parenthood does wonders for your appearance. Unfortunately, this pretty much means people look at you and *wonder* what the heck happened (probably not what you were going for…) In fact, appearance post-children is such a struggle bus that I will probably make this into a series of posts. Up first: bathing.
You’re going to have to find a standard with which you’re comfortable. I highly recommend finding that balance somewhere in between gorgeous model and disheveled, unshowered lunatic. The former is certainly a pipedream but the latter is undoubtedly my husband’s nightmare, so, you know, compromise. This is not to say that Lady Lunatic will not be making her periodic appearances, and in fact, there may be seasons in which it looks like she has downright taken over (side-eye to you sleep regression, terrible twos, stomach-flu-season, etc.). Still, making a little effort here and there is good for the soul. The problem: appearing somewhat normal these days requires more than making just “a little effort.” It requires a Herculean one…
Bathing: Once Upon a Time… and now.
Personal hygiene doesn’t happen as easily as it used to. It is no longer “I feel like a shower and hence, I shower.” Bathing now resembles a juggling act. If your spouse is home, you can trade-off shower time –one watches the kids while the other washes up. This is all well and great on the weekend, but during the week is where things really get dicey. I stay home with the kids and Hubs leaves for work very early. There was a time when I used to get up while the kids slept and shower before he left, but that was several children ago and my desire for sleep has long since trumped my desire to be clean.
These days, showering requires my three children to be safely engaged in something. Every now and then, the planets align and I manage to snag a shower while the oldest is at school, the middle is in his room for “rest time” and the baby is napping. This happens approximately five times per year. Unfortunately, five weekday showers per year is, clearly, gross. To shower on the other days, I experience this dilemma: Do I tell my kids what I’m about to do?
The upside to telling them is that they know where to find me if there is an emergency and my oldest will know to be more careful of the baby (who will be safely-ish locked away in a pack n play, bouncer, crib, etc.). The down side: the second you tell the kids what you are doing, they need you urgently. All three kids could be happily playing/sleeping/watching a cartoon, but if you tell them you are going to shower (or heaven forbid, to the bathroom), wait about two seconds so all hell can break loose.