If you read a lot of mom blog literature, it just seems like mothers just don’t shower these days. Mom forums are full of mothers venting about doing all the child-rearing, all the cleaning, all the cooking, all the laundry, all the diaper-changing and all the house organizing so they just don’t have time to shower. Some wear it as a badge of honor. When a mother proudly declares that they haven’t showered in three days because of her children, they are basically implying that good mothers don’t take care of themselves. You have to sacrifice something so basic about yourself to be the best mom you can be. Others are just too afraid to leave their children alone for even a second, and are so overwhelmed by the responsibilities of new parenthood that showering falls by the wayside. Either way, this is a huge problem for moms. And it has to stop.
First off, it is completely possible to raise multiple children and have a daily shower. Don’t believe me? Hear me out. I’m a twin mom and I shower every day. You heard that right. I shower every day. I’ve done so ever since the day after my kids were born, almost a year and a half ago. I started doing it in the hospital when I got my epidural out and I was cleared to get up and walk around after my c-section. It felt WONDERFUL. I got a few minutes to myself away from the hubbub that is your hospital room in the days after you have twins. I continued the ritual when we got home from the hospital, and every day since.
How do I do it you ask? I make the time. Plain and simple. In the beginning, I couldn’t seem to get a shower in during the hectic morning (after a sleepless night) so I would hop in during my kids’ afternoon nap. Or I would sneak one in while my husband tended to a diaper change or when he made some dinner. Eventually, I changed my routine to include a shower at night. Now the shower I take each night is crucial to my ability to wind down and create a little bit of peace and calm in my hectic days.
I understand that mothers are busy raising the next generation, and it can seem that a little BO never hurt anyone. It can seem like your kid’s happiness is more important than you having a shower indulgence. It doesn’t really hurt anyone right? But just think about it for a second. Not showering does hurt someone in your family. It hurts you. It makes you feel like you are less than human. It makes you feel like you are not worth anything. Everything and everyone around you is more important than you. Let’s face it. Not showering makes you feel like shit. And I’m a firm believer that when you feel like shit you will act like shit. You will feel more overwhelmed and less able to cope with the challenges that a day with kids will throw at you. Every little thing your husband does that annoys you will seem 100% worse than it actually is. Your kids will get on that last frayed nerve you have. And you will not be happy.
Think about what you are teaching your children when you don’t take care of yourself in the most basic way: cleaning your body. You are showing them that it is OK to put the needs and wants of others above the needs and wants of yourself at all costs. You are showing them that it is OK to not take care of yourself. That it’s OK to lose yourself and let yourself go. You are showing them that mommy is not important and that how she feels just isn’t even necessary to think about.
Just stop. Put your kids in their crib or play yard. Put on a movie. Make your husband be in charge of the kids for 30 minutes. Call your mother to watch the kids. Hire a babysitter. Do WHATEVER IT TAKES to take a shower everyday. When you feel clean, fresh, and not covered in sweat and stink you will have a new perspective on the day. This small amount of time for YOURSELF is essential to being a good mother. You owe it to yourself to be a happy woman and a happy mom. When you take care for yourself, you will be able to take care of your children, your house, your husband and everything else you take care of better. You will feel like the important human being you are.
I can’t say that a daily shower will solve all of your life’s problems. But I can say that it is an essential part of self-care that can help you get through your day just that much better. It is your responsibility to take care of yourself just as much as it is your responsibility to take care of the other people in your family. Taking care of yourself is the same as taking care of your children. When mom is happy, the kids are happy.
Moms, please shower! You deserve it.