Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What the Hell is a Shower?

On one of the parenting forums that I belong to, a new mother-to-be asked the question, “Moms always complain that they don't have time to shower when the new baby comes. Is this really true? I have a hard time believing there is not time for even a 4 minute shower?”

Answers to her naïve question came in the form of one of two types. Either moms said they are able to shower everyday or moms said, sure, I could shower everyday or I could choose to eat lunch that day or throw a load of laundry in the wash, etc etc etc. I tend to agree with the latter group.

Sure, taking 4 minutes per day for yourself doesn't seem like it would be that difficult. But, let's look at this more closely. Sure, it may take 4 minutes for the actual shower (if I chose not to use conditioner that day). But what about the prep? What about the aftermath? You can't just leave the baby on the livingroom floor and hop in the shower (the judge said I wasn't allowed to do that anymore). You had to figure out what to do with the baby. Get naked. Take the shower. Then get dressed, brush your hair, and if you were lucky, put on makeup or lotion or both! So, that 4 minute shower just turned into a 15 minute endeavor. Still doesn't seem that bad?

For the first three months, my baby fed every hour. Yes, every single hour. She would eat for only about 15 minutes or so, so that would leave me a whopping 45 minutes to shower, right? Well, not exactly. About 40% of the time she would fall asleep on the boob for about a half hour, sometimes up to two hours. And who am I to mess with a sleeping baby? Ok, have to wait until after the next feeding I guess. At the next feeding, she'd may have to be changed (especially early on as she pooped a lot!). Ok, still have 40 minutes left, right?

Well, if I am coordinated, lucky and have a shower on my mind, I might decide to head right upstairs to take a ---oh, wait. I forgot her bouncy seat. Back downstairs to grab the bouncy seat, and, if I remember, toys to hang on the bar. Baby and bouncy seat in arms (I didn't say, baby in bouncy seat, mind you), I head upstairs. I put the seat in the bathroom. Gotta grab a fresh towel. Phone rings. Or someone's at the door. Or the baby just got tired. Or cried. Or pooped. Again. Or I got tired and decided to just lay down with baby and take a little rest while I wait for the next feeding, and try then. Or, maybe it just isn't worth it. And, really, I don't think she minds if I stink a little.

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