I was in the shower this morning and got to thinking about how valueable a shower really is, especially if you have children. Trying to find time for a shower once you become a parent is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, you may never find it.
When I was pregnant with Maya I didn’t consider how our days would play out, what our routine would be like. I never considered that taking care of a newborn would mean I probably wouldn’t shower, I definitely wouldn’t sleep and I very likely would barely get a chance to eat. I mean I “knew” most of these things deep down, I did read all the pregnancy/parenting books afterall. But I didn’t really let myself think about it and I certainly didn’t let myself consider what they would mean for me when I was in the midst of it.
Once Maya actually arrived and I was smack dab in the middle of caring for a newborn I couldn’t deny it anymore. My needs, even the need to feel clean and not smell, were just not important anymore. Her needs came before mine, which meant some days I didn’t shower, I barely ate, and I slept when and where I could (often curled up on the couch with her )
After the first few weeks I realized that I needed to shower in order to keep myself sane. I really enjoy my morning shower, it helps me get going the same way coffee gets others going. So, I started working on a routine that would make sure I got that much needed shower. As Maya got older I had to revise the routine to fit her current needs (and mine), but I am happy to say that I have not gone a single day without a shower
I’ll share my little routine with you in hopes that it will help you find the time for that much sought after, hot commodity, previously known as a shower.
Newborn through about 6 months:
If I wasn’t able to shower during her morning nap (or I really needed to nap during that time as well!!) I would figure out a way to work a quick shower into another part of our morning ritual. I would plop Maya into her boppy bouncy seat or in her swing, sit it in the bathroom and shower while she either drifted off to sleep or played with the toys dangling in front of her.
6 months through about 8 months:
Once Maya started sitting up on her own she didn’t want to sit in the bouncy seat or swing anymore, so I changed things up a little bit and would lay her on the floor on her activity mat. She would roll around on there, play with a few toys and babble away while I got in my much needed shower.
8 months through about 18 months:
Once she started crawling and pulling up on things I needed to change our routine again. I got rid of the activity mat and replaced it with a few towels and blankets for padding, a bunch of toys and a few books. She would occupy herself pulling up on the toilet or the edge of the bathtub or playing with her toys while I showered. When she was about a year her favorite thing to do while I was showering was to stand by the tub and play with a couple of travel-sized shampoo bottles and “pretend” to wash her hair, it was so cute.
18 months through now (22 months):
Once Maya hit about 18 months old trying to contain her in the bathroom while I was showering became a huge battle and my shower was no longer enjoyable since it was accompanied by the yells and cries of a toddler demanding to be released. So, I had to devise a new routine. Our house has been baby(toddler) proofed so I decided it would be ok to let her be free while I showered. I put on one of her favorite Disney sing-a-long DVDs or put on an episode of Sesame Street for her and she sits in the living room (about 10 feet from the bathroom (we live in a condo)) and quietly watches her show, reads some books or plays with her toys. She’ll come into the bathroom if she needs something, and I can hear what’s going on out there since she is so close. It works out perfectly.
The thing I learned when I had a baby was that I needed to condense my shower so that I would have time to fit it into our routine even on those days when Maya was fussy and didn’t want my out of her sight for a second. I need my shower to get me going so I did what I needed to do to make sure it happened.
I hope you can adapt my routine to your life so that you too can find the bliss of a shower again