Before children, showering by myself was a daily habit that I didn’t think anything of.
After children it has become an extravagance.
Showering by myself is now a luxury that I hardly ever get time for. (The sparkly and squeaky-clean image of mummydom is not as achievable as I once thought – and I have had to learn to embrace a less sparkly version of myself…)
Today: I just put mister 21 months down for a nap. I say ‘just’ but it has really taken me three attempts and I am not sure this one is going to be any more successful than the last two.
In the last attempt he was quiet long enough for me to run the shower and hop in – but sudden thumping told me he was up and running around unsupervised. Needless to say – my shower was cut short.
I managed to get the shampoo out of my hair – but I feel a bit ripped off and still a bit dirty.
Now I will have to wait until our evening ritual of bathing together before his bedtime – and I can ‘get clean’ then in five minutes after we are done – when my hubby takes him from me to put him into his PJs.
Ironically, this morning I received a delighted text from a friend with a 10 month old who texted to say she has managed to shower due to one of my must-have-a-shower tips that I used when my son was much younger and still unable to walk/climb and open doors.
FIVE WAYS TO (TRY TO) GET CLEAN WITH A BABY
JOIN IN: The first way is easier than most. It just involves showering or bathing with your baby. Pros are that you get lovely skin to skin contact and splishy-splashy bonding time. Cons are that you can’t have a very hot shower or bath and that you have to do a lot of self-cleaning one-handed.
An additional skill learned from this method is that you work out how to get the baby dry and warm really quickly so that you don’t freeze to death in the process. I am still not very good at this so any tips in this department would be well received please!
PORTACOT: Many an indulgent shower was had by me when my son was much younger simply by setting up the portacot right next to the bathroom door. This allowed me to still talk to him and play with him while I had a super-hot and super long shower.
HIGH CHAIR: If you can push your high chair into the bathroom, you can grab yourself ten minutes to shower while you feed your baby through the door. Things might get a bit soggy – but at least you get clean. This is multitasking at its best.
BOUNCINETTE: This is another ‘containment’ device suitable for younger children. Any kind of portable strap-the-baby-in-safely device will work and you can have your baby in the same room as you without worrying if you can hear them ghost-crying in the next room. (If you haven’t already heard them crying as soon as you run the shower then you are amongst the lucky few who do not suffer from this phenomenon…)
MIRRORS: I have to admit this was a creative mummying moment when I came up with this one. I leaned several mirrors around my house so that I had a full view of my baby in his jolly jumper (three angles away). I was still able to monitor him while I stole a few moments for some much-needed grooming time.
CAUTION: A) When using the mirror method – ensure that you are not broadcasting a reflection of yourself naked to the front door. B) All ‘door open’ baby monitoring methods may result in an increased likelihood of postal workers and surprise visitors seeing you naked (It has happened to me five times thus far). C) Showering is a luxury and if these methods do not work then tough. It is part of being a ‘real’ (slightly-less sparkly) mummy. D) These methods have been tried and true with a baby but I have not yet found a useful strategy that works for a toddler – so any advice you have would be gratefully received.
DISCLAIMER: Even though I may not be squeaky clean – you can rest assured that the things I make are. Click the link to support a work-at-home-mummy who tries (and sometimes fails) to shower and run a small business during nap times.