I am not the world's greatest mother. Trust me on this one. I do plenty wrong, and I've made plenty of mistakes in this parental journey of mine.
Neither would I ever consider motherhood - and parenthood in general - to be a complete cakewalk with prancing unicorns and happy sprinkles of sunshine falling gently from the fluffy clouds above me.
But I have to say this, because it's been weighing on my mind.
It has come to my attention, that I have some kind of Mommy Super Power that I've been mute about 'till now. In general, I haven't wanted to say much about it because I'm afraid I'll come off as very arrogant or self-righteous in some way. The thing is, though, this subject keeps coming up again and again and I really think I need to just come clean.
I mean literally - come clean.
So here's the lowdown on my apparently unheard of Mommy Super-Power:
When my kids were babies and toddlers, I took showers.
Every single day. Without a problem.
No, I didn't have a nanny. And my husband and I both worked full-time jobs. My kids are two and a half years apart and I had no family within hundreds of miles on either side of the family tree to help us - we did it all ourselves. One of my kids is even a special-needs kid who had killer acid reflux in his infancy. And during the eight weeks I was home with each of my kids for maternity leave, plus all the months that followed it, I can't remember ever skipping my daily shower.
When I hear Moms whining Oh-my-God-what-I-wouldn't-give-to-just-get-a-shower and kvetching about a baby that won't be put down long enough to let them pee, I think....well, I think (honestly) what's the big deal?
I've showered with a kid in a car seat on the floor next to the partially open shower door. I've showered during naps. I've showered late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. I've peed while my foot rocks a kid in a bouncy seat. I've peed with a squirming or crying baby on my lap. It wasn't ideal, but it got the job done.
And if my kid was in one of those oh-no-you're-not-putting-me-down kind of moods, they came in the shower with me. I can shampoo and wash one handed. I can even shave my legs that way if I have to. Once they got old enough to sit up OK, I'd set them down on the floor of the shower and let them splash away while I took care of business.
None of these were long, luxurious showers. Some may have lasted less than three minutes, but that's enough time to wash all the dirty parts, scoop up a baby and get back to whatever is on the baby agenda.
I look at these moms who can't find three minutes in a day (particularly if they're a stay-at-home mom) and wonder why. I honestly do. Aren't you worth three minutes? Doesn't the kid nap for at least that long? Even when my daughter was awake, I used to be able to put her in my bedroom under a slow moving ceiling fan and shower with the door open to the master bath while I showered and it worked out great. She could watch a ceiling fan for hours.
Maybe it was because I'm a working Mom and I had to not be greasy-haired and feeling cruddy when I went into the office every day and that carried over into the maternity leave - I'm not sure.
I'm not better at being a Mom, honest. I can just shower like a genetically enhanced mutant with cleansing superpowers and not drop or step on a baby (if necessary) while doing it. Too bad there's no money in that.
I'd offer to teach classes, but that might get awkward.
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