Tuesday, May 6, 2008

To Shower or Not to Shower Why is THAT in Question

All mothers know that with the birth of children, showers suddenly become a luxury. Let me amend that, a shower is a luxury that does not involve A) You trying to fool your child into believing that your shower is really a game you're playing with them by constantly sticking your head out and making silly faces and/or noises. B) Your neck muscles are in a knot because the baby is screaming and you know the other child is only moments away from acting out in anger towards the screaming baby. C) A child getting soaking wet because they feel like now is the perfect time to carry on a conversation--with their head jutted into what you hoped would be your one quiet haven. OR D) And perhaps worst of all, complete silence. Then you have to tell yourself, "Well, I know that there is some huge (and possibly dangerous) mess being made somewhere out there right now, but I choose to remain blissfully ignorant and I'll just say a prayer that God keeps them safe and he'll allot me the patience I need to deal with the mess whenever I get out."

The other option is to shower when the children are sleeping. This is my normal routine, but I've started to question it. Those moments when they are both snoozing are so rare, and so precious, that it seems like a waste to use them on my shower. I could be blogging, or reading, or (more realistically) dealing with the mess strewn all over my house, or making dinner. Instead, I'm spending 45 minutes showering and dressing. Just think what we could accomplish if we could throw hygiene out the window. I know I did in college! It was in no way out of the ordinary for me to go 2 or 3 days without a shower. During the week, everybody came to class in T-shirts, the same pair of jeans they'd been wearing the week before, and hair in a pony-tail. I was studying at night, my boyfriend was 2 hours away, why in the heck would I take the time to shower daily?

Then there's Jeremiah, who showers at least twice a day and cannot stand for me to skip a day. He used to call me, when I was in school, and ask me how many days we were up to at this point--with no shower. I always thought it was just a big joke between us, and it was sort of, but soon after we were married I discovered that it was genuinely disturbing to him. So, I made a showering commitment--shower, little make-up, and dressed in something decent. Every day, no matter what, even though I am at home with two little mess makers all day. My Mom used to tell me that I should give him something to look forward to coming home to--a wife who took care of herself (although she didn't always follow this advice herself :)).

My friend/SIL Ashley asked me the other day if I missed working. It made me think, and I realized that I don't miss working at all. What I do miss more than anything else is being able to have complete thoughts. To sit quietly and use my mind to work through something without being in a panicky hurry, or being interrupted, is what I miss most. I also miss my friends, and the feeling of contributing monetarily to our family, and being able to plan for myself what I want to get done in a day and actually do it--but the thinking and the quiet seem like the rarest commodities.

This is where that shower during nap time comes back in. My shower and my run are the two times during the day when I get that quiet, complete thought provoking kind of time. The run necessitates the shower, and I feel like I plan my day around how to get both things accomplished. While I sometimes start to get the productivity itch, dreaming of what I could get done in my day if I knocked out these two "luxuries," I think that without them, my brain might go to mush and my overall well-being would probably soon follow. So, after hashing all this out with you all, I think I've decided that the answer to the shower question is "YES, I do deserve a quiet, daily, shower!"






These are my two shower disturbers at 6 months. Pace on the left and Mary Aplin on the right. If your smile looked like theirs, I might forgive you for disturbing my showers too!

9 comments:

Lindsay said...

I didnt realize how much they looked alike!!!
Loved seeing them at least briefly this weekend!

Lauren said...

Abby, I JUST was thinking about how in the world you were able to take a shower each day with two little ones to take care of! I'm serious. I MAKE myself take one while Sipsey is awake and play peek-a-boo out of the shower curtain like you. You can't waste precious nap time. It's the only time to get the really important things done that require complete thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Abby, And...this too...shall past! LOL...Enjoy that shower. It's your time to have some peace and reflect. Try the tub, too! LOL. Talk about relaxing. Draw some hot water and crawl in and give yourself over to the relaxing warming,peaceful time. Hey...you can even...read while bathing! LOL...I know it seems impossible with two little ones...but..you should just try it. You won't feel like it's wasted time! And, talk about...smelling good! LOL.... Throw on some baby lotion and enjoy the rest of your day! It's these little things that become BIG gifts from God! A true fan...

thebarronfam said...

AMEN Sister...I usually shower when William takes his nap, but I may just have to try to play peek-a-boo and use that precious naptime for something else!

Jonathan and Lindsey Leonard said...

Here's my secret. I stick Av in the shower with me on a lot of days. Yes, it's not completely alone time..but she loves the water so much that she entertains herself while I'm showering and then I bathe her. I feel like I'm killing 2 birds with 1 stone-we're both clean and we both enjoyed our shower-and I still have nap time!

Lindsey said...

My question is WHEN do you run? During Grady's morning nap, I stick Elle in the tub beside me while I shower or put a cartoon on. This usually works and then I can have the afternoon time when they are both asleep to have a complete thought or two! The girls do look incredible alike!

Courtney said...

I haven't had a shower in 2 days :) Hopefully Charlie will be home early tonight so I can steal some time for one!

Anonymous said...

Im still in college, but I have a boyfriend of two years who HATES the fact that I throw on a cap 5 days out of ten! He always makes me feel so bad for skipping my morning shower, so Im glad to know Im not the only girl whose significant other thinks shes gross... AT LEAST you have two beautiful girls as your excuse :)

Karat said...

I have started skipping my showers in the morning before school, because I figure I'm going to get all germy anyhow and shower again later, so why bother? We should start a club. Back in the Middle Ages, they rarely ever showered. (They did have their fair share of disease, though).