I am going to preface this post by saying that yesterday was a poo sandwich. It was crappy. It was a day where we took our dog in for intestinal surgery, I was on day two of Whole 30 and subsequently was nauseous and had a migraine headache, I picked up and started wearing my Invisalign aligners (read: pain) and well, it’s that time of the month. By the end of the day, with my head throbbing, I was SO ready for my shower. So it seems completely appropriate that I wrote this just a few short days ago to share with you.
I was taking my quasi-daily shower this morning and as the hot water was scalding my skin like estheticians tell you not to let it do, I started thinking about how much my showers have become this incredible little respite in my day. The funny part is that 10 years ago I really didn’t give much thought to them at all. It was just a shower.
Let’s travel back in time. 10 years ago I was engaged to be married to Scott. I was almost 29 and working full time. At that point in my life, and really for the previous 20+ years I was a daily morning showerer (yes that is a word because I just coined it right now). While I’ve always loved a good scald, I didn’t give much thought to my daily bathing ritual. Wake, shower, dress, eat, move on with the day. Somedays I would wear makeup, some days I didn’t. I’ve always been that way.
Fast forward to having our first baby, Ty, in 2008. I remember several experienced moms warning me when I was pregnant that once baby arrived, I would have difficulty finding time to shower. Say what? That seemed pretty unacceptable, so I promised myself that I would shower every day after I had my baby. I am happy to report that I kept my promise. I surely wasn’t wearing makeup or styling my hair everyday, but I did shower. Even the day we got back from the hospital and I was drowning in hormones and breast milk. I made it a point to take that shower. And it revived me. It made me feel a little more human again. And a little less like a cow (except for the part at the end of the shower where your milk sprays out… breastfeeding mamas, you know what I’m talking about). And a little more like myself. I remember the early days of being a mama and how much I came to treasure my showers, whether it was a long scalder when Ty was sleeping or a quick wash-and-run because he was getting antsy in the bouncer on the floor. They brought me back to life.
Then we enter the period where I had another kid or two… aaaaand, showers became a little more difficult to come by. Frankly, I would just skip them here and there. It was easier than trying to squeak it in and not even be able to enjoy it. Going every other day didn’t seem that bad. And they became less important. I mean, YES people, I did shower regularly. Let’s not get crazy here. But they were less of a priority and I really just squeezed them in. These were not the glory days of my power showers.
That brings us to now. I’ve given birth to four children. (In 6 years… ahem…) I’ll just cut to the brutal truth that you know I’m coming to.
I need that shower every damn day!
And this has nothing to do with me wanting to get rid of my mommy stink or my workout funk (although it’s definitely a factor). It’s simply the pure joy of standing in that beautiful white rectangle by myself while clean, hot water sprays onto my hair and body. Woo, that sounds a little steamy. HA, steamy. Get it? But really. What is it about hot water that is so incredibly relaxing and revitalizing at the same time? (If only we had a hottub…) Every time I take my shower I get out feeling a little more human. I’ve even worked them into my schedule better so that I have time to treasure it a bit. I’ll share my strategy with you now. You’re welcome.
The key is that I don’t have to shower in the morning. I can actually wake up, eat, brush teeth, get dressed and make myself presentable (with hair and makeup always being on a case by case basis, let’s not get crazy) without taking a shower first! Especially… and here’s the clincher, when I implement my Late Afternoon Power Shower (LAPS) system. Here’s what you do:
Get your day done. This really works better if you’re in fact home in the late afternoon. LOL! Do your schooling, cleaning, running the kids around, whatever it is you do. But basically be done with your day.
Get the kids busy with whatever they need to be doing. If they’re older you can have them doing school work, homework, chores, playing, whatever. If they’re little, well, let’s just say we’re no stranger to buying 20+ minutes of time with our good friends Baby Einstein and Frozen.
Get in that hot shower and make your day MADE! It is a beautiful, glorious time. You’ve completed your main commitments for the day. You still need to make dinner, and get kids put to bed and all that jazz. But you are 2/3 of the way through. Give yourself the gift of a HOT SHOWER! It is practically free. AND, when you’re done (this is a massive bonus for me), you don’t need to get dressed or put on makeup or style your hair. Hello, this is genius.
At this time (it’s usually around 4), I take my glorious hot shower. I allow my 2 year old to open the door (future career, practical training) to the stall and I proceed to don my clean pajama pants and a tank. I do things like apply eye cream and moisturizer. I comb my hair and put my mousse in. I AM DONE. I then proceed downstairs, fresh, clean, skin still pink from the scald, and I often make myself at this time a little mommy libation (this could be a delightful cup of tea or perhaps something with a little more kick, you decide). You’re clean, you’re relaxed, and you don’t have that much to do. Heading into dinner preparation with these details taken care of is fabulous. My outlook has brightened considerably for what parents rightfully call “the witching hour”. I can make it through the evening at this point.
I have reclaimed those showers as mine. I do not need to rush them in the morning. I can enjoy them in the afternoon. I am ready for my evening of dinner, dishes, bedtime, and staring off into space once the kids are asleep. LIFE IS GOOD.
Please spread the word to any new moms you know. They don’t have to shower every day, but if they do, try the afternoon shower. The Late Afternoon Power Shower system. It works. And it’s lovely. I look forward to mine every single day. And when I wake in the morning? My hair is clean with product in it. I can quickly wash up, brush up, apply makeup and dress and I’m ready. OR, I can stay in workout gear, throw on a headband and attempt a workout at some point before my Power Shower Hour. It all works people!!
So… after ALL THAT. When do you shower? Do you enjoy the LAPS? Perhaps you’re a first-thing showerer? Or a pre-bedtime showerer?