…but I always remember to brush my teeth

When Lee and I were first married, I lived the good life as a freelance writer/gymnastics coach.  I realized early on that the typical 9-5 job wasn’t for me.  It cramped my style.

Such a Prima Donna…

So I got a sweet job coaching gymnastics at the top gym in the nation, where I didn’t have to go to work until 3:00 in the afternoon and I spent my mornings ghostwriting and editing books, writing corporate newletters and walking the mall that was .2 miles from our Frisco, Texas apartment.

That was the good life.  I miss that life some days (read: many days).

One of the more productive ways I filled my time was meeting every Tuesday morning with an amazing group of women from our church.  Most of them were stay at home moms, save for one other woman (my dearest of friends) who had no children like me but worked as an actress so she also had a flexible schedule.

I’ll never forget one Tuesday morning as we all began our time of study and Allison, a new mom, threw open the door, her hair all askew, her eyes wide, her clothes wrinkled and a look of total bewilderment on her face.

“Getting out of the house with a baby is hard!” she exclaimed.  You had to know Allison to understand how sweet and cute this moment was.  We all laughed and I shook my head, totally not getting it.  I mean, how hard is it to get a shower and change your clothes, right?

Fast forward three years when I myself became that wide-eyed, bewildered new mom.  I would wake up each morning resolved to be cool and smooth and put together, and inevitably by 10:00am I could still be found in my wrinkled pajamas (which, of course, weren’t really pajamas but rather the clothes I had been wearing for the past several days because who had time to change her clothes on a daily basis?), my hair knotted and gnarled in tufts around my head, my eyes bloodshot and red and my bladder full because I couldn’t figure out when I was supposed to go to the bathroom.

You know…first baby syndrome.

Was I supposed to put him down and let him scream just so I could pee?  But then it would take all that time and effort to get him calmed back down and God forbid the kid wants to nurse again because there’s a good chance that certain necessary parts of my chest might literally fall off if he nurses one more time…

And so I stood and bounced for hours on end.  Not because he needed to be bounced, but because I needed to pee and because it kept me from thinking about the grungy state of my appearance.

It took a few weeks for me to snap out of that daze.  It took some time for me to figure out that it was indeed okay to put the child down for moderate stretches of time.  Good Lord, when I figured out that I could put him in the bouncy seat for 2.4 minutes of quiet and jump in the shower, I became a different woman.

One with hygiene.

Within a few months, we had settled into a nice little schedule of two solid naps a day, which allotted me all the time I wanted to make myself presentable.  Glory day!  Until child number two entered the picture.  Then, gasp! There were two of them.  If I got the baby to sleep, I still had the two year old to contend with.  I don’t think I showered for a month.

But again, thanks in part to Tia being a freak of nature and sleeping roughly 19 hours a day for the first six months of her life, we eased well into a schedule that allowed me to at least pull a brush through the nest on my head and run a toothbrush over the fuzz on my teeth.

Enter kid number three.

I gave up on showers all together.  Because when you shower, crazy things happen, like kids cutting each other’s hair, or small children taking a Sharpie to the walls, or any number of unimaginable craziness that can happen in the few minutes I leave them unattended.

So if you run into me in public and I look…questionable…just nod your head, smile and take heart in the fact that I always brush my teeth.

Almost always, anyways…


  1. Whatever you always look great even when I would see you out in the neighborhood you always looked put together and great!

  2. jessica stuart says

    as always you are amazing! one day your going to have to put it all together and just copy the best of the blogs and get it published..if that garbage book “stuff my dad says” (ok so i changed the name but whatever) can get published an awesome christian mother who is witty and hilarious should have no trouble..of coarse this is just my opinion..you need a publishers 🙂 i think they would agree!

  3. Brushing your teeth every day is nice. But are you working on your next novel every day?! That’s what I want to know!

  4. Vonita Hill says

    I wholeheartedly agree with Jessica! Write a book!

  5. the best fix I ever found was pretty headbands and colorful stretchy bands, covers up the oh so lovely grease laden front of the hair! Even you with your forehead issues 🙂 could pull it off! Other funny note is that Sophie calls our shower “daddy bath, daddy bath”, notice it isn’t “mommy bath, mommy bath”.

  6. Haha! Melissa, you know me so well. That made me laugh. I DO have forehead issues. 🙂

  7. candy martin says

    We put lots of money into those pearly whites so I am glad you brush your teeth everyday! Remember when Tia was 10 days old and you did your first trip out of the house with 2 kids? You were having their pictures made and I met you at the mall. Right before we got to the photo place, you realized you still had your bedroom slippers on! I thought the fuzzy slipper look was great and we both had a good laugh! You’re a great mom and I am so proud of you!

  8. get a cute hat…that’s what I do. and, i keep a toothbrush under the kitchen sink because most days i don’t shower and like you, at least i can brush my teeth (at the sink!) ha.

  9. and that is why I am grateful for friends like you and Amy. You’re real. I remember when Cooper was born and I called you saying those exact same words, “getting out of the house with a baby is hard!” and I believe you giggled a little. It was great. And yup, #2 was much the same adjustment period.

    Being a Mom is so humbling.

    Have you seen the new “wisps”? 😀

  10. I am so glad you posted this. It is exactly what I am going through right now!