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…