Not for the faint of heart

Photo by Jenni at Avodah

I walked in the door after a beautiful weekend away and kissed their sweet, sweaty faces. They’d been outside running, playing, relishing in all that is childhood. They looked like children who were having a grand old time.

In short, they were filthy. SoΒ I suggested a shower. Crazy, right? I know!!

Here’s the thing – generally we do not make our children shower every night. It’s a pain, they don’t like it and I can handle a little bit of dirt and slightly crusty hair for a few days in a row. However, when they play outside for hours without shoes on (yes, I am raising those kids) I generally think it entirely reasonable to have them jump under the running water long enough to bring their feet back to a normal peachy color and less…blackened by mud.

But I was unaware of the fact that showers were taken the night before and the night before that and oh you’d think I’d come home with a whip in hand and walked through the door cracking it. There was weeping, gnashing of teeth, glares that could easily turn one into a pillar of salt. The horror of suggesting a shower for a third night in a row.


Welcome to parenthood, right? You attend a conference established to encourage and refresh you in the journey, you come home armed with loved and gratefulness for the small ones lent to you for this lifetime and you prepare yourself for a sweet reunion complete with kisses, snuggles and giggles. It will be a beautiful time as they gather around you, sitting quietly with hands folded sweetly in their laps, their hair clean and slicked to the side.

“Tell us about your weekend, Mother,” they will say, all sugary and precious. “Tell us more about how truly wonderful you are going to be from here on out. Tell us how magical life will be now that you have been blessed with so much knowledge and wisdom.”

(Side note: You should read the above dialogue in a British accent because it sounds a lot cooler and gives a better dramatic punch. Just give a try…)

(See what I mean?)

You imagine that surely your job will be easier now, because you’ve just learned how to be a better mom. You’ve just learned how to love them more graciously. You have new tools in your arsenal to build them up and point them toward their full potential.

Unfortunately, the kids don’t get the memo about all of that. They go on acting like…kids. They haven’t become the perfect little robots that will make your job a walk in the proverbial park. It’s like a cruel, cruel joke.

Does this happen to anyone else? Is it just me? I hope not, because within fifteen minutes of being with my children last night I was already completely fed up.Β  It was all I had in me not to point my finger, grit my teeth and mutter, “Look, kid. I just learned how to be the best mom I can be and you’re in here making it difficult. Be nice so I can be AWESOME.”

I didn’t say that, of course.

Out loud.

We finally got them in bed (with only two actually showered and one with clean feet after we comprimised and wiped them down with a wet rag) and I collapsed on the couch and looked wide-eyed at Lee, my eyes conveying every emotion and frustration I felt. I’m home fifteen minutes and I already want to cuss? Hellooooo real life! Thanks for smacking me in the face.

LeeΒ smiled, winked and patted me softly on the shoulder. “Welcome home,” he said with a grin and I could hear the chuckle in his voice.

Parenting. Not for the faint of heart. At all.

At. Freaking. All.

Can I get an amen?!


  1. Oh Amen

    and amen and amen and holy batcrap, Robin. Amen!

    (it was one of Those weekends around here)

  2. HA! Amen! What is with kids not wanting to take showers? And yet they’d be in the pool for days upon end if we let them? Aren’t both water? Is it the issue of being submerged vs sprinkled? Perhaps this has deeper theological issues… Perhaps this is really what the whole baptism submerged/sprinkled thing gets at?

    I still make my kid do push ups when he argues about showering. I just look at him and tell him how many I want. #meanmommypants πŸ˜‰

    I still think you’re awesome.

    • Haha! I love that you make him do push ups. #AwesomeMommyPants πŸ™‚

      • push ups and sit ups were used at our house too! If they were going to be disobedient, they might as well be buff too! πŸ™‚ This worked great with our kids as they acquired the strength to do them!

  3. Laughing WITH you again. Trust me the day will come when a cute boy/girl comes in to the picture and they will be running to the shower AT LEAST once a day AND they will brush their teeth without being asked. It is amazing what “cute” can do for your kids’ personal hygiene…had 3 boys that proved it true! πŸ™‚

    • Ha! I also fully suspect there will be a day when I lament no hot water thanks to their love of long hot showers. Guess I should relish my hot water while I can. πŸ™‚

  4. Heh heh heh!

  5. Sharon Schacher says

    Ha! Some things never change! My kids now have kids of their own and this happened to me when MY kids were young! The more things change the more they stay the same!

  6. Mine complain too and I used to let it go when we lived in a house. But in this new gig we spend most of our time outdoors developing what the Bible describes (of Esau) as “the smell of the land.” Couple that with the fact that 320 square feet of living space and it means one person with BO can ruin everyone’s night. They just dig it when we are camped somewhere with no water connection and we have to limit showers to conserve.

    P.S. LOVE your use of that photo.

  7. Amen πŸ™‚

  8. It’s not the water… it’s a condition known as “soapus-sudzis-rejectus” – heaven forbid you force a shower and hair wash on them two days in a row!!

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