10 steps to taking a shower with a new baby in the house
Pre-baby I always thought people were overstating the difficulty of accomplishing minor things with a baby around.
Post-baby I completely understand it when my other mum-friends cancel plans with excuses like "I couldn't get out of the house" (they mean this literally) and "FFS, Toby has suddenly gone for a nap AN HOUR EARLY!!!!".
Being housebound and nap-trapped are pretty normal occurrences when you are the mother of an unpredictable, mercurial brand new baby human. Things like personal hygiene and cleaning take a back seat (a waaaaaay back seat, they are basically in the back seat of a car several miles back) when you've got a newborn on your hands and no idea what to do with it.
I'm talking about those hazy, chaotic early days when just eating a meal with two hands is completely unachievable...
The 10 steps to having a shower when you're a new mum:
Try to remember the last time you had a shower.
Give up trying to remember the last time you had a shower through ascertaining the baby's age in days and hours. Accept that it has been a really, really long time. Become distracted by writing two dozen thank you cards for baby gifts, then spend circa half an hour trying (largely unsuccessfully) to wind the baby. Remember that you were about to have a shower.
Place the baby in the bouncy chair in the corner of the bathroom and start to undress, throw on a manky old towelling robe when you hear the door ring. Retrieve the baby from the bouncy chair and answer the door, failing to notice that your sad deflated boob has escaped the towelling robe.
Hold a 10-minute conversation with the neighbour about the colic her children suffered from before spotting the rogue boob and popping it back into the robe. During the conversation, the baby suddenly and miraculously falls asleep.
When the neighbour finally leaves, embark on a 25 minute internal struggle over whether you should risk waking the baby in the attempt to transfer her to the cot and nab that shower or just sit quietly somewhere and try to read a book while she sleeps on you.
Choose the latter option. When attempting to hold a book or consume a snack with a sleeping child on your person proves impossible instead just stare blankly at the wall for the duration of the nap.
When the child looks about to wake-up, pop back up to the bathroom and stick her back in the bouncy chair. Turn on the water. The shower is so close you can almost taste it.
Pull back the shower curtain and prepare to enter what will feel almost like a spa, a pretty crappy one but a spa nonetheless. Stumble at this final hurdle when the baby wakes with a shriek looking for a feed. Feed the baby while wrapped in a towel, perched on the edge of the bathtub – it's not the most comfortable position, but you're way past caring at this point.
Perk up at the sound of the other half returning home. Run downstairs ostensibly to greet him eagerly but actually to thrust the child into his arm. "What have you been up to all day?" he'll say looking around at the breakfast dishes in the sink, the piles of laundry in various corners of the house and your retreating back as you flee up the stairs.
Get into the bathroom, shut the door and hit the spa (aka fairly scummy shower that hasn't been cleaned in however old the baby is). Stay in there for as long as baby and hot water supply will allow, who knows when the next one will be.
Who can relate?!