The Motherhood is rough. It’s a place where the strong are brought to their knees and the weak are eaten alive. The Motherhood is a ‘Do or Die (of Dirty Diaper Stench)’ kind of place. It’s where creatures the size of Hobbits rule iron-fisted regimes, subjecting the citizens of their kingdoms to the whims of irregular naptimes, tempers that would have had Goliath cowering in a corner, and snot-bubbles that could literally swallow a person whole.
Life in The Motherhood can be rough. As a long-time citizen of the ‘Hood, I sometimes find myself daydreaming about my more carefree days, before the little pipsqueaks who determine my day-to-day routines ever found their way into the world: Late nights with no babysitters. Sleeping in in the morning (dear Lord it’s been TWELVE years since I’ve slept in. TWELVE). And showers. Daily showers. Daily showers that didn’t include a chorus of “Mommy, can I shower with you?” Or, “Ooh, ooh, I’ll go get my fourteen Barbies and a couple of Legos and we’ll have a First Person To Step On A Lego Is A Rotten Egg shower party!”
Yeah. And showering with the offspring always ends in tears because of any of the following reasons:
*Blonde Barbie got water in her head during the last shower, and now her encephalitis-esque plastic cranium is oozing black mold.
*Brunette Barbie drowneded. (<< Not a typo. According to my very literate 5 year old, drowneded means something like drowning, only way, way, way, way worse.)
*Ginger Barbie isn’t wearing any clothes, and she suddenly has a water-wedding to attend, and MOMMY WHY WON’T YOU GET OUT AND GET HER CLOTHES FOR ME RIGHT THIS MINUTE???
*Mommy steps on a lego, shouts thinly-veiled obscenities, gets shampoo in her eyes, steps on another lego, and altogether quits trying to veil those oaths. Three hours later, when the offspring is chanting those oaths at the dinner table, Mommy will decide that no just-showered-feeling is worth the price.
Yes, friends, showers in The Motherhood are a rare – and even more rarely, pleasant – occurrence. And showers alone? Have you ever seen a Yeti? The Loch Ness Monster? A unicorn? A zombie who didn’t like eating brains? Yeah, me neither. Which means that several times throughout any given week, I will need to leave the house and not look like a street-person, but I will need to do it without the aid of a glorious, steaming hot, long, luxurious shower. I’m assuming that I’m not the only one in this boat. Maybe that’s wishful thinking on my part, but hey, no one wants to be alone, do they?
I have two solutions for those in The Motherhood’s nearly showerless existence. The 90-second solution, and the 3-minute solution. Pay attention, girls. It’s about to get real.
(DISCLAIMER: Very little of this is about getting clean. It is about the illusion of being clean. If you’re not desperate enough that even the illusion of being clean is appealing to you, then you haven’t moved into The Motherhood yet. Discuss the possibility of another child with your significant other, and get back to me when you haven’t slept through an entire night in five years.)
The Motherhood’s 90 Second Alternative to Showering:
What you’ll need: Toothbrush, toothpaste (if you can find it – mine always seems to grow legs and end up in the kids’ bathroom), dry shampoo, deodorant, and the $6 bottle of perfume you found in the clearance aisle at Target. Yeah, I know. Totally classy.
Step One: Begin brushing your teeth.
Step Two: While brushing your teeth, apply deodorant. If you can’t do this one handed, you are weak, and will likely be eaten alive by your offspring sometime between Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and naptime.
Step Three: Keep brushing your teeth. Trust me, you need it. While brushing, spritz the air with your perfume of choice. Ignore the fact that it was cheap, and has a country singer’s name on it; you’re in The Motherhood. You wear cheap-ass perfume like a boss. Walk through that spritzed air like a queen…just don’t let your toddler see you do it, or he/she may feel the need to take you down a notch by blowing out a diaper.
Step Four: Spit and rinse.
Step Five: Apply dry shampoo following the instructions on the bottle. I use Suave’s knock-off stuff. It’s actually kind of awesome. Shout-out to Lizzie R., a Motherhood Warrior in her own right, for pointing me in that direction.
You’re all finished. You can now leave the house without feeling the need to don a sandwich board that says I KNOW I HAVEN’T SHOWERED IN TWELVE DAYS, BUT I’M A MOM. Instead, you can leave with a swagger in your step that says, I’M IN THE MOTHERHOOD, BEEATCH, AND I ROLL LIKE A PRO.
But Myndi, you say, what about those days when I have something going that takes more than clean hair and a faux-clean body smell? Sister, I’ve got you covered. Check. It. Out.
The Motherhood’s Three Minute Alternative to Showering and Make-up:
What you’ll need: Toothbrush, toothpaste, dry shampoo, deodorant, stink-‘em-sweet (aka, perfume), mineral foundation (I use – and LOVE BareMinerals), cheek color (I heart Pixi Fresh Face), Burt’s Bees Radiance Lip Shimmer (this one’s pretty brand specific…you’ll see why), and mascara.
Step One: Get to brushing those teeth.
Step Two: Brush teeth + apply deodorant. Stop whining about how hard it is. You’re a mom. You can carry forty-seven sacks of groceries and the baby in from the garage in one trip. You can do this, too.
Step Three: Brush teeth + spritz air + walk through spritz.
Step Four: Spit and rinse.
Step Five: Dry shampoo time. You can leave your hair loose, or if you’re swift with a hair tie, pull it into a cutesy bun.
Step Six: Make-up time. Foundation comes first. Follow up with cheek color – something fresh that gives you the appearance of having just gone for a brisk walk…or, having just chased your diaper-less child halfway down the block. Next follow up with Burt’s Bees lip shimmer. On your lips if you like, but the key here is to dab a little on your finger, and then dab it under your brow line. It gives you a nice, subtle I’m Not Sagging Everywhere Yet look, while leaving your eyes feeling refreshed. Brush on a tiny bit of mascara, and voila! You’re all dolled up and ready to hit that mega-consignment sale with rabid Suburban-driving moms who aren’t afraid to throw elbows when it comes to nabbing those FREAKISHLY adorable second-hand pair of children’s UGG boots. True story. Want to know how the story ended? Suburban-mom got the boots. I looked too damn pretty to fist-fight over footwear.
I want to hear from you! What are your tricks for keeping your shit together as a mom? Share the secrets of The Motherhood below.