I took a shower this morning. As in, actually in the morning and not lightning fast three minutes before it’s time to pick up my daughter from school after working all day.
In theory it sounds wonderful. A work-at-home-mom taking a real actual shower in the a.m. Washing her hair, even. What a luxury!
In reality my shower looked like this: me trying to rinse the conditioner out of my hair as fast as possible while also shaving my legs because the morning devolved into a yelling match between my husband and my four-year-old son over a shirt and I could hear everything over the sound of the shower.
I’d laid out some clothes – soft pants, soft shirt for the button-phobe – and the mister kindly offered to get our little guy ready while I showered. Awesome, right?
Awesome because I slept in my son’s room – again – and so didn’t hear my alarm go off and no one else in this house gets up with an alarm so every day I wake up and then it’s my job to wake everyone else up. While the mister showered, I got our seven-year-old fed and dressed and got the little guy out of bed and got him something to eat and made sure the former’s lunch was in her backpack along with her water bottle. And I retied her shoes.
So it was awesome to have the mister come back from dropping off our daughter at school (note: my son cried literally the whole time they were gone because he didn’t want to get dressed, he wanted papa to drive back so he could wave out the window) and suggest I take a shower. Except by awesome I mean it was until it wasn’t. Because my son did not want to wear the shirt I’d picked – he wanted to wear a pajama shirt and he’s just that stubborn when it comes to clothing.
Long story short I walked out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around my hair to see my son yelling at my husband to go away and my husband heading for the door shouting “I am going away; work is far, far away,” over his shoulder.
So there I am with a little guy who should be leaving for daycare in like ten minutes and hasn’t even brushed his teeth and is furthermore screaming his ever loving head off because he has spent the last 20 minutes as a soldier in the Battle of the Shirt.
Multiple choice time! Do I:
A. Pick him up, quick brush his teeth (his screaming mouth is conveniently open), and drop him off at daycare in a snit.
B. Be late for EVERYTHING else I am scheduled to do today after spending the next half hour calming him down.
C. Or let him change his damn shirt.
Since I’m a working mom with a boatload of work to do today and not a stay-at-home-mom with all morning to deal with the fallout of sticking to my guns I picked C and boy howdy did that not sit well with the mister, who stormed off like a whirlwind but not before a final “Do whatever you want!” and lots of door slamming.
What he didn’t do was say goodbye to his son and so now this boy of mine is standing at the door inconsolably screaming “I want to hug papa! Papa, come back!” and begging me to call him so he would come back to say goodbye.
Unsurprisingly my son and I were late for dropoff and I was late for my first call of the day and while he wasn’t crying when I dropped him off my son was just sort of quietly sad because he’d already cried himself out standing there at the door crying about papa not saying goodbye.
Maybe that’s why moms everywhere sacrifice their showers and only wolf down breakfast leftovers. Because it beats the alternative. It’s not really helpful to offer a mom a chance to shower if what she comes out to is a screaming child and her co-parent walking out the door like whatever, mama will just deal with it. Not like she’s got anything else going on, right? Byeeeee!
So then I’m sitting there looking at my to-do list and trying to figure out what I can let go or half-ass to make it all work. I felt positively sick to my stomach and too anxious to even fire up my email. If that was what taking a shower in the morning does to my day, who needs it? I knew it would work out okay in the end. My husband apologized. My son calmed down. But still. Being a work-at-home-mom is HARD.